Brandon Brooks

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.

Eagles Rumors: Foles, Tate, Graham

Will the Eagles move on from Nick Foles this offseason? It sure sounds like it, based on what head coach Doug Pederson said in a Monday morning radio interview.

I can’t say enough good things about Nick,” Pederson said (via WIP). “For him to come here and be the backup behind Carson and then to do the things he’s done the last two years, like I said I can’t thank him enough. He’s a pro’s pro. He’s a great human being, great leader in the locker room. He’ll always be remembered in Philadelphia for bringing a Super Bowl to this city. So, a lot of great things for him and we’ve got these next few weeks, few months to make some tough decision, but we’ll make them at that point.”

Last April, Foles and the Eagles agreed to a reworked contract with a mutual option for the 2019 season. The Eagles can opt into the deal if they are willing to carry Foles’ $20MM salary, but the QB can instead choose to enter free agency if he repays a $2MM signing bonus to the club.

Right now, it sounds like the Eagles will let Foles fly away while moving forward with Carson Wentz.

Here’s more out of Philly:

  • Wide receiver Golden Tate told reporters that he took the most lucrative offer in his first trip through free agency when he left the Seahawks for the Lions (via Mosher). This time around, however, he says he’s looking to play for a winner. That may bode well for the Eagles’ chances of retaining him, though they are especially tight against the cap. Tate, 31 in August, had 30 catches for 278 yards and one touchdown after joining the Eagles in the middle of the season. He put up a 5/46/1 line against the Bears in the opening round of the playoffs but was largely a non-factor against the Saints on Sunday.
  • Pending free agent Brandon Graham won’t say it outright, but Eliot Shorr Parks of WIP (on Twitter) gets the sense that Graham would be willing to take a little bit less money to stay with the Eagles. Graham, 31 in April, had 39 tackles and four sacks in the regular season, numbers that are down from his strong 2017 campaign. Still, Graham graded out as the ninth-best edge defender in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus, placing ahead of notables such as Demarcus Lawrence, Jadeveon Clowney, Justin Houston, and Olivier Vernon.
  • Eagles right guard Brandon Brooks confirmed that he has suffered a torn Achilles injury in Sunday’s loss to the Saints (Twitter link via Geoff Mosher). He’ll have a 6-8 month timetable for recovery after undergoing surgery, which may allow him to participate in training camp.

Extra Points: Dolphins, Eagles, Brooks, Kelce, Gates, Chargers

The Dolphins are entering a complete rebuild in 2019, with a new head coach, new front office head, and likely a new quarterback. New GM Chris Grier is continuing to make moves, as he’s bringing in Bills national scout Marvin Allen to be his new assistant GM, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). It’s the latest in a series of coaching and front office swaps teams have made in the AFC East, with Adam Gase going from the Dolphins to the Jets, Brian Flores going from the Patriots to the Dolphins etc.

Schefter writes that Grier and Allen “have a strong relationship.” The Dolphins have perhaps the most unclear path forward of any team in the NFL with a ton of uncertainty, so Grier and Allen will have their work cut out for them. Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald chimed in with a tweet to say that Allen was “widely respected” and a “very good evaluator.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • We heard earlier today that Eagles right guard Brandon Brooks suffered a “serious” lower leg injury in the team’s loss to the Saints, and now we have some clarity. Brooks, who was recently named to his second consecutive Pro Bowl, tore his Achilles during the game, according to Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). He wasn’t the only significant player to tear his Achilles during the game, as Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins suffered the same injury. Brooks still has a couple years left back on the huge deal he signed in 2016, but he could miss a significant portion of the 2019 season with this injury. Pro Football Focus gave Brooks the ninth highest grade of any guard in the league, so it’s a massive blow to Philly’s offensive line.
  • Speaking of the Eagles, Brooks isn’t the only member of the offensive line they might be losing for 2019. All-Pro center Jason Kelce hasn’t decided whether or not he is going to play next year, according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). Kelce told reporters he has considered retiring each of the past couple seasons, so it sounds like a real possibility that he calls it quits this offseason. The 2011 sixth round pick turned 31 in November. If he does indeed retire, the Eagles’ offensive line would be a lot worse off next year.
  • Speaking of retirement, Antonio Gates isn’t ready to hang them up quite yet. Gates told reporters after the Chargers’ loss to the Patriots that he wanted to keep playing if the Chargers would take him back, per Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com. The all time leader in touchdown catches for tight ends was only brought back after Hunter Henry tore his ACL last May, so it’s unclear if the Chargers actually have any interest in retaining him for another year. The 38-year-old caught 28 passes for 333 yards and two touchdowns this season. If he did play his final game today, he got a garbage time touchdown from Philip Rivers as a nice sendoff.

Eagles RG Brandon Brooks Likely Done For The Year

Players have been dropping like flies in the divisional round game between the Saints and Eagles happening right now, and another one appears to have a season ending injury.

Eagles right guard Brandon Brooks has a “serious lower leg injury”, and it’s “unlikely he plays again this season”, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). It’s a big blow to the Eagles’ offense as Brooks had been having a great season. The Miami of Ohio product was recently named to his second consecutive Pro Bowl, and started all 16 games for Philadelphia this season.

