January 17, 2020
The Philadelphia Eagles' 2019 season is over, and there will be a lot of interesting decisions made on the players currently on the roster, more so than in most years. Let's take a position-by-position look at who will likely be back with the team in 2020, and who won't.
Previous stay or go positional analysis
Today we'll look at linebacker. (All money figures via OverTheCap.)
The Eagles have a March 17 deadline to exercise a 2020 option on Bradham. If they keep him, his salary will be $8,000,000. The new league year (the start of free agency, trades, etc.) is March 18.
Bradham missed four games in the middle of the season with an ankle injury, but when he plays, he typically does not come off the field. He is a steady three-down linebacker in Schwartz's scheme, but one who has not made many splash plays. In four years in Philly, Bradham only has 2 INTs, 3 forced fumbles, and 5 sacks.
If Jim Schwartz had moved on to another team, the Eagles might have moved on from Bradham, but with Schwartz staying, the thinking here is that Bradham will be back.
#JimmyVerdict: While I believe the Eagles could put $8 million to better use, Bradham will probably return.
Grugier-Hill was crushing it in training camp, until he went down with an MCL injury. He missed the first three regular season games, and was eased back into the rotation. His snaps gradually rose, and then proceeded to fall:
The Eagles announced after Week 15 that they placed Grugier-Hill on injured reserve, and, uh oh, that announcement came with a "CYA" tweet, which stated that Grugier-Hill reported a back injury after that game. Shortly thereafter, Grugier-Hill's agent put a message out to several reporters that he had been playing through the back injury all season long.
Grugier-Hill will be an unresticted free agent this offseason, and it feels a lot like his relationship with the team is fractured.
Gerry was second on the team in tackles in 2019, behind only Malcolm Jenkins, and he was a rare example of a player who made notable improvements from 2018 to 2019.
There are a number of linebackers available in free agency who would be good fits in the Eagles' scheme and would be an upgrade over Gerry, but running it back with Gerry as a quasi-starter at a cap hit of $735,000 isn't crazy, especially if you project a continued upward trajectory.
Either way, Gerry will clearly be back.
Edwards had a nice rookie season as an undrafted free agent, particularly in the run game. In just 115 snaps in the regular defense, Edwards had 21 tackles, and he added nine more on special teams. He'll be back on an extremely team-friendly contract.
Singleton played in 10 games, and was a core special teamer. He did not get any snaps in the regular defense. He'll have to earn a roster spot once again in 2020.
After Grugier-Hill went on IR, the Eagles made Riley the special teams captain. That's a noteworthy development, given that Riley was added to the roster during the season. He had a share of the Eagles' team lead with 10 special teams tackles.
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