August 30, 2023
The Philadelphia Eagles have a loaded roster and are therefore unlikely to make waiver claims in bulk on other teams' trash this year. They are also 31st on the waiver priority order, which means that even if they put claims in on players, the rest of the NFL (minus the Chiefs) would have to pass on them first.
If the Eagles were to add players, the following positions would make sense:
Again, when punter tops the list, it's a pretty stacked roster. With those disclaimers out of the way, here are some players who could interest the Eagles. We'll continue to add to the below list as more cuts are made.
Before we get started on the punters, here's a handy graph showing punter EPA in 2022, via ThePuntRunts:
As you can see, Siposs is 21st on the list. He averaged 45.6 yards per punt, and a net of 38.6 yards per punt in 2022, but the overriding concern with him is that he has faltered in the playoffs each of the last two years. We looked as some of the other punter training camp battles around the league last week.
• P Pat O'Donnell (32): In a bit of a surprise result, O'Donnell was beaten out by second-year undrafted punter Daniel Whelan. O'Donnell finished 22nd in punter EPA in 2022, one spot behind Siposs. 45.1 career yards per punt average, 39.2 career net. 44.5 yards per punt in 2022, with a 38.5 net. He had two punts blocked. O'Donnell is a better "pin deep" punter than he is an "open field" punter, just like Siposs. He's also 32, so there should be no reasonable hope that he'll get markedly better. He is probably not an ideal option.
• P Corliss Waitman (28): The Pats added Waitman during free agency this offseason, in March, but he lost his competition to rookie sixth-round pick Bryce Baringer. Waitman punted for the Broncos last season, averaging 46.6 yards per punt, and a net average of 41.4 yards per punt. Again, Waitman's "open field" and "pin deep" effectiveness is similar to Siposs'. He has been on five different NFL teams, but has only been his team's "starting" punter for one season. Again, I'm not sure he's the answer.
There two other punting battles that are worth watching today:
We covered Gilliken vs. Hedley in a little more depth here. We'll update when that battle is decided.
UPDATE: In an upset, Gilliken was released. He is probably the best available punter.
Also, Adam Caplan pointed out a nugget that the Eagles attempted to claim Mann off of waivers in April. However, he was awarded to the Steelers, who also claimed him. Should the Steelers cut Mann, the Eagles could have interest.
UPDATE: The Steelers kept two punters, hoping someone trades for one of them. Lol, good luck. Anyone interested in Mann (or Harvin) can just wait them out.
• LB Christian Kirksey (30): Kirksey had 124 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 INTs, and 5 pass breakups on a bad Texans team a year ago. He has been a starter for almost the entirety of his NFL career, so he would have to be willing to play a backup and special teams role (and make very little money) for the Eagles to add him. Assuming he finds somewhere to play, Kirksey is entering his 10th season in the NFL, the bulk of which has been with dreadful teams. If he's looking to chase a ring, that's the only way I could squint and see a fit, but it feels unlikely.
Linval Joseph is still a free agent. Otherwise, there are no obvious available players yet.
• C Tyler Larsen, Commanders (32): The Commanders cut Larsen, but could be bringing him back after they cut down to 53.
The Commanders are releasing C Tyler Larsen, per sources.— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) August 29, 2023
Seems likely that he re-signs after cut down day. Key reserve but someone they can risk exposing after his recent injuries.
Larsen has 2157 career snaps played, mostly at C, but also some at RG. If the Eagles want a center who can fill in directly for Jason Kelce in-game, thus not necessitating a multiple player shuffle, Larsen would make sense. (I do think the "direct fill-in" preference is somewhat overstated, for the record.)
• iOL Michael Dunn, Browns (29): Dunn doesn't have NFL game experience as a center, but he's better than Sua Opeta at guard and he's not subject to waivers. Perhaps the Eagles could upgrade at guard depth while also trying to add center versatility to his plate?
No obvious available players yet.
• CB Chase Lucas (26): Lucas played sparingly for the Lions last season after they selected him with a seventh-round pick in 2022. If the Eagles aren't completely sold on Mario Goodrich as their backup slot, Lucas could make some sense.
• EDGE Trevis Gipson, Bears (26): Gipson played for Sean Desai in 2021 when he had 7 sacks. He's better than Derek Barnett.
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