It means the Eagles will be significantly shorthanded as they attempt to deal with this tough New Orleans defensive front in the second half. Brooks signed a massive five-year deal with the Eagles back in 2016, and amended his contract last spring so that Nick Foles could get more money. Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins already tore his Achilles earlier in the game, and the serious injuries have been piling up. It’s unclear what exactly Brooks is dealing with, but the initial terms Rapoport is using suggest it isn’t anything too longterm.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Notable 2019 Pro Bowl Incentives/Escalators

The NFL announced the 2018 Pro Bowl rosters earlier on Wednesday, and aside from determining which players will spend a week in Orlando early next year, the rosters also dictate several important bonuses and/or contract escalators for individual players. Former NFL agent and current CBSSports.com contributor Joel Corry has rounded up the notable incentives earned, and we’ll pass those along below. As Corry notes (Twitter link), only first ballot Pro Bowlers who actually participate in the game (unless injured or playing in the Super Bowl) are in bonuses, which are typically paid out by the end of March.

Here are the notable Pro Bowl bonuses and escalators that were netted last evening (all links to Corry’s Twitter):

Bonuses

  • Ravens S Eric Weddle$1MM; requires Baltimore in playoffs (link): For the second consecutive season, Weddle’s bonus will ride on the ability of the Ravens to earn a postseason berth. Baltimore is one of several teams in the mix for the AFC’s No. 6 seed, but FiveThirtyEight gives the club only a 41% chance of actually making the playoffs. Weddle, who will be entering his age-34 campaign in 2019, could potentially retire or be released before next season starts.
  • Chargers C Mike Pouncey, $500K (link): Pouncey somewhat surprisingly earned a Pro Bowl nod alongside his brother, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey. Mike Pouncey hasn’t been a terrible player by any means, but Raiders center Rodney Hudson has undoubtedly been better. Signed to a two-year contract this offeason, Pouncey is due a $6MM base salary and a $1.5MM roster bonus in 2019.
  • Vikings WR Adam Thielen, $500K (link): Thielen, notably, signed arguably the most team-friendly contract in the NFL in March 2017, a three-year deal that’s worth less than $20MM. By picking up a half-million dollar Pro Bowl bonus, Thielen will collect a bit more cash, but he’s still vastly underpaid. Second in the league in receptions, Thielen will count just $11.5MM total on the Vikings’ salary cap over the next two years.
  • Eagles TE Zach Ertz, $100K (link): Ertz will also see his base salaries increase by $250K in each of the 2019, 2020, and 2021 campaigns. He’s already surpassed career-highs in both receptions and yardage, and could top his career-high of eight touchdowns with a strong showing down the stretch.

Escalators

  • Chiefs T Eric Fisher, $500K base salary increase in 2019 (link): While Fisher hasn’t necessarily lived up to his status as a former No. 1 overall pick, he has played nearly every offensive snap for the Chiefs over the past six years while offering respectable play. He’s signed through 2021 as part of a four-year, $48MM extension he inked in 2016. Kansas City’s best tackle — Mitchell Schwartz, who mans the right side — has somehow been named second-team All-Pro for three consecutive years without ever being given a Pro Bowl nod.
  • Lions CB Darius Slay, $550K base salary increase in 2019 (link): Slay needed to reach two of three thresholds in order to earn his escalator. While he hasn’t yet met a five interception requirement, he was named to the Pro Bowl and has played on at least 80% of the Lions’ defensive snaps.
  • Packers WR Davante Adams, $250K base salary increase in 2019 (link): While he’s not quite at Thielen-level in terms of selling himself short, Adams arguably signed his extension with the Packers well before he needed to. Adams took a four-year, $58MM deal in December 2017, just months before he was scheduled to hit the open market. He’s vaunted to true No. 1 wideout status this year, but he’s just the NFL’s ninth-highest-paid wideout in terms of annual average.
  • Eagles G Brandon Brooks, $250K base salary increase in 2019-2020 (link): Brooks, 29, is quietly one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL, and Pro Football Focus currently grades him as the No. 5 guard in the league. He’s signed through the 2020 season, although his contract does contain two void years in 2021-22 that are in place only for salary cap purposes.

Eagles’ Brandon Brooks Restructures Deal

For the second time in five months, Eagles guard Brandon Brooks has amended his contract, as ESPN.com’s Field Yates tweets. This time around, the offensive lineman has reworked his deal to accommodate teammate Nick Foles.

The revision to Brooks’ deal will create $6.37MM in cap space by converting his base salary into bonuses. The adjustment drops his cap number to $4.768MM in 2018, allowing the Eagles to give Foles a raise this season, plus extra incentives.

If [you’re] wondering about the restructure, I get $4MM now [and] $4MM by Sept. 1 with a couple hundred thousand over the season,” Brooks tweeted. “The reason I did it was because the [expletive] SUPER BOWL MVP DESERVED MORE MONEY. Love you bro.”

Brooks, 29 in August, earned his first career Pro Bowl selection last year. He graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 4 ranked guard in the entire NFL in 2017, behind only Zack Martin of the Cowboys, David DeCastro of the Steelers. and Andrew Norwell of the Jaguars (formerly of the Panthers).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.