February 10, 2021
In 2020, even the Philadelphia Eagles' specialists underperformed. We'll finish out our "stay or go" series by taking a look at which of their specialists will stay in 2021, and which ones will go.
Previous "Stay or Go" analysis:
After a very good start to his Eagles career in which he made 85.9 percent of his field goal attempts (74 of 88 in the regular season, and a perfect 11 of 11 in the playoffs), many of which came in extraordinarily clutch situations, Elliott was rewarded with a lucrative five-year contract worth a little over $19 million.
In 2020, Elliott had by far his worst season in the pros, as he was just 14 of 19 (73.7 percent) on his field goal attempts, which included two misses inside the 30. He also missed two PATs.
#JimmyVerdict: There's no question Elliott will be back in 2021, as it would cost more to cut him than keep him, but certainly, he needs a strong bounce back season to keep his job in 2022. Stay.
Johnston (a) did not have a good season, and (b) his restricted free agent tender amount is projected to be $2,240,000 this offseason, which the Eagles should not pay, and almost certainly will not pay.
It's worth noting that the Eagles signed a punter (someone named Arryn Siposs) to a futures contract. Johnston himself was signed to a futures contract in January of 2018, when the team was preparing for possible Donnie Jones retirement.
#JimmyVerdict: If in fact the Eagles decline Johnston's restricted free agent tender, he will become an unrestricted free agent. They could potentially bring him back on a much smaller thereafter, like they did last year with Corey Clement, after they declined Clement's RFA tender. We'll guess that Johnston returns after he fails to garner other interest around the league. Stay.
Back in the days when I went to extreme lengths to do stuff that nobody else did, I used to watch every Jon Dorenbos long snap of the season, and note the bad snaps, with accompanying screenshots. I'm less psychotic these days, so I really can't say how good or bad of a season Lovato had.
Lovato made the Pro Bowl in 2019. In 2020, he had his first obviously bad snap of his Eagles career (that I can think of, anyway) against the Cardinals, which resulted in a missed PAT. Obviously with long snappers, we only ever notice the mistakes, but Lovato seems like a reliable enough specialist.
#JimmyVerdict: A couple weeks ago, I was asked who I thought would be the last remaining player from the Super Bowl team, and through a process of elimination I landed on Lovato. Stay.