Isaac Seumalo

Eagles’ Isaac Seumalo Done For Year

Eagles guard Isaac Seumalo will undergo season-ending surgery for his Lisfranc injury, per a club announcement. Seumalo will be placed on injured reserve, leaving the Birds with a major gap on their interior line.

A regular starter since October 2018, Seumalo is in his second year of his contract extension. This also marks his second straight year marred by injuries. In 2020, a knee injury limited him to just nine games. This time around, he’s done after just three starts — this was the outcome doctors feared after Seumalo had to be carted off in the fourth quarter.

Of course, this comes after the Eagles also lost Brandon Brooks for the year. They’re also awaiting word on left tackle Jordan Mailata, who was unable to play in last night’s 41-21 loss to the Cowboys. For now, Nate Herbig will likely take over Seumalo’s place in the lineup.

Meanwhile, defensive back K’Von Wallace is expected to miss three-to-six weeks with a partially separated shoulder (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). While he avoided major structural damage, he’s expected to be placed on the short-term IR list.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Restructures: Panthers, Cowboys, Giants, Saints, Eagles, Steelers

It’s that time of year when teams are frantically maneuvering ahead of free agency. Due to the cap falling because of COVID-19, things are even more hectic than ever. We’ve seen a whole bunch of contract restructures come in, and there will be a whole lot more. Let’s catch you up on the latest batch and their financial implications:

  • The Panthers restructured Christian McCaffrey‘s contract recently, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network tweets. They converted $7MM of his $8MM base salary into a signing bonus, which freed up about $5.6MM in cap space for 2021. Almost a year ago McCaffrey signed his record-breaking extension that has him locked up through the 2025 season.
  • The Cowboys have had a busy week with Dak Prescott‘s massive extension now in the books, and they made a trio of moves to help clear some space. Dallas restructured the deals of Zack Martin, Tyron Smith, and La’el Collins, a source told Todd Archer of ESPN.com. The reworking of the three offensive linemen’s contracts cleared up about $17MM in cap space for Jerry Jones. As Archer notes, these moves have now gotten Dallas under the cap for 2021.
  • The Giants just cut top offensive lineman Kevin Zeitler as they look to clear cap space to keep guys like defensive linemen Leonard Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson. The Zeitler release isn’t the only shuffling they’re doing, as they also restructured the contract of tight end Levine Toilolo, and Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com tweeted the details. Rather than a procedural restructure like you see with star players, Toilolo actually took a pay-cut to stay with the team. He had been scheduled to make $2.95MM this year but agreed to reduce that to $1.6MM, saving the Giants north of $1MM against the cap.
  • We’ve got four other restructures to pass along, courtesy of this tweet from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The Saints restructured the deals of safety Malcolm Jenkins to save $3.4MM and offensive lineman Andrus Peat to save $6MM. New Orleans has the worst cap situation in the league, and they desperately needed moves like this to do things like franchise tag safety Marcus Williams.
  • The Eagles saved $2.4MM by reworking the deal of offensive lineman Isaac Seumalo. Philly is right up there with New Orleans in terms of bad cap situations, so GM Howie Roseman is likely far from done here.
  • The Steelers saved $880K by adjusting fullback Derek Watt‘s contract. Not exactly front page news here, but it should shore up Watt’s spot on the 2021 roster. T.J. and J.J.’s brother signed a three-year, $9.75MM pact last offseason.

Eagles Activate G Isaac Seumalo From IR

The Eagles may be back up to four starting offensive linemen available in Week 11. They activated guard Isaac Seumalo off IR Friday.

Seumalo will play against the Browns, per the team, after practicing without limitations Friday. The fifth-year guard has been out since Week 2 due to a knee injury.

A regular starter since October 2018, Seumalo is in his first year of the contract extension he agreed to in 2019. The Eagles have four of their five starters on long-term contracts but have seen injuries sideline most of them this season. At one point, Jason Kelce resided as the only healthy Eagles O-line starter. But with Seumalo back and Lane Johnson getting in a limited practice this week, the Eagles should have four of their first-stringers blocking for Carson Wentz and Co.

While Philadelphia has struggled nearly as much as the other three NFC East teams — who each have seven losses — the team remains in first place at 3-5-1. The Eagles are healthier going into Week 11 than they have been all season. Zach Ertz, however, is unlikely to make his return this week, according to Doug Pederson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Place Isaac Seumalo On IR

The Eagles can’t catch a break. On Monday, head coach Doug Pederson announced that starting left guard Isaac Seumalo has been placed on injured reserve with a knee injury. 

Per league rules, Seumalo will miss at least the next three weeks. This was the outcome the Birds feared after the interior lineman went down in the second quarter against the Rams. After his early exit, Matt Pryor moved into his spot, and he profiles as the likely LG replacement in the interim.

The Eagles’ bad luck on the O-Line began this summer, when star guard Brandon Brooks was lost for the season. Fortunately, they had old friend Jason Peters on speed dial, and he was ready to return and change positions to help fill the gap. Then, the injury bug bit Andre Dillard, pushing Peters back to his native spot at left tackle.

As the Eagles move ahead with yet another new front five, there is at least one silver lining – Seumalo’s injury does not appear to be a season-ender. But, at the very least, they’ll be without the 26-year-old (27 in October) for the next three games against the Bengals, 49ers, and Steelers. And, of course, they’re working their way out of an 0-2 hole following losses to the Washington Football Team and the Rams.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Exercise Options On Carson Wentz, Alshon Jeffery, Others

The Eagles picked up Zach Ertz‘s 2021 option earlier today, but that wasn’t the front office’s only move. The NFL transactions report shows that the organization exercised the options on quarterback Carson Wentz, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, defensive end Brandon Graham, offensive guard Isaac Seumalo, and defensive lineman Malik Jackson.

As Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com writes, these moves were merely “procedural,” and similar to the Ertz move, they’re not all that surprising.

Jordan Dajani and Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports provide some helpful insight on these moves. For instance, Wentz’s option had to be exercised by today. Otherwise, his 2020 salary was set to jump to more than $30MM, and the remaining four years of his extension would be void. Instead, the quarterback will earn a $1.38MM base salary with a cap hit of $18.65MM.

The Jeffery move is a bit surprising, as the team was reportedly looking to move on from the wideout. On the flip side, the organization would have been hit with more than $16MM in dead cap by making the veteran a post-June 1st cut. Therefore, it’s not shocking to see the organization make a procedural move until they find a potential trade partner.

Per Dajani and Kerr, Graham will earn a $1.36MM base salary with a $6.28MM cap hit in 2020. Seumalo’s option bonus means the 2022-24 portion of his contract kicks in, while Jackson’s $2.4MM option bonus prevented his base salary from jumping to $10MM.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Extend G Isaac Seumalo

Another Eagles extension is on tap. The team reached an agreement on a three-year contract with Isaac Seumalo, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The three-year add-on, which will lock him down through the 2022 season, will give him roughly $17MM in new money with about $12.6MM guaranteed, according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link).

The Seumalo re-up follows Jason Kelce‘s, which came after the Eagles’ decision to keep Brandon Graham in the fold long-term. Seumalo became a full-time starter last season, grading as Pro Football Focus’ No. 36 overall guard in his nine regular-season starts. This move shows the Eagles believe the 25-year-old Hawaiian can sustain the momentum.

This will not do much to help Philly’s cap situation, with Seumalo’s rookie deal calling for a $939K cap figure. But it will allow Philly to retain its youngest offensive line starter. Two of Seumalo’s line mates are north of 30, in Kelce and Jason Peters, and the other two starters — Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson — are in their late 20s. Philly’s line now has five starters on veteran deals.

