It’s been a busy day for Eagles news..and it isn’t over just yet. According to a report from Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the team are working on an extension for backup defensive tackle, Beau Allen.
With Bennie Logan’s future all but certain, the Eagles are left with undrafted rookie Destiny Vaeao and Beau Allen as the remaining DT’s aside from Fletcher Cox. Allen set a career high in tackles (29), as well as recovering his first NFL fumble and starting three games.
Beau Allen and Destiny Vaeao acted as more than just backups, combining for a total of 66.3% of Defensive snaps last season. Injuries did play a factor into their involvement and the three starts of Allen, but their presence was certainly felt. The combination of Beau Allen and Vaeao was enough to see off the setbacks and keep the Eagles aggressive in the pass rush.
Howie Roseman spoke glowingly of the fourth-year defensive tackle at the NFL Combine on Wednesday:
“We’re excited about Beau. Both in his ability to be powerful in the run game and also his athleticism to work the edges. He has pass rush moves and with an increased opportunity, we think he will be an even better player for our team.”
It remains to be seen just how much there is to this report and how long the negotiations have been going on for. Allen is under contract for this year at least as he enters the final year of his rookie deal..at least giving the Eagles some stability for the season ahead.
If the Eagles are intending on extending Beau Allen, who also played in 32% of special teams snaps in 2016..it could well be seen as an insurance policy, should Bennie Logan hit free agency and the team be left searching for a long-term starting solution. However, it would also be interesting to see if Allen could snatch a starting role of his own in 2017 depending on what happens with Logan.
Even if not competing for a starting role, Beau Allen has performed in every opportunity given to him since being drafted in the 7th round back in 2014. The more snaps he’s played, the more he’s produced and the more impactful his play has become. Locking up depth at a position as vital as defensive tackle is still important for the Eagles moving forward, who want to build a developing corps on both sides of the ball.
The market for defensive tackles was suddenly saturated after Dontari Poe and Brandon Williams were allowed to walk into free agency. Could this influence the Eagles decision to secure the future of such a prominent position on the defensive front?