In a day that’s been clouded with coronavirus confusion, the Eagles were able to send a ray of sunshine down onto the City of Brotherly Love by announcing the following:
Cameron Johnston was set to enter free agency, but as under restricted status. This meant that the Eagles could place a tender on him, as they did with Nate Sudfeld last year, in order to keep him around for another year. Doing so was a very smart move.
For some reason, the Eagles were able to extend both Jake Elliott and Rick Lovato during the heart of the season, but their star punter remained unaccounted for and is now set to hit free agency. Whenever the Eagles offense sputtered to a grinding halt, it was Johnston’s iron leg that at least negated what would’ve been promising field position.
It’s a real shame that the Aussie doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Through the weeks where the defense was dragging a dying offense back into games, it was Johnston who was giving Schwartz and his men a realistic chance to do so.
Johnston ranked inside the top 15 of just about every metric possible in 2019, with his average of 46.4 yards per punt ranking him 9th in the NFL. At one point, he was actually over the 50 mark. 28 of his 71 punts landed inside the opponents 20.
In fact, his two seasons with the Eagles have been more than just impressive. With a net punting average of both 42.7 (2018) and 42.3 (2019) both ranking inside the top 30 net single-season averages of all time.
The Eagles have a stable special teams trio for the time being, with Elliott and Lovato also returning next year, and it made little sense to move on from any of these men, who have been nothing but consistently good since donning a midnight green jersey.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports