Eagles Will Pass on Marcus Smith Option
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - As you sift through the dozens of Philadelphia Eagles draft grades stemming from the picks made in the 2017 class understand they are meaningless.
In fact, the only real grade that matters, at least with first-round picks in the current system, come after a player's third year when the organization gets to make a decision on a fifth-year option. If a player has produced you take the extra year, which is guaranteed only for injury, and if he hasn't you cut and run.
For the 2014 class that time has come and to no one's surprise the Eagles will not be picking up their team option on Marcus Smith, the oft-maligned edge rusher from the Chip Kelly regime, who has produced all of four sacks in his first three NFL seasons.
The news was first reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer and independently confirmed by 973espn.com with an NFL source.
With Derek Barnett brought on with the 14th overall pick on Thursday, Jim Schwartz's rotation on the edges figures to include the rookie along with second-team All-Pro Brandon Graham as well as the recently signed Chris Long and Vinny Curry.
That leaves little projected playing time for the 25-year-old Smith, who is scheduled to make $2.48 million in 2017 and will need to hold off players like Steven Means and Alex McCalister for a roster spot.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen