It’s been a busy day for the Philadelphia Eagles, but the night may be just as exciting. The team have officially announced the contract extension of DE Steven Means.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) August 31, 2017
There is a reason why the terrible pun of “Steven Means business” has stood the test of time. Since he entered the fray last year, Means has done nothing but bring a relentless work ethic and flash at every opportunity earned. A former fifth round pick by the Buccaneers, Means quickly worked his way up the depth chart after being signed by the Eagles, forcing his way onto the final roster. From there, the 26-year old was able to establish himself as an explosive option off the sideline and total 74 defensive snaps along with 3 tackles and a sack last year. But there was one prospect forced out of the equation.
The Eagles DE spot has seen plenty of changes this offseason. Connor Barwin and Marcus Smith are no longer suiting up in midnight green, but rookie Derek Barnett and former Pats pass-rusher Chris Long certainly will. This las left Means to battle it out with Alex McCalister for the roster spot he so valiantly earned one year ago…and it’s been a closely contested race.
Ultimately, the production of Means has not dipped since his arrival in Philadelphia and if there’s one thing that the Eagles defensive ends need, it’s consistency behind the starters. Means was a pending free agent however as he entered his contract season, so this move all but cements his spot on the final 53, leaving Alex McCalister to fight with the recently re-signed Jake Metz for a spot on the practice squad.
The Eagles DE rotation is now set to look like this:
Brandon Graham Derek Barnett Steven Means
Vinny Curry Chris Long
Whether the team will add a sixth defensive end to complete three pairings at the position remains to be seen and will largely be influenced by what happens when the Eagles clash with the Jets on Thursday evening.