Nakobe Dean

Eagles LB Devin White On Track For Starting Role?

Linebacker was a position of weakness for the Eagles last season, with Zach Cunningham and Nicholas Morrow spending much of the year in a starter’s role. The position will look different in 2024, in large part due to the addition of Devin White

The former Buccaneers top-five pick was connected to a trade request stemming from his desire for a market-topping extension. The 2023 campaign did not go according to plan for him, though, and his free agent value suffered considerably. White took a one-year deal with the Eagles which carries a base value of $4MM.

Reaching incentives on the pact will allow the 26-year-old to earn up to $3.5MM extra, and seeing a notable role on defense will obviously play a key role in that. White operated as a starter during spring workouts, as noted by Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia. He did so alongside Zack Baunanother free agent signing. The former Saint made 62 appearances and 14 starts across the past four years.

White’s Buccaneers tenure included a Super Bowl victory in 2020 and a Pro Bowl nod the following year. The LSU product has frequently filled the statsheet, racking up 566 tackles and 23 sacks in five Tampa Bay seasons. Issues related to coverage and inconsistent play led to him losing his starting job to K.J. Britt down the stretch last season, and as a result it came as no surprise when he departed on the open market. White’s play in Philadelphia will play a key role in determining his value on a new Eagles pact or one sending him to a third team.

Of course, the fact that White and Baun logged starter’s reps in the spring means highly-touted 2022 draftee Nakobe Dean has ground to make up during training camp. The latter was a central figure in Georgia’s national title-winning teams, but he hardly saw any defensive usage as a rookie. Things changed last season when Dean started four games until injuries limited him to only five appearances. The 23-year-old has two years remaining on his rookie contract and his workload in 2024 could be tied to how White and Baun perform in padded practices once training camp opens.

Eagles Place LB Nakobe Dean On IR

NOVEMBER 16: To little surprise, Dean was indeed placed on IR Thursday, per a team announcement. He can be activated a second time, but the news nevertheless confirms another extended absence in what has been an injury-plagued campaign. Once safety Justin Evans and offensive lineman Cam Jurgens are brought back into the lineup, the Eagles will have five IR activations remaining.

NOVEMBER 8: Nakobe Dean‘s first season as a starter may not end up including much game action. The Eagles are preparing to place the second-year linebacker on IR for a second time.

The 2022 third-round pick suffered a Lisfranc sprain, according to’s Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport. A visit with a foot specialist is on tap, but another trip to IR is expected. Dean missed four games earlier this season due to a foot injury as well. This is a separate foot injury, per the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane, who notes the Georgia alum sustained an injury to his right foot in September.

The Eagles would have the option of activating Dean for a second time, as the 49ers did with Elijah Mitchell last season. But both activations would count against the defending NFC champions’ allotted eight for the season. Philly has used just one activation thus far — on Dean in Week 6 — so it would stand to reason Dean would be a candidate to return down the stretch. (Teams cannot activate the same player three times in a season, however.) Of course, the matter of Dean being able to play again this season is uncertain.

With Dean heading to IR again, he will not be eligible to come back until at least Week 15. The Eagles are on bye this week. The team used Nicholas Morrow extensively during Dean’s first absence. Morrow has retained a role since Dean’s October activation, but the former Raiders and Bears starter went from an every-down player to a part-timer. The Eagles needed him to step up against the Cowboys, with Dean again out of the mix, and likely will again going forward. Pro Football Focus still ranks Morrow as a top-10 off-ball linebacker, giving the Eagles a solid replacement option as they determine another rehab path with Dean.

Letting Kyzir White and T.J. Edwards walk in free agency, the Eagles centered their linebacker plan around Dean. Morrow and eventual starter Zach Cunningham arrived on veteran-minimum deals, with the organization allocating money elsewhere this offseason. The team effectively redshirted Dean in 2022 but had him wearing the green dot to start this season. In five games, the former SEC Defensive Player of the Year has made 30 tackles — including 13 in the Eagles’ Week 8 win over the Commanders — and notched a half-sack.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/14/23

Here are today’s minor transactions heading into the Week 6 weekend:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Dean took the starting role the Eagles had in store for him in Week 1, but a foot injury interrupted his second NFL campaign. The 22-year-old was poised to return ahead of Sunday’s game by returning to practice earlier this week, though, and a first-team role is expected to await him upon suiting up. Dean taking on a heavy workload will relegate Nicholas Morrow (who was promoted from the practice squad) to backup duty despite the latter’s strong performances so far.

