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February 22, 2018

Eagles stay or go: Specialists

Eagles NFL
022218JakeElliott Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

Jake Elliott was a stud in 2017.

Now that the Philadelphia Eagles' offseason is (finally) underway, let's take a look at each position and figure out which players will be back in 2018, and which ones will be playing elsewhere. Here we'll look at the specialists.


Previous "Stay or Go" positional analysis
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver
Tight end | Offensive tackle | Guard/Center
Defensive end | Defensive tackle | Inside linebacker
Outside linebacker | Cornerback | Safety


Jake Elliott

Elliott missed a few easy kicks, including a handful of PATs, but he was 12/13 from 40-49, and 5/6 from beyond 50. He also drilled every clutch kick he took in 2017, including obviously his 61-yarder to beat the Giants, and a 46-yard "ice water in the veins" kick with 1:05 to play in the Super Bowl.

#JimmyVerdict: He'll likely kick unopposed in training camp.

Your verdict:

Donnie Jones

In any other year, I'd say it's a no-brainer that Donnie would be back, but he's going to count for $1,875,000 against the salary cap in 2018. For a salary cap-challenged team, I wonder if the Eagles would consider cutting him prior to the start of the new league year to make way for Cameron Johnston, a lesser punter, but a cheaper one who would carry a cap number of $480,000.


MORE ON THE EAGLES: Analysis of all 29 of Doug Pederson's 4th down 'go for it' calls in 2017 | Previewing the Eagles' next calendar year, in stick figure form | Recap: Eagles chat with Jimmy Kempski | Report: Alshon Jeffery underwent shoulder surgery after playing entire season with torn rotator cuff | This is the year for the Eagles to play the 'compensatory pick game'


#JimmyVerdict: I just can't predict Donnie to go.

Your verdict:

Rick Lovato

There was mass panic (OK, maybe not) when the Eagles traded Jon Dorenbos to the Saints, as many wondered how in the world could they go in another direction. And then... we never heard Rick Lovato's name for the rest of the season, which is a good thing for a long snapper. 

#JimmyVerdict: Lovato will be back.

Your verdict:

Caleb Sturgis

Sturgis was placed on IR with a quad injury suffered Week 1 against the Redskins, and he was replaced by Elliott, who took a stranglehold of the kicking job. Sturgis will be free to leave in free agency, and the Eagles will hope he gets a big enough contract to qualify for a compensatory pick.

#JimmyVerdict: Go.

Your verdict:

Bryan Braman

The Eagles needed some special teams help late in the season, so they turned to a familiar face in Braman. He was almost certainly just a short-term rental who got a ring for his troubles.

#JimmyVerdict: Go.

Your verdict:

#JimmyVerdict Stay or Go Results

Green = Stay

Red = Go

Orange = They'll make it to camp, and will have to prove they belong on the roster.

(Note: Some mobile versions will not display colors.)

 Position
 QBCarson Wentz Nick Foles Nate Sudfeld  
 RBJay Ajayi LeGarrette Blount Corey Clement Darren Sproles 
 RB (cont) Wendell SmallwoodDonnel Pumphrey Kenjon Barner  
 WRAlshon Jeffery Torrey Smith Nelson Agholor Mack Hollins 
 WR (cont) Shelton GibsonMarcus Johnson   
 TE Zach ErtzBrent Celek Trey Burton  
 OT Jason PetersLane Johnson Halapoulivaati Vaitai Will Beatty 
 OGBrandon Brooks Stefen Wisniewski Chance Warmack  
 C Jason KelceIsaac Seumalo   
 DEBrandon Graham Vinny Curry Derek Barnett Chris Long 
 DE (cont) Steven Means   
 DTFletcher Cox Tim Jernigan Beau Allen Destiny Vaeao 
 DT (cont)Elijah Qualls    
 ILBJordan Hicks Dannell Ellerbe Najee Goode Joe Walker 
 OLBNigel Bradham Mychal Kendricks Kamu Grugier-Hill Nate Gerry 
 CBJalen Mills Ronald Darby Patrick Robinson Sidney Jones 
 CB (cont) Rasul Douglas   
 SMalcolm Jenkins Rodney McLeod Corey Graham Jaylen Watkins 
 S (cont) Chris Maragos   
 K/P/LSJake Elliott Donnie Jones Rick Lovato Caleb Sturgis 
 BramanBryan Braman    
 Head coach    
 Defensive coordinator    
 GM    

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski.

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