Smart Moves

Posted: April 7th, 2021 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 7 Comments »

The Eagles have not had much cap space this offseason, forcing them to be very careful shoppers. After letting the market settle down, they made a pair of smart moves on Wednesday.

Let’s start with Wilson. The 6-1, 230 LB started 10 games over his first three years. He didn’t do anything special, but showed some promise. An injury opened a starting spot last year and Wilson started 15 games and had the best year of his career. Wilson led the team in tackles and TFLs. He finished second in INTs and QB hits. Wilson made a lot of plays.

The tape shows a solid player, but nothing special. There is a reason a 26-year old LB coming off a career year doesn’t have much of a market. He doesn’t have great size or speed. He’s not special in any way. His tackling can be a bit sloppy. There are times when he reaches rather than aggressively wrapping up.

While he isn’t Seth Joyner or Byron Evans, Wilson is a good addition to the Eagles. He fits in terms of age and price. Wilson is versatile. He can play up on the LOS, in the middle or out in space. He will know the scheme or at least parts of it.

He also can help young players like Davion Taylor and Shaun Bradley develop. Wilson made the Vikings as a UDFA. He began as a STs player, then got mixed in as a starter when needed and finally started a full season last year. This is a guy who earned everything as he made his way up the NFL ladder. And he did that as part of a good defense.

I think the Eagles will play Wilson at WLB.

SAM Alex Singleton … Genard Avery
MLB T.J. Edwards ….. Shaun Bradley
WLB Eric Wilson ……. Davion Taylor

As you can see in these clips, Wilson does have talent.

As you can see in the last clip, Wilson also helps on STs. Wilson gives the Eagles enough capable players that they can draft a LB if they want to, but aren’t forced to make a move. They can still see what happens with Edwards, Taylor and Bradley.

If Wilson has another strong year, the Eagles can sign him to an extension and look at him as a long term answer. If he’s just so-so, they can walk away next offseason. This isn’t an exciting move, but it is smart.


As for Howard, there is nothing remotely exciting about his return. I still do see some logic in it.

I can see plenty of people rolling their eyes at Howie bringing back another player. That’s been a weakness of his in recent years. There is a difference. Howard won’t turn 27 until November. This is very different than bringing back Jason Peters, DeSean Jackson, Vinny Curry, Corey Graham, Darren Sproles, etc. Those guys were all in their 30’s.

Howard is here purely as a role player. He and Miles Sanders formed a good duo back in 2019 so bringing him back to be part of RB by committee is something I can live with. The RB class in the draft isn’t compelling and the Eagles don’t have much money to spend. They will add a RB in the draft or as a UDFA and see if he pans out. Howard is an insurance policy for that.

Howard had a bizarre season in 2020. He had 28 carries for 33 yards, which is awful, but scored 4 TDs. The Dolphins basically used him as a short-yardage sledgehammer. He’ll have the chance to do that with the Eagles, but will have a chance to do more as well. The team has a new offensive scheme, but you can bet Jeff Stoutland will still be using many of the same run plays that helped Howard get off to a strong start in 2019.

As I said with Wilson, the age and price are right. Howard is also a scheme fit.

When you’re shopping on a limited budget, you don’t look for steak. You load up on turkey pot pies and Hot Pockets. Just make sure you have enough money left over for some PBR.


Good for him. I hope Sudfeld finds a home there. His Eagles career was just odd. The team either had too much confidence in him or none at all. Very bizarre.


7 Comments on “Smart Moves”

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  6. 6 What they're saying: How good is Eric Wilson? How does he impact LB corps, Eagles draft plans? - phillysports said at 11:56 AM on April 9th, 2021:

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