One ‘Daring Move’ for the Eagles 2021 Offseason
One way for the Philadelphia Eagles to have a bounce-back season in 2021 is to stand pat and hope their offensive line comes back and can remain healthy this season.
That’s what the Football Outsiders recommends in their “daring” offseason moves for all 32 NFL teams.
They make the case that the team should not throw money at fixing an offensive line that lost 48 combined games from presumptive starting offensive linemen in 2020. It has been well documented the amount of injuries the unit suffered in 2020, leading them to start 13 different line combinations in 16 games.
The Eagles lost 48 combined games from presumptive starting offensive linemen Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Isaac Seumalo and Andre Dillard in 2020. Given Carson Wentz's historically big efficiency splits with and without pressure, those injuries may have ended the Eagles' hopes of a playoff berth before Wentz even started to slump.
Now that Wentz is gone, the team will want to reinforce that line to give sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts his best chance to succeed. But the Eagles may should resist that temptation. With a team full of veterans and an eye on a return to the Super Bowl, Philadelphia is $43 million over the projected salary cap. Only the Saints have a bigger deficit.
Football Outsiders believes that the injuries on the offensive lin in 2020 could have been a big reason that the Eagles had the season the had, causing a sharp demise in Carson Wentz's play.
Getting back Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson gives the Eagles one of the best right sides in all of football. However, they are both 30-years of age and injuries do need to be a concern going forward
On the left side of the line, the team should have an interesting decision to make at tackle, with former first-round pick Andre Dillard against former seventh-round pick Jordan Mailata.
Hurts started just four games in 2020 but teased that potential with what would have been a 13th-place finish in DVOA under pressure had he qualified. And if he can continue that success with pressure, then the Eagles can spend their limited resources to address their other deficiencies such as linebacker and wide receiver.
The one big question is at center with Jason Kelce, who will be entering his 11th NFL season, and is coming off a 2020 campaign that he played through a very serious elbow injury.
If Kelce returns, Isaac Seumalo would likely be back at left guard. If Kelce retires, the team could move Seumalo over to center and would need to find a replacement at left guard.
In-house candidates include Nate Herbig, Jack Driscoll and Luke Juriga.
If the Eagles line can stay healthy, they could have one of the better units in the league this season.
Eagles QBs Drafted Outisde Of The First Round Since 2000