The Eagles had their glass slipper ready when the clock of free agency struck midnight, throwing contracts to some pieces they felt were upgrades to the current roster. It was no secret that they needed to fill some holes, but striving to sign numerous members of the over-30 club has started to allow the concerns to roll through. It seems like decades ago when the Eagles and the number “30” were like a reality TV show that would never stick. The days of Joe Banner staying true to his word of not extending veterans past their prime are now a distant memory as Howie Roseman and company seem to be advocates instead of opponents when it comes to the world of 30.
Let’s take a look at the specifics:
Eagles re-sign DE Brandon Graham to a 3-year deal (31 years old)
He will forever be known as the strip-sack master for his play in the Super Bowl. However, his sack numbers have declined (9.5 in 2017, 4.0 in 2018) and his one big attribute, which is speed, can only last for so long. Remember, when Father Time says slow down, there’s no way to speed back up.
Eagles extend C Jason Kelce into 2021 (31 years old)
Kelce is one of the best, if not the best, centers in the league when he is fully healthy. However, this is a guy who plays with a grind that never stops and was pondering retirement. He is undersized for the position, but uses athletics and speed to make up for his size. Both are attributes that begin to decline after the age of 30.
Eagles re-sign LT Jason Peters to a 1-year deal (37 years old)
The Bodyguard will be brought back for what will most likely be his final season. I am a huge advocate of this move and feel it will have multiple results. He will be able to teach the younger linemen and give the Eagles a comfort level to protect Carson’s blind side. The only problem is the number of games he’s missed over the years. This odds of this number dropping are pretty low at this point of his career.
Eagles trade for WR DeSean Jackson (32 years old)
We tried Mike Wallace, but he got hurt. We tried Torrey Smith, but he was only a shell of himself. Now, we move onto DeSean 2.0. It’s no secret the Eagles were missing a flier who could keep the safeties honest and allow the offense to open up, but is a WR on the wrong side of 30 the way to go? We’ll see what DeSean has left in the tank.
Eagles sign S Andrew Sendejo to a 1-year deal (31 years old)
This basically a Corey Graham type signing. A depth move that you can feel comfortable starting in a pinch. However, with a guy like Malcolm Jenkins in the fold who never comes off the field and another in McLeod who is coming off a knee injury, a younger guy would probably make me feel more comfortable.
Eagles sign DE Vinny Curry to a 1-year deal (31 years old)
Are we living in the past once again? Vinny is a nice depth player, but only has 11.5 sacks in 60 games. The Eagles like to rotate their line, but the signing of aging defensive ends to rush the QB is alarming.
Obviously, the main piece to the puzzle is the play of Carson Wentz. But looking at a roster of veterans who have had severe injury histories and declining numbers doesn’t give you that warm, fuzzy feeling you want heading into a new football year. Not to mention the number of younger players below who are battling back from season-ending injuries:
Paul Worrilow, LB (28 years old) – Torn ACL
Rodney McLeod, S (28 years old) – Torn ACL
Derek Barnett, DE (22 years old) – Shoulder
Josh Sweat, DE (21 years old) – Ankle
Ronald Darby, CB (25 years old) – Torn ACL
Jalen Mills, CB (24 years old) – Foot
Corey Clement, RB (24 years old) – Knee
Mack Hollins, WR (25 years old) – Groin
Maybe Roseman has the ultimate plan. Maybe he is still gearing up for an exciting draft and a few surprising trades. Still, it doesn’t alleviate the concerns for me that this team is getting older and has to rely on the recoveries of so many important pieces to be successful. This is Year 2 in the ACL recovery for Carson Wentz and there is no Nick Foles this time. Looking at the overall picture, we will need the entire nucleus to perform at a high level if we ever want to once again become Super Bowl Champions. Will we be able to do it with this type of roster? Only time will tell.
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