STAY OR GO: Interior Offensive Linemen
The Eagles offensive line had some big questions answered last week as Jason Kelce committed to the 2021 season. However, there will be movement in regards to depth at the position with ageing stars coming towards the end of their careers.
Kelce was the only Eagles player to start all 16 games last season and even battled through an elbow injury to ensure he was snapping the ball. It was not his best season from the incredible standards he has set, but his determination to stay healthy and fight was admirable.
Verdict: STAY. The 33-year-old centre recently signed a new deal with the Eagles to ensure he will remain on the team for the 2021 season. Kelce is coming towards the end of his career, but having his experience on the team for the upcoming season will be vital for a roster that is looking to get younger.
The last time we saw Brooks in an Eagles jersey was the Week 17 victory over the New York Giants at the end of the 2019 season. He missed the entirety of 2020 with a torn Achilles, but Brooks is determined to get back on the field for 2021.
Verdict: Stay. There have been rumours that Brooks is on the trade block, but that would be a massive mistake from the Eagles front office. If they want to give Jalen Hurts the best chance to succeed, then they have to keep the best right guard and right tackle partnership in the NFL. Since coming to Philadelphia, Brooks has been the best right guard in the league, and one year missed due to injury does not change my mind. He will come back stronger in 2021 and will hopefully be protecting Hurts.
Seumalo also suffered injury issues during the 2020 season but managed to get healthy down the stretch. The heir apparent to the centre position could be playing his final year at left guard.
Verdict: STAY. Seumalo has had his struggles but has continued his positive growth over the last 18 months. He will be the starting left guard come Week One as the Eagles hope to have a fully healthy offensive line for the first time in almost two years.
2020 was Herbig's big break, and he played well at times. He showed versatility and was unfairly benched down the stretch. However, Jeff Stoutland will be happy with the progression the interior lineman has made since they brought him in.
Verdict: STAY. Herbig has shown that he can play in the NFL as a starter, and he will make less than $1,000,000 next season. He will be a cheap backup who can play across the entirety of the inside if needed and likely gets a contract extension.
2020 was a huge disappointment for Pryor. Having played competently against the Seattle Seahawks, the Eagles felt he would be their top backup come training camp. However, he was treated like a rag doll, according to reports and struggled. His performances in-game were not too impressive as his future on the team is in the balance.
Verdict: GO. The 2018 sixth-round pick is going into camp to save his job, but with the emergence of Herbig, Opeta and Juriga, three players the Eagles like, his back is against the wall. With the injuries suffered in 2020, this was his year to shine, but he sadly did the opposite. The Eagles will likely invest a draft pick on a centre or guard as well.
A player that the Eagles have liked for a couple of seasons now, Opeta had some playing time in 2020. Heading into his third season, Opeta will be a backup once again.
Verdict: STAY. As mentioned above, the Eagles really like Opeta and considering he will cost them less than $1,000,000 it is hard to see a way he is not on the roster. He could slide down the pecking order depending on their activity in the draft.
Juriga is another undrafted free agent that Stoutland and the other offensive lineman coaches like. He came in once as Kelce received treatment for his elbow injury against the Cleveland Browns, but that was it.
Verdict: STAY. Juriga will more than likely stay with the team on the practice squad. It will allow him to learn from Kelce, and with the struggles they had last season, keeping him on the practice squad will help them in a crisis. He also costs $780,000, so a cheap contract to carry.
Pierschbacher was signed to the practice squad in December, and has experience playing for the Washington Football Team.
Verdict: GO. The former fifth-round pick will likely come into training camp as a camp body. If he does impress, he may well make it onto the practice squad, but with the Eagles likely adding to the guard position in the draft and with undrafted rookies, he will have to make a strong impression early doors.