Seattle has seen fellow corners Devon Witherspoon and Riq Woolen enjoy considerable success, but the team’s secondary will be shorthanded without Bryant. The latter will miss at least the next four weeks as a result of the IR move as he recovers from a toe injury. The 2022 fourth-rounder, who has seen his defensive snap share jump from 65% to 77% this year, has not played since Week 2.

NFC East Notes: Giants, Eagles, Harris

After seeing their 2022 receiver plan implode, the Giants made a number of moves to address the position this offseason. They added outside free agents Parris Campbell and Jamison Crowder (since cut) while re-signing Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard. Both Shepard and 2022 second-rounder Wan’Dale Robinson made their way back from ACL tears this year. Big Blue, which retained Isaiah Hodgins via ERFA tender, also drafted Jalin Hyatt in Round 3. But trade pickup Darren Waller stands as the team’s most proven pass catcher. As the Giants have looked like one of the NFL’s worst teams,’s Dan Graziano notes they came into this season viewing their receiver situation as unsettled to the point they hoped Waller and Saquon Barkley could cover it up early in the campaign.

Injuries along the offensive line — after a woeful debut with a mostly healthy offense in Week 1 — have helped sink the Giants to 1-4. Daniel Jones is out for Week 6, and the starter has struggled, leaving any receiver upgrades as largely irrelevant to start the season. The Giants do not have notable cash committed to wideouts beyond this season, being able to escape Slayton’s two-year, $12MM deal fairly easily. The Giants, who rank 32nd in total offense, have only seen one of their wideouts — Slayton — eclipse 110 receiving yards this season. It appears clear rebuilding this group will end up a multiyear project for GM Joe Schoen.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • The Commanders‘ defense ranks 31st in points allowed through five games. Although it is early, that is a steep drop-off from its 2022 finish (seventh). The team allowed 40 points to the previously winless Bears, and its narrow wins over the struggling Cardinals and Broncos do not look especially good. That said, the team’s new ownership has not applied early-season pressure on Ron Rivera, CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson tweets. Josh Harris is being patient with Rivera and Co., and while Anderson adds some of the others in Washington’s ownership group do not necessarily share this stance, Dan Snyder‘s successor is allowing this to play out for now. Rivera confirmed (via the Washington Post’s Nicki Jhabvala) no staff changes are taking place.
  • Nicholas Morrow has played well in relief of Nakobe Dean, grading as Pro Football Focus’ No. 5 overall linebacker. The former Raiders and Bears starter has tallied 33 tackles and three sacks. But a backup job may be in the cards once Dean is activated from IR. The Eagles should be considered likelier to reinstall Dean as a starter over returning the 2022 third-round pick to a backup role,’s Zach Berman notes. Dean suffered a foot injury in Week 1, but the Eagles let Kyzir White and T.J. Edwards walk this offseason with the intent on bumping the 2021 Butkus award winner into the starting lineup. Zach Cunningham, who signed with the Eagles during training camp, resides as the team’s other ILB starter.
  • Dean’s former Georgia teammate, Jalen Carter is not yet a starter. But the No. 9 overall pick has validated the Eagles’ decision to stop his first-round slide, having totaled 3.5 sacks, four tackles for loss and two forced fumbles through five games. PFF’s top-graded interior D-lineman, Carter slipped in the draft due to off-field matters. Most notably, the standout D-tackle’s arrest warrant for reckless driving and racing — at a scene in which two Georgia program members died in a car accident — led to a few teams passing in Round 1. The Eagles had Carter as the highest-rated player on their board, per ESPN’s Tim McManus, though the NFC champions were not certain he would fall far enough. The Seahawks were high on Carter’s talent but did not feel they had the leadership necessary to make the pick at No. 5, while McManus notes the Eagles felt their veterans and previous Georgia investments (Dean, Jordan Davis) would help keep Carter in line. We had heard about some Georgia coaches passing on endorsing Carter, citing effort and attitude, and McManus notes the DT punching then-teammate Quay Walker in 2020 contributed to this.

