June 11, 2019
Howie Roseman, VP of Football Administration Jake Rosenberg, and the Philadelphia Eagles have done an excellent job of locking up their core players long-term, including most recently, Carson Wentz. Let's go ahead take a look at how long the Eagles have their players under team control, and analyze their long-term plans at each positional group. Yesterday we started with the offense. Today we'll look at the defense.
Overall, the defense's most important players -- Fletcher Cox, Malcolm Jenkins, Brandon Graham, and Derek Barnett -- are locked up through at least 2020, though the defense doesn't have the same level of long-term pieces as the offense.
To note, we aren't covering the full 90-man roster, because, well, that's pointless. We'll just cover the players who matter the most, long-term. Contract details, via overthecap.com.
• Brandon Graham: Signed through 2021.
• Derek Barnett: Signed through 2020, with a fifth-year team option in 2021.
• Vinny Curry: Signed a one-year deal this offseason.
• Josh Sweat: Signed through 2021.
•.Shareef Miller: Signed through 2022.
Analysis: The two starters are locked up through the next three seasons, and there are a number of younger players with an opportunity to make cases for themselves to get on the field in Sweat, Miller, Daeshon Hall, and Joe Ostman. Curry could be a year-to-year depth guy, kind of like Stefen Wisniewski on the offensive side of the line.
• Fletcher Cox: Signed through 2022.
• Malik Jackson: Signed through 2021.
• Timmy Jernigan: Signed a one-year contract this offseason after the team declined to pick up an option on his previous contract.
• Treyvon Hester: One year left on his deal. He'll be a restricted free agent next offseason.
Analysis: Cox is, of course, the centerpiece of the defense, and he's paid like it. He and Jackson form a very formidable pair on the interior of the DL, and both are locked up for at least the next three years.
• Nigel Bradham: Signed through 2022 on what is essentially a series of team options each year.
• Zach Brown: Signed a one-year deal this offseason.
• Kamu Grugier-Hill: Free agent next offseason.
• Nate Gerry: Signed through 2020.
• L.J. Fort: Signed through 2021, with team options each of the next two years.
Analysis: Bradham remains the constant among the Eagles' linebackers. Grugier-Hill is a great early contract extension candidate, as he is a core special teamer who has grown his role in the regular defense.
• Jalen Mills: Free agent next offseason.
• Ronald Darby: Free agent next offseason.
• Avonte Maddox: Signed through 2021.
• Sidney Jones: Signed through 2020. He's scheduled to become a restricted free agent in 2021, as explained here. The NFL ridiculously defines Jones' Pro Day injury in 2017 as a "non-football injury," and I imagine Jones and his representation will challenge his restricted free agent status, if it comes to that.
• Rasul Douglas: Signed through 2020.
• Cre'Von LeBlanc: Free agent next offseason.
Analysis: The Eagles are less "locked up" at corner than they are at other positions, as Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby, and Cre'Von LeBlanc are are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents next offseason. The corner position could be an interesting one to watch next offseason.
• Malcolm Jenkins: Signed through 2020.
• Rodney McLeod: Re-done deal this offseason; he'll be a free agent in 2020.
• Andrew Sendejo: Signed a one-year deal this offseason.
• Tre Sullivan: Sullivan is signed through this season, and he'll be an exclusive rights free agent next offseason. He'll be dirt cheap in 2020, and a restricted free agent in 2021.
Analysis: It is great news for Eagles fans that Malcolm Jenkins reported to minicamp. It seems clear that he and the Eagles are working toward a resolution to Jenkins' contract situation, though it is to be determined if more years will be added on or not. Otherwise, the Eagles could use a more solid long-term solution opposite him.
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