The frenzy begins. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, former Lions DT Haloti Ngata intends to sign a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles when the window opens.
Former Lions’ DT Haloti Ngata intends to sign a one-year deal with Eagles, per @mortreport and me.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2018
So what does this mean for the Super Bowl champions?
Run defense is just terrifying:
The Eagles allowed an average of just 80 rushing yards per game last year which was the least in the NFL. Their stout run defense was a large reason behind their dominant campaign and it’s only getting better. When you factor in the arrival of an elite run-defender in Michael Bennett and now a veteran defensive tackle, things are only going to get worse for run-first teams who face the Birds.
Before Ngata’s 2017 injury, the Lions actually gave up an average of just 74.6 yards per game and boasted one of the best run defenses in the NFL. After his injury, the Lions gave up over 100 yards in seven of the final eight contests. It would be safe to say there’s a direct correlation between the Lions production with and without the 6’4, 340 lbs defensive tackle.
You didn’t think these deals would get away THAT easily, did you? Howie Roseman is working wonders again with what looks to be a one-year prove-it contract for the 34-year old. It could well be the veteran’s final payday so there’s no questioning he will want to go out with a bang. These types of deals certainly help a cap-restricted team bring in veteran talent to nurture the younger prospects on the team, as can be seen with Chris Long and LeGarrette Blount.
As with almost every Eagles signing these days, there’s a connection to Joe Douglas. Ngata was posting 5 sack seasons when Douglas was still learning under Ozzie Newsome and if there’s anybody that knows just how dangerous he can be, it’s Howie’s right hand man.
But what about Beau?
Well, every action has a reaction. Beau Allen is an expected free agent and is in the prime of his career. It would hardly be surprising to see the (now second) most beautiful head of hair in the locker room depart to receive a long-term future elsewhere and this signing gives the team an insurance policy in that instance. With Bennett on the outside and able to wreak havoc from the interior as well, the Eagles are now stacked along the front four.
We don’t really know the kind of money Ngata will receive from the Eagles, but the 34-yer old who spent most of last year on IR will be looking to bounce back in 2018. He only tallied six sacks in his last three years after being traded to the Lions, but perhaps a change in scheme and a sense of familiarity under the purple banner of Joe Douglas will rekindle a fire and get one last burning season out of the five-time Pro Bowler.
Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports