Brandon Brooks

Eagles Place Brandon Brooks On PUP List, Trim Roster To 53

The Eagles made a sizable amount of cuts Thursday. They made the rest of their moves to get down to 53 players Saturday. Here are the players the Eagles jettisoned to reach the regular-season limit.

Waived:

Placed on active/PUP list:

The Brooks decision certainly is interesting, especially after the team placed left tackle Andre Dillard on season-ending IR this week. Brooks suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon in June, but the elite blocker has a history of surmounting such an injury. Brooks tore an Achilles in January 2019 and made it back in time for Philadelphia’s opener last season. The team is not ready to shut down its Pro Bowl guard for the season.

Alshon Jeffery also did not land on Philadelphia’s reserve/PUP list, which would have shelved the veteran wideout for six games. Instead, Jeffery — whom the Eagles have attempted to trade for months — is one of seven receivers on the Eagles’ 53-man roster. That will help a team that saw Marquise Goodwin opt out and first-round rookie Jalen Reagor suffer an injury that will keep him out to start the season.

NFC East Notes: Eagles, Washington, Staff, Vander Esch

While the Eagles are not officially holding out hope Brandon Brooks can return late in the 2020 season, they have not shut that prospect down. They placed the Pro Bowl guard on the PUP list, rather than injured reserve. Lane Johnson said his longtime teammate is ahead of schedule and can see him returning from his latest Achilles tear before the season ends, Tim McManus of ESPN.com tweets. Brooks recovered from a January 2019 Achilles tear to return in time for Week 1 last season. Following the same timetable, Brooks could conceivably be in play for a late-December or January re-emergence. As players like Terrell Suggs and Michael Crabtree showed during the 2010s, an offseason Achilles tear is not an automatic season-ender. Of course, Brooks is carrying a bit more weight and suffered his injury later in the offseason. Longtime Eagles left tackle Jason Peters is currently manning Brooks’ right guard position.

As the NFC East teams begin their padded training camp practices, here is the latest from the division:

  • Doug Pederson is back at work after contracting COVID-19. The fifth-year Eagles HC was the third known coach to test positive for the coronavirus, following Sean Payton and Anthony Lynn. Unlike the Saints and Chargers coaches, Pederson, 52, was asymptomatic.
  • Leighton Vander Esch has been playing a new position at Cowboys camp. The third-year linebacker has swapped spots with Jaylon Smith, with Vander Esch now playing middle linebacker and Smith shifting to the weak side, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes. Both players are set to reprise their roles as Dallas’ three-down ‘backers. The Cowboys changed defensive coordinators this offseason, moving from Rod Marinelli to Mike Nolan. Vander Esch is returning from offseason neck surgery.
  • Washington made a historic business-side hire, naming Jason Wright as team president. A former linebacker who played seven seasons with the Falcons, Browns and Cardinals, Wright is the NFL’s first Black team president and the fourth former player to be named to such a post. While the 38-year-old exec will succeed Bruce Allen, his responsibilities will be exclusively on the business side, John Keim of ESPN.com notes. Washington remains without a nominal GM.
  • The Cowboys will have a new voice in their quarterbacks room, at least for training camp. Seneca Wallace is working with Dallas’ QBs as a training camp staffer, Jon Machota of The Athletic tweets. Wallace joins fellow recent NFL passers Kellen Moore and Scott Tolzien on the Cowboys’ staff. Like Tolzien, Wallace spent time in Green Bay during Mike McCarthy‘s run.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/4/20

Here are today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Miami Dolphins

Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles To Replace Brandon Brooks Internally?

After losing Brandon Brooks for the year, many have been quick to connect the dots between the Eagles and old friend Jason Peters. A reunion certainly seems possible, but head coach Doug Pederson says he’ll take a good look at his in-house options first. 

[RELATED: Eagles’ Brandon Brooks Done For Year]

My heart sunk when I got the news,” Pederson said (Twitter link via John Clark of NBC Sports Philadelphia). “We are still looking at a lot of options. Starting with our own roster. We’ve got some time before training camp.”

Since joining the Eagles, Brooks has blossomed into one of the game’s best guards. Despite the bad luck with injuries – two Achilles and one shoulder tear – he’s managed to make the last three Pro Bowls. He lived up to the lofty expectations set by his initial five-year, $62.5MM deal, prompting the team to lock him up with a four-year, $54.2MM pact late last year. At the time of signing, the deal made Brooks the second-highest-paid guard in the game, with his $13.6MM AAV only trailing Zack Martin‘s $14MM/year.

Peters, meanwhile, stands as the best available offensive lineman left, and one of the best free agents left on the market, period. His age (38) has hindered his market, but he turned in yet another solid season in 2019. Peters has said that he’s willing to play on the left or the right side, so it stands to reason that he could be talked into moving inside.

Larry Warford would represent a less flashy option, but he still offers ample starting experience. And, for what it’s worth, he’s a whole lot younger – Warford will turn 29 later this week. The Eagles’ tight cap situation for 2021 would make a multi-year deal tricky, but Warford might be willing to accept a one-season prove-it deal at this stage of the offseason.

Internally, the options are somewhat limited. Matt Pryor, who has experience at guard and tackle in the Eagles’ system, would be the favorite to fill in. There’s also fourth-round rookie tackle Jack Driscoll, who has taken some snaps on the inside.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles’ Brandon Brooks Done For Year

Guard Brandon Brooks suffered a torn Achilles tendon while working out at the Eagles’ facility. Brooks personally confirmed the news in a tweet on Monday night, vowing to come back “and better than ever.” 

Unfortunately, Brooks has been here before. In January of last year, Brooks tore his right Achilles. This time, it’s the left one. His previous tear came in the 2018 playoffs, giving him enough time to recover before the start of the season. He managed to play in all 16 games for the Eagles in 2019, providing much-needed consistency for an offense that desperately needed it. Then, right when the Eagles clinched the NFC East title, they lost Brooks all over again, thanks to a shoulder injury.

Brooks joined the Eagles in 2016 as a free agent, following his time with the Texans. Since then, he’s performed as one of the best interior linemen in the league. With the Birds, Brooks has started in 62 games, plus five postseason contests.

The 30-year-old (31 in August) will be under contract with the team for years to come, thanks to his recent four-year, $54MM+ extension. The Eagles can expect more good work between 2021 and 2024, but they’ve got a major hole to fill this year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Place Brandon Brooks On IR

The Eagles have officially placed guard Brandon Brooks on injured reserve. To fill his spot on the roster, they’ve signed wide receiver Shelton Gibson. 

Brooks suffered a shoulder injury in Eagles’ regular season finale and soon after, head coach Doug Pederson announced today that Brooks would be out for the playoffs. It’s a bad blow for the Birds – Brooks is one of the best at his position, and he was named to his third consecutive Pro Bowl this year.

Despite suffering an Achilles tear in January, Brooks played in all 16 games for the Eagles in 2019, providing much-needed consistency for an offense that desperately needed it. On the plus side – right tackle Lane Johnson is aiming to play in the Eagles’ wild card weekend showdown against the Seahawks.

Gibson, 24, appeared in 20 games for the Eagles between 2017 and 2018. The former fifth-round pick has three career catches for 59 yards to his credit.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles G Brandon Brooks Out For Playoffs

The Eagles just can’t catch a break this year. Philadelphia clinched the NFC East title and a playoff berth with its win over the Giants on Sunday, but guard Brandon Brooks suffered a shoulder injury in the game. Head coach Doug Pederson announced today that Brooks will miss the Eagles’ playoff run as a result.

The Eagles, who have been ravaged by injuries this season, may be without tight end Zach Ertz as well. Brooks, like Ertz, is one of the best at his position, and he was named to his third consecutive Pro Bowl this year.

Despite suffering an Achilles tear in January, Brooks played in all 16 games for the Eagles in 2019, providing much-needed consistency for an offense that desperately needed it. Brooks’ running mate on the right side of the line, RT Lane Johnson, is dealing with an ankle injury but is expected to work his way back into practice this week and hopes to play in the team’s wildcard bout with the Seahawks.

Brooks, 30, signed a four-year, $54.2MM extension with the Eagles in November, which will keep him under club control through the 2024 campaign.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles G Brandon Brooks Left Game With Anxiety

Eagles right guard Brandon Brooks left in the first quarter of the team’s 17-9 loss to the Seahawks and did not return. The team listed Brooks as out with an illness and sources tell Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer that anxiety was the culprit.

Brooks has talked openly about his struggles with mental illness throughout his career. This would not be the first time Brooks’ fight has caused him to miss time on the field. In 2016, Brooks missed a pair of games when he suffered panic attacks during the team’s pregame warmups. The severe anxiety seemed to cause Brooks more problems earlier in his career during his tenure with the Texans, but as most people with mental illness will tell you, cures are few and far between.

The Eagles were already dealing with the absence of right tackle Lane Johnson and were left with backups on the entire right side of their offensive line. Veteran backup Halapoulivaati Vaitai first stepped in for Brooks, but the Eagles decided to slide Vaitai over to right tackle due to the struggles of Andre Dillard. In Vaitai’s place, Matt Pryor received the first substantial action of his two-year career.

Brooks signed as a free agent with Philadelphia after the 2015 season to a 5-year, $62.5MM contract. Since joining Philly, Brooks has become one of the better interior lineman in football, reaching the Pro Bowl in each of the last two seasons. Going forward, the Eagles will hope to get one of the biggest pieces of their offense back.