Eagles Designate Nakobe Dean For Return

Letting T.J. Edwards and Kyzir White walk in free agency, the Eagles had a Nakobe Dean starter debut planned for a while. But the second-year linebacker landed on IR after one game.

Dean is on his way back. The Eagles designated the first-time starter for return Tuesday. Having missed the required four games, Dean can return in Week 6 if the Eagles deem him ready. Philadelphia has not used any of its IR activations thus far.

A foot injury sent Dean to IR. Following that transaction, the Eagles called up Nicholas Morrow from their practice squad. After Morrow went from projected starter to not making the Eagles’ 53-man roster, he came back and has started the past four games. Morrow and mid-training camp signee Zach Cunningham have worked as Philly’s ILBs during Dean’s absence.

Although the Eagles cut him in August, Morrow has played well in relief of Dean. The former Raiders and Bears starter has offered versatility from his linebacker post during his early Eagles work, notching three sacks — which nearly tops his career total (four) coming into this season — and six tackles for loss. Pro Football Focus slots Morrow as the NFL’s fifth-best off-ball linebacker through five games. Cunningham’s 33 tackles sit second among Eagles — behind Reed Blankenship‘s 34. It will be interesting to see how the Eagles navigate this issue, with Dean having been in their starter plans for several months.

Edwards signed with the Bears, while White followed Jonathan Gannon to the Cardinals. Dean played sparingly behind the NFC champions’ starter duo last season, logging only 34 defensive snaps as a rookie. But the Eagles (and their newfound hub of Georgia defenders) dramatically updated their payroll this year, authorizing a then-record-setting Jalen Hurts extension and reupping cornerbacks Darius Slay and James Bradberry. This path resulted in both starting linebackers and safeties leaving in free agency, providing opportunities for lower-cost cogs at those positions.

The 2021 Butkus award winner, Dean was expected to go off the draft board much earlier than he did. But the Eagles were able to snag Dean at No. 83 overall. This foot injury was not expected to be a season-threatening malady for Dean, who will be on track to come back soon. The Eagles have three weeks to activate Dean from IR, when he will rejoin ex-college teammates Jordan Davis, Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith.

Eagles Place LB Nakobe Dean On IR, Promote LB Nicholas Morrow

SEPTEMBER 12: Dean’s absence will lead to an IR placement, the team announced. In a corresponding move, the Eagles signed Morrow to their active roster. Morrow signed with the Eagles this offseason but did not land on their 53-man roster. The former Raiders and Bears starter landed on the Eagles’ practice squad; he is now back on the active roster. Dean is not eligible to come back until Week 6.

SEPTEMBER 11: The Eagles came away with a win in Week 1, but their middle linebacking unit suffered a notable blow. Nakobe Dean is set miss multiple weeks with a foot injury, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

No surgery will be required to address the issue, but the injury is serious enough that an IR stint is a possibility, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler notes. An IR designation would require an absence of at least four games and the team using one of its eight in-season activations, so a decision on that front will be worth watching. Geoff Mosher of Inside the Birds reports that the injury is expected to sideline Dean for four weeks.

With Dean not in the picture for the time being, an Eagles LB corps which was already thin will be without a starter. Expectations were high for the Georgia alum after he served in a rotational capacity as a rookie last year and was set up for a first-team role beginning in 2023. Christian Elliss is likely to fill in with the starting lineup for the time being, and the reigning NFC champions also have Nicholas Morrow available on the practice squad.

The team has moved quickly in finding another contributor at the position, though. Fowler’s colleague Adam Schefter reports that Rashaan Evans has been added to the practice squad. The former Titans first-rounder spent his first four seasons in Tennessee before heading to Atlanta last year