Seumalo did not develop quickly, as has been the case with numerous linemen who have come into the league under a CBA that cut back on practice time compared to prior agreements, having been benched in 2017. The Oregon State product served as a backup for the Eagles’ Super Bowl edition. His gradual emergence stands to help an Eagles team that employs one of the oldest offensive line starting fives in the game.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Rumors: Vikes, Saints, Hawks, Eagles

A left knee injury will shelve Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford for the second straight game on Sunday, but it’s not necessarily time to panic, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network says (video link). While Bradford’s knee is “painful,” according to Pelissero, doctors have not told the quarterback that it has any structural that would require surgery. Notably, Bradford underwent procedures for two torn ACLs in that knee earlier in his career. For now, Bradford and the Vikings are hoping he’ll return for their Week 4 home game against Detroit – the first of three divisional matchups in a row.

  • A lack of continuity is one of the key causes of the Saints’ years-long defensive struggles, Mike Triplett of ESPN.com observes. The Saints have started the most defenders (55) in the NFL dating back to 2014, and have also seen a league-high 23 defensive backs start at least two games in that span, per Triplett. The club has simply missed on too many defensive free agent signings and draft picks – including linebacker Stephone Anthony – to establish a rhythm on that side of the ball, Triplett contends. The Saints traded Anthony, a first-round selection in 2015, to Miami this week for a 2018 fifth-rounder after he failed to live up to his draft status in New Orleans. Safety Kenny Vaccaro, a 2013 first-rounder, may also find himself in another uniform soon. A starter in 57 of 58 career appearances, Vaccaro sat on the bench for a large portion of the Saints’ blowout loss to New England last week. Former teammate Scott Shanle, a retired linebacker, informed Triplett that Vaccaro is “the most bipolar player I’ve ever seen as far as consistency. When he’s on, he’s one of the best players in the league. When he’s off, I just don’t get it.”
  • Seahawks tight end Luke Willson told Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times that he expected his offseason foray into free agency to go better than it did. Willson was on the market for a week before re-signing with the Seahawks on a modest deal worth between $1.8MM and $3MM. “To be honest with you it was a miserable process,’’ Willson said. “Not what I expected. I don’t know what day I officially signed back but it wasn’t the first few days and it was, whatever it was — four days of being unemployed felt like about four months.’’ Willson added that he has no complaints about the end result, noting that he’s still “making quite a bit of money playing football.” The 27-year-old has never been a prolific pass catcher during his four-plus seasons, meaning he could once again have trouble scoring a coveted long-term contract by next spring.
  • Eagles executive vice president Howie Roseman erred in handing guard Isaac Seumalo a starting job before training camp began, Paul Domowitch of Philly.com opines. Roseman traded Allen Barbre to Denver on July 26 to further drive home the point that he wanted Seumalo in the starting lineup, but the second-year man is already headed to the bench in favor of Chance Warmack after a pair of rough games. The Eagles’ hope was that Seumalo would start all 16 games at left guard this year and then, perhaps as early as next season, shift to center to take over for Jason Kelce, Domowitch suggests. Kelce’s under contract for a few more years, so if Seumalo doesn’t return to a No. 1 role this season and show marked improvement, perhaps the former will stick around in 2018.

OL Notes: Seahawks, Joeckel, Eagles, Paradis

As teams get set for the start of offseason workouts, they are assembling their pre-draft offensive line depth charts. One such team with some fluidity: the Seahawks. They plan to make a move that ended up backfiring on the Jaguars in stationing Luke Joeckel at left tackle. While Pete Carroll acknowledges Joeckel could end up at left guard, the recently added blocker will begin his Seahawks tenure as a left tackle.

Luke is a guy who started at left tackle, was drafted at left tackle. I’m thinking of him as that, knowing he can play left guard,” Carroll said, via Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com. “He had a really good experience this year moving in, and he liked it and felt comfortable doing that. So my first thought is we head into it with he’s coming into it as a left tackle that can play left guard.”

Jacksonville shuttled Joeckel from left tackle to left guard before the 2016 season, but an injury limited him to only four games. The former No. 2 overall pick did not fare especially well at left tackle as a full-time starter from 2014-15; he began his Jags run as a right tackle while a rookie. The Seahawks signed Joeckel to a one-year deal for a fully guaranteed $7MM in an attempt to help what’s been a maligned offensive line over the past two seasons. Carroll plans, for now, to sit converted basketball player George Fant behind Joeckel. Fant started 10 games for the NFC West champions last season.

If George had to sit for a while, what could be better for him than sitting behind a guy who was a [No. 2] pick in the draft and knows how to play the position?” Carroll said. “If that happens, it would only enhance his future, and we have high expectations for him down the road — high expectations.”

Here’s more out of Seattle and the latest from other offensive fronts.

  • The Seahawks’ most recent first-round pick, Germain Ifedi, is expected to receive a long look at right tackle, per Kapadia. Ifedi started 13 games at right guard last season, but a chain reaction might relocate him. Should Joeckel move to left guard, 2016 left guard starter Mark Glowinski would shift to the right side and possibly bump Ifedi to right tackle. Ifedi primarily played right tackle at tackle-rich Texas A&M but slid inside during his debut NFL season. Seattle, of course, is no stranger to moving its linemen. Former second-round pick Justin Britt shifted from tackle to guard to center during his first three seasons in the league.
  • Isaac Seumalo started four games — at three different positions — for the Eagles last season, and it looks like Doug Pederson is eyeing more time for the second-year blocker. “He’s a guy that we want to get into the mix,” Pederson said, via Zach Berman of Philly.com. Berman adds Seumalo could wind up at center or guard long-term. The Eagles, though, are keeping left guard Allen Barbre and center Jason Kelce after being rumored to be set to unload both. Philadelphia also brought back center/guard Stefen Wisniewski, complicating Seumalo’s immediate path to playing time.
  • Matt Paradis underwent offseason surgery on both of his hips and has an uncertain timetable back to his spot on the Broncos‘ starting offensive front. The fourth-year center shed his crutches last month and is expected back. But Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post notes the hope now is Paradis won’t miss any regular-season action, meaning Paradis might not be a lock for training camp. The former sixth-round pick enjoyed a breakout season in 2016, finishing as Pro Football Focus’ No. 1 center and doing so on one of the league’s shakiest offensive lines. He’s played every Broncos snap over the past two seasons.

Impact Rookies: Philadelphia Eagles

The old adage that defense wins championships may or may not be true, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a title-winning team that didn’t build heavily through the draft. Rookie classes, naturally, are evaluated on the perceived upside of the NFL newcomers, but which rookies are ready to contribute right out of the gate? And, how do they fit in with their new team schematically?

To help us forecast the immediate future of these NFL neophytes, we enlisted the help of draft guru Dave-Te Thomas who has served as a scouting personnel consultant to NFL teams for multiple decades.

First Round – Carson Wentz, QB (North Dakota State, No. 2 overall)

You can never have enough arms,” might be what you hear from the Philadelphia Phillies pitching coach, but it looks like Eagles GM Howie Roseman took that phrase to heart with his recent dealings at the quarterback position. He turned a journeyman quarterback (Mark Sanchez) to the Broncos for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2017. Sanchez had played in thirteen games for the Eagles since he joined the team in 2014, but with Doug Pederson taking over as head coach, the team decided to blow up the quarterback position. Carson Wentz

It was expected that Pederson would hang his coaching future to the fragile body of Sam Bradford, but in a surprising move, the team handed a high-priced multi-year deal to one of Pederson’s old quarterback students – Chase Daniel. There were rumblings that even with those two in the fold, that names like 49ers disgruntled passer, Colin Kaepernick, was brought up in serious discussions held by the front office. Even then, free agent Robert Griffin III was considered for added depth.

