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December 25, 2016

Eagles stay or go: Defensive tackles

Eagles NFL
122116BennieLogan Fred Vuich/AP

It's going to be difficult for the Eagles to keep DT Bennie Logan.

The 2016 Philadelphia Eagles season is essentially over, so with just one game remaining, we'll continue to look ahead to the offseason. As a starting point, let's take a look at each position and figure out which players will be back in 2017. Today we'll look at the defensive tackles.

In case you missed our previous positional previews:

Quarterbacks | Running backs | Wide receivers | Tight ends
Offensive tackles | Guards | Centers | Defensive ends

Fletcher Cox

Fletcher Cox was a beast in 2015, so much so that when Jeff McLane of the Inquirer polled Eagles players on who they would select for the Pro Bowl if given one vote, Cox received the vast majority of the votes:

When doing the same poll in 2016, Cox's votes were way down, on a team that didn't really even have any obvious Pro Bowl no-brainers:

While Cox had a down year, he is a piece you can build a defense around, and after having signed a $100 million-plus deal this past offseason, he's not going anywhere for a long time.

#JimmyVerdict: Stay.

Your verdict:

Bennie Logan

This past offseason, the Eagles handed out a lot of shiny new contract extensions to players already on the roster, such as Zach Ertz, Lane Johnson, Sam Bradford, Vinny Curry, Fletcher Cox, and Malcolm Jenkins. One notable omission from the Eagles' attempts to secure their own players was Logan.

The agent for Logan is Todd France, who also represents Fletcher Cox. If you'll recall, Cox's negotiations took forever and weren't exactly the smoothest. It feels unlikely that the Eagles are going to get a long-term deal done with Logan prior to the start of free agency. If indeed they cannot, Logan could be pursued by both 4-3 and 3-4 teams, as he has had success in multiple defensive schemes.

The Eagles will be tight on cap space this offseason. My read is that Logan is going to hit free agency, and there will be some team out there that pays him more than the Eagles can afford.

#JimmyVerdict: Go.

Your verdict:

Beau Allen

Allen is a perfectly acceptable backup DT, and with our projection that Logan will leave for another team in free agency, the Eagles will need bodies.

#JimmyVerdict: Stay.

Your verdict:

Destiny Vaeao

It was clear pretty early in training camp last summer that the Eagles like Vaeao quite a bit, and they'll continue to develop him.

#JimmyVerdict: Stay.

Your verdict:

Taylor Hart

During the season, the Eagles needed a body to plug in at DT after Bennie Logan went down. Hart was unable to dress as he was injured himself, and has not yet been active for any games this season. As a reminder, the Eagles cut Hart after training camp this season. Hart is signed through 2017, and if he makes the team next year, it'll only be because the Eagles did not add any interior defensive linemen worth keeping.

#JimmyVerdict: No need to release before training camp, but ideally the Eagles will have found an upgrade.

Your verdict:

#JimmyVerdict Stay or Go Results

Green = Stay

Orange = No need to release before training camp, but ideally the Eagles will have found an upgrade

Red = Go

 QBCarson Wentz Chase Daniel    
 RBRyan Mathews Darren Sproles Wendell Smallwood Kenjon Barner  
 WRJordan Matthews Nelson Agholor Dorial Green-Beckham Bryce Treggs Paul Turner 
 TEZach Ertz Brent Celek Trey Burton   
 LTJason Peters Matt Tobin Dillon Gordon   
 LGAllen Barbre Stefen Wisniewski    
 CJason Kelce Josh Andrews    
 RGBrandon Brooks Isaac Seumalo    
 RTLane Johnson Halapoulivaati Vaitai    
 DEBrandon Graham Connor Barwin  Vinny CurryMarcus Smith Steven Means 
 DTFletcher Cox Bennie Logan Beau Allen Destiny Vaeao Taylor Hart 
 Head coach     
 Defensive coordinator     

And yes, for the record, I realize there's probably more green than you'd expect from a 5-9 team.

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