The Eagles may be preparing for their preseason finale against the Jets, but it hasn’t removed the Elephant from the room. Roster cutdown day is looming, but the team are already making some waves in that department. According to an official announcement from the team, the Eagles have parted way with two cornerbacks, signing two linebackers in the process.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) August 30, 2017
Most notably, the Eagles parted ways with Ron Brooks. The former Bills corner started five games of six appearances for the Eagles last year, amassing 14 tackles in 2016 before suffering a season ending injury. While the rest of the secondary saw significant upgrades, the nickel corner spot went largely unspent. Brooks took a pay-cut earlier in the year, reducing his contract to a simple “prove-it” deal and the insertion of Ronald Darby has pushed Patrick Robinson into the slot.
Robinson saw his best season working out of the middle of the field and if he’s been able to impress the coaching staff against the Dolphins and in practices since the arrival of Darby, it may have provoked the Eagles to part ways with the veteran corner.
The other factor of note here is the signing of former Jets CB Dexter McDougle. Injuries have plagued the career of the former third-round pick, but with an ability to play inside and Aaron Grymes already spending an entire offseason there, the drop-off in talent from Brooks and Robinson to the backups may have seen some unwarranted depth at the position. It will be very interesting to see if Brooks lands elsewhere.
White signed with the Eagles earlier this offseason after winning the Grey Cup with the Ottawa Redblacks. The 26-year old had 4 career interceptions in the CFL, with 3 coming in 2016, making 38 tackles in the process. He was also cut by the Eagles just a couple of weeks ago before being re-signed shortly after. White is now competing for the “Julian Vandevelde” award as he’s been cut for the second time this month. White came down with a big interception after being re-signed, but it wasn’t enough to keep his head above water. Could the signing of McDougle have impacted White’s future? Potentially.
The new guys:
The Eagles interestingly signed two new linebackers to their roster despite having a wealthy amount of depth to begin with heading into tomorrow night.
They firstly bought in inside linebacker Carlos Fields. The 26-year old had appeared in six games during his first two season’s NFL after going undrafted back in 2014. The 6’1, 248 lbs, linebacker has spent time with the Raiders and posted four tackles for the Redskins during the next season. After most recently spending time with the chargers, Fields will attempt to showcase the production he once did for Winston-Salem.
Secondly, the Eagles signed Christian Tago. The 6’1, 242 lbs linebacker was an undrafted rookie out of San Jose State who amassed 72 tackles during his final year for the team. Tago landed with the Falcons but was recently waived in place of an offensive lineman.
The duo will join the likes of Joe Walker, Najee Goode, and Kamu Grugier-Hill in the battle over the depth linebacker spots. Whether or not they prevail or if the Eagles are simply looking for some practice squad depth remains to be seen.
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