December 20, 2016
The 2016 Philadelphia Eagles season is essentially over, so with two games 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 guards.
In case you missed our previous positional previews:
Brooks had a good season playing at RG for the Eagles. While he didn't generate any obvious consistent push in the run game, he generally did his job and was good in pass protection.
Of course, the big story with Brooks is his anxiety, which caused him to miss starts against the Packers and Redskins, forcing the Eagles to shuffle their offensive line unexpectedly hours before kickoff. While the Eagles are sympathetic to Brooks' condition – as they should be – Brooks' availability for games going forward has to be a concern.
Still, after having signed a five-year, $40 million deal this offseason, Brooks is going nowhere.
One of the pleasant surprises of the 2016 season was Barbre, who played well both as a starter at LG and then at RT for several games out of necessity.
Barbre will count for $1,950,000 on the cap next year, $1,800,000 of which the Eagles can save if they cut him. With Isaac Seumalo waiting in the wings, there is perhaps a thinking that the Eagles could opt to put Barbre's money to other use.
No way. Barbre can play four spots along the offensive line, which is very valuable. Whether he starts next season or serves as something of a "sixth man," Barbre's cap number is great value.
Seumalo sat for most of the year, before getting an opportunity to start against the Packers Week 12. That performance was up and down, but Seumalo was much better in his second start against the Redskins Week 14.
This past week, Seumalo was forced to start at RT against the Ravens, and he held his own. The Eagles drafted Seumalo out of Oregon State because of his versatility. He played tackle, guard and center there, with his primary position being center.
It will be interesting to see what the Eagles do this offseason with Kelce. If they decide to move on, Seumalo could be an option there, or perhaps the team could look to try to retain guard/center Stefen Wisniewski.
Whatever the case, Seumalo will obviously be back.
Before his arrival in Philadelphia, Wisniewski started 77 games with the Raiders and Jaguars, never once entering a game as a reserve. With the Eagles this season, Wisniewski was a backup for the first time in his career, although he started six games because of injuries/suspensions.
After Wisniewski signed a one-year deal with the team, he was honest about his intentions.
"I wasn't getting the kind of money I was looking for in a long-term deal, so I kind of wanted to sign a one-year deal and get back to being a free agent again," he said back in April.
With Brooks locked in at RG, Barbre having played well this season, and Seumalo looking like a potential starter going forward, Wisniewski is likely to explore better opportunities around the league in a few months when he'll be a free agent.
The likelihood of Wisniewski staying in Philly would rise some if the team decided not to keep Jason Kelce (as noted above), which we'll go to in our next installment, but for now, we'll project that Wisniewski is on his way out.
Green = Stay
Red = Go
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