Then, the rumors refused to die – the Eagles wanted to move up in the draft and were in talks with Tennessee for the top pick, before the Titans agreed to ship that choice to the Rams. Roseman then turned to Cleveland, pulling off a trade that saw the Eagles send the Browns their eighth overall selection, their third round pick (No. 77 overall) and fourth round choice (No. 100) in the 2016 draft, along with a first rounder in 2017 and a second round pick in 2018. In addition to securing the second pick in the draft, Philadelphia also took home a fourth round in 2017 in the exchange.

Roseman did not hesitate to snatch away Carson Wentz after the Rams selected California’s Jared Goff, . Word was that if the Rams took Wentz, the Eagles simply would have taken Goff instead. Actually, for the system Pederson runs, Wentz might be a glass slipper fit, while Goff would have had to adjust from the system he was developed under in California.

In just two years as a starter, Wentz has delivered the Bison a pair of NCAA Football Championship Subdivision national championships. He has started just 23 games, compiling a 20-3 record at the helm. A right wrist fracture sidelined him for most of the second half of the 2015 schedule, but he returned in time to help the team record its fourth consecutive FCS title.

Despite having just two seasons as a starter under his belt at NDSU, you could tell from that first practice that Wentz was a good student of the game, one that can easily adjust from college ball to raise his game to another level in a pro-style passing attack. There is no question that he has a solid feel for pre-snap reads, doing a nice job of making checks and locating secondary targets (he distributed the ball to an average of eight different receivers per game in 2014-15). He is a smart passer with keen eyes scanning the field and follows through with his progressions. With innate instincts and ever-improving developing decision making skills, it seems like he’s not far off from being able to handle a pro offense.

With Bradford starting and Daniel also on the depth chart, Wentz does not have a clear path to play in 2016. At least, not just yet. If the oft-injured Bradford finds himself sidelined again, we could see the rookie under center. Wentz still needs time to develop, of course, but he already has the acumen to lead an NFL offense if called upon.

Continue reading about the Eagles’ rookie class..

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Draft Pick Signings: Eagles, Packers, Bears, Colts

Checking in on the latest rookie signings from around the NFL…

  • Two offensive linemen – third-rounder Isaac Seumalo and fifth-rounder Halapoulivaati Vaitai – have agreed to deals with the Eagles, the team tweeted. Seumalo went 79th in the draft after playing various positions, mostly center, along Oregon State’s O-line. Vaitai, the 164th pick, made 30 starts at tackle (primarily on the right side) during his TCU tenure.
  • The Colts have signed fourth-round linebacker Antonio Morrison, the 125th overall choice, according to a team press release. Morrison was a four-year starter at Florida.
  • Packers general manager Ted Thompson announced the signings of four draftees — fourth-rounders Blake Martinez (linebacker, Stanford) and Dean Lowry (defensive end, Northwestern), fifth-rounder Trevor Davis (receiver, California) and sixth-rounder Kyle Murphy (offensive tackle, Stanford). Those four were Green Bay’s final picks of this year’s draft. The team still has to lock up its top three selections, including first-round defensive lineman Kenny Clark.
  • The Bears inked fourth-round defensive back Deiondre’ Hall to a four-year deal worth $2.85MM, including a $510,982 signing bonus, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). Hall, the 127th pick, piled up 13 interceptions during his four years at Northern Iowa.
  • The Vikings have signed fourth-round offensive lineman Willie Beavers and fifth-round linebacker Kentrell Brothers, per a team press release. Beavers was a stalwart at left tackle for Western Michigan before the Vikings grabbed him with the 121st choice, while Brothers – the 160th selection – was a prolific defensive playmaker at Missouri.
  • The Steelers announced the signing of sixth-round linebacker Travis Feeney, a former University of Washington standout and the 220th overall pick.