After losing promising seventh-round rookie Joe Walker to a torn ACL sustained during Thursday night’s second preseason tilt, the Eagles are indeed in the market for veteran linebacking help, Doug Pederson said Saturday (via Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer, on Twitter).
With Berman categorizing ex-UDFA Don Cherry as the team’s top backup linebacker, the Eagles could certainly use extra talent here to play behind starters Mychal Kendricks, Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham, the latter of which could be facing a personal-conduct suspension for an off-the-field incident in July.
Nothing has emerged on the Stephen Tulloch front, except that he’s not willing to take a deal too close to the veteran minimum. At least, that’s the word that’s coming out of Miami.
Two weeks ago, the Eagles were said to be in heavy negotiations with the former Lions middle linebacker and longtime Jim Schwartz charge. But those talks evidently did not progress to the 31-year-old middle linebacker’s liking. Tulloch was not interested, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, in taking a low-cost deal with the Dolphins. Philly’s depth problems could force the team to up its ante for a player who’s familiar with Schwartz’s system.
As Roster Resource shows, the Eagles’ competition for second-team slots is comprised of multiple UDFAs — Quentin Gause and Myke Tavarres — along with former Patriots reserve Deontae Skinner and ex-waiver claim Najee Goode. The non-rush linebacker market beyond Tulloch is pretty slim presently, with Danny Lansanah — whom the Dolphins signed then quickly cut earlier this month — residing as one of the better options. Entering what would be his seventh season, O’Brien Schofield also resides on the unemployment line.
Considering the Eagles were already pursuing a veteran linebacker before Walker went down, it looks likely they’ll add one in the coming days. Their cap is projected to be close to saturated in 2017 due to the bevy of extensions the team doled out this year, but Philadelphia currently possesses $6.6MM in cap room — plenty to lure a late defensive replacement.
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