In rather swiftly developing news, the Eagles are loading up on their defensive front. Minutes after news emerged indicating the NFC East leaders were in talks with Ndamukong Suh, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports the parties have a deal in place (Twitter link). The Eagles have announced the agreement.
This is a one-year deal for Suh, who has been a free agent since his Buccaneers contract expired in March. The Eagles have now added Suh and Linval Joseph to their interior D-line corps over the past two days. Suh placed the Eagles atop his destination list recently, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets, and the 8-1 team will pounce to add one of the most durable players in NFL history.
It is not exactly common for players of Suh’s caliber to sit in free agency until mid-November, but the former No. 2 overall pick saw the Bucs move on without him this offseason.. Both the Raiders and Browns were linked to Suh, but subsequent reports did well to shoot down those teams’ interest. After an unusual year for the All-Decade-teamer, he will land with a Super Bowl contender armed with one of the deeper D-lines you’ll see.
Suh is now 35, and he has drifted off the Pro Bowl level. While the former Lions All-Pro has not been honored with a Pro Bowl nod since his second Dolphins season (2016), he has continued to produce. The five-time Pro Bowler played a key role for the Bucs’ Super Bowl LV-winning team two seasons ago and is coming off back-to-back six-sack seasons.
The inside pass rusher totaled 1.5 sacks during Tampa Bay’s 2020 postseason run, joining teammates Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul in hounding Patrick Mahomes during that home-site romp. In his most recent game — a divisional-round clash with the Rams — Suh hit Matthew Stafford four times and forced a fumble to help the Bucs erase a 24-point deficit. For his career, Suh has 70.5 sacks and 130 tackles for loss.
During his prime, the menacing defender posed as one of the most difficult blocking assignments of this era. While the former Lions, Dolphins, Rams and Bucs lineman is a bit past that point in his career, he has displayed incredible durability for his lot of employers. Suh has started 191 career games and has never missed one due to injury. In Suh and Joseph, 34, the Eagles now have two of the most experienced D-tackles in NFL annals. Joseph ranks in the top 30 all time for starts (162) by a defensive tackle; Suh’s start total slots 24th in NFL history for all D-linemen.
The Eagles’ defensive line corps now houses an astonishing number of accomplished veterans. Philly rosters Brandon Graham, Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat and Robert Quinn on the edge and now has Suh, Joseph, Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave inside. (Derek Barnett is also on Philadelphia’s payroll, but the former first-round D-end is out for the season.) This gives DC Jonathan Gannon considerable options, even without first-rounder Jordan Davis available.
Davis’ return will give the Birds one of the highest-profile D-tackle crews in modern NFL history. Of course, this could also be classified as an aging D-line. Five of members of this reconfigured front are at least 31, but Suh and Joseph will give the Eagles a chance to rotate more up front. Cox played 70 snaps against the Commanders on Monday.
Joseph and Suh will join an Eagles team that has seen its run defense slip in recent weeks. Davis’ absence has hurt Philly’s capabilities in this area. The Texans totaled 168 rushing yards in Week 9, while the Commanders racked up 152 — on a whopping 49 carries — on Monday. It will be interesting to see how quickly both newcomers will be ready to suit up. Davis cannot return until Week 13.