Eagles, Brandon Brooks Agree To Extension

Brandon Brooks has bounced back quickly from the Achilles tear that consumed his offseason, and the Eagles have reached an extension agreement with their top-tier right guard. The Eagles announced Monday that Brooks signed a four-year extension.

The deal marks a massive raise for Brooks. He agreed to a four-year, $54.2MM re-up, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. That makes Brooks the second-highest-paid guard in the game, with this contract’s $13.6MM AAV behind only Zack Martin‘s $14MM-per-year pact. Brooks was previously making $8MM annually. Brooks’ new contract comes with $30MM guaranteed, tying him for third among guards.

Brooks’ deal, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane, is actually worth $56.2MM (Twitter link). That would bump him past Martin and make the two NFC East blockers the league’s only $14MM-per-year guards. The updated figure — $14.05MM AAV — would make Brooks the NFL’s highest-paid guard.

The Eagles had Brooks signed through the 2020 season but will reward him early. Brooks joins center Jason Kelce and left guard Isaac Seumalo as Eagle linemen who’ve agreed to 2019 extensions. Lane Johnson is also locked up through 2021. Interestingly, the Eagles have re-upped both Kelce and Brooks despite each being north of 30. Brooks turned 30 earlier this year; Kelce is 32.

An All-Pro candidate, Brooks re-emerged as one of the league’s best guards this season — despite suffering an Achilles tear in January. He rates as by far Pro Football Focus’ top overall lineman in 2019. The mammoth blocker initially caught on with Philadelphia in 2016, coming over after three seasons as a Houston starter. He delivered on the Eagles’ initial investment, playing a key role on the team’s Super Bowl LII line and last year’s playoff follow-up. A 2012 second-round pick, Brooks is on track for his third straight Pro Bowl honor.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Eagles, McCoy, Giants

With Brandon Brooks going down with a torn Achilles in the second round of the playoffs, the Eagles face an issue regarding how their starting offensive line will look come Week 1. But five months later, Brooks revealed a bit about where his recovery process stands. The veteran guard shared a brief workout video (Twitter link) that shows him doing agility drills again. The fourth-year Eagle will almost certainly begin training camp on the active/PUP list, and it can’t be considered a lock he will be ready for the start of the season. But this represents an encouraging sign from the mammoth offensive lineman.

In the event Brooks is not ready to go in September, a contingency plan might involve a position switch. Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who replaced Jason Peters at left tackle as a rookie in 2017, has worked at guard at times this offseason. The Eagles appear to be preparing Vaitai to be their Brooks stopgap, in the event he needs more time, Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia writes. The Eagles drafted Andre Dillard in Round 1 and have rugby convert Jordan Mailata at tackle as well, so Vaitai working at guard may be a way to stay on the roster. This is interesting given that Stefen Wisniewski (24 Eagles left guard starts from 2016-18) re-signed in May. It would stand to reason the experienced interior lineman would be the Brooks fill-in, but Doug Pederson mentioned a possible Vaitai-Lane Johnson right side recently.

Shifting to more NFC East position battles, here is the latest out of the division:

  • The Eagles’ Zach Brown addition figures to clear up uncertainty about their three-down linebacker sets, with Brown joining Nigel Bradham. And despite the return of Paul Worrilow and arrival of L.J. Fort, Zangaro notes Kamu Grugier-Hill remains the third linebacker in base sets and adds it would not be a surprise to see him gut into Brown’s work in nickel sets. Grugier-Hill played 32% of the Eagles’ 2018 defensive snaps. Brown, however, posted a top-10 Pro Football Focus coverage grade last season. Grugier-Hill did not grade nearly as well.
  • Colt McCoy‘s final surgery total from the fractured fibula he suffered late last season: three. The veteran Redskins quarterback is expected to be cleared for training camp, but J.P. Finlay of NBC Sports Washington notes McCoy indeed underwent three procedures since December — the most recent coming in April. McCoy’s knowledge of Jay Gruden‘s offense will help him in Washington’s QB battle and possibly as a mentor type once Dwayne Haskins inevitably takes over this season.
  • Once Janoris Jenkins returned to work this offseason, Deandre Baker remained a Giants first-stringer over Sam Beal this offseason. And UDFA Grant Haley resides as the favorite to replace B.W. Webb as the team’s slot corner, Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com writes. While including Beal as a possible challenger for the slot job, along with fourth-round rookie Julian Love, Dunleavy notes the 2018 supplemental draft pick does not have slot experience. This would stand to make the Western Michigan product Big Blue’s CB4 to start the season.
  • Alec Ogletree has one Giants inside linebacker job locked up, and as of now, fourth-year man B.J. Goodson is the team’s base-set starter. Tae Davis remains the nickel replacement for Goodson, per Dunleavy, but rookie fifth-round pick Ryan Connelly is in the mix for this role. The fifth-rounder out of Wisconsin was viewed as one of this draft’s top coverage linebackers.