The Eagles were very busy when it came to the 2022 offseason. Whether it was trades, or the draft, the team added quality players to help fill in some of the most pressing holes on the roster. With an influx of new players, however, comes a decrease in playing time for some of the players that were already on the roster. Which veterans could be squeezed out of some of their snaps by the time Training Camp ends?
Te most obvious starter who will likely see a decrease in playing time is third year wideout Jalen Reagor, who started 12 games and appeared in 16 last season. The first-round pick from TCU has been underwhelming to say the least up to this point, amassing just 676 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns, as well as poor punt and kick returns.
He started the 2021 season as the number 2 receiver will go into this season as a likely number 4/5. This mainly is due to the additions of A.J. Brown and Zach Pascal, as well as the emergence of Quez Watkins as a legitimate pass catching option. I do not really anticipate Reagor starting any games in 2021 and with rumors ever present, am not even entirely sure he’ll be on the team next year.
The versatile lineman is going into his seventh season with the team and some predict it could be his last. He is going into the final year of his current contract and with the way the Eagles develop offensive linemen, it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense financially to bring him back.
Howie Roseman has stockpiled young prospects like Jack Driscoll, Cam Jurgens, Sua Opeta and Landon Dickerson, who played himself into a hopefully permanent starting role after Seumalo got injured last year.
The Oregon State product also has been fairly injury prone over the last 2 years. If Seumalo gets hurt or underperforms, there is ample reason to believe that someone behind him in the depth chart could supersede him at some point in the season and take away some playing time.
The veteran safety is going into his second year with the Eagles after spending the first 6 years of his career with Minnesota. Harris started 14 games last season and was mostly fine as the second safety next to Rodney McCleod. He tallied 1 interception, 3 passes defended and 72 tackles in 2021. He signed another one-year deal earlier in the offseason and while it still looks like he will be a starter, his spot is not necessarily a lock.
Many, from within the team as well as the media, have been hyping up the possibility of Marcus Epps being a legit player in this league after improving last year when given more playing time. The team also added depth in former San Francisco 49er Jaquiski Tartt, who has started in 64 games over the course of his career. There also is always the possibility of a young guy, like K’Von Wallace, taking the next step forward and passing Harris on the depth chart. Harris will get a decent amount of playing time as it is, but the team is just deeper at his position than it was last year.
A defensive line shuffle
The last player I would like to discuss actually comes in the way of the entire defensive line.
The 2021 Eagles saw a quartet of Josh Sweat, Derek Barnett, Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave will all most likely see a decrease in snap count. While it is an organizational philosophy to rotate defensive lineman to keep them fresh, this season might be the best the Eagles have ever executed. They essentially have enough depth for a second starting caliber defensive line.
The EDGE spot was reinforced by Camden native and Temple Product, Haason Reddick, who looks to be a major shot in the arm to the pass rush, given he has 23.5 sacks over the last 2 seasons.
Brandon Graham is also returning from injury and while he may not be his old self, will still compete and have that relentless drive to chase after the ball.
If we sprinkle in the fact that the Eagles will play multiple fronts in 2022, this is bound to force some wild and whacky lineups from Jonathan Gannon in a bid to keep his guys fresh and at their most effective.
On the interior, Cox and Hargrave will have their work cut out for them this season with second year player Milton Williams and rookie Jordan Davis looking to become the next generation of defensive tackles in Philadelphia. While the starters on the defensive line may all be playing less than last year, it is to the betterment of the group and the team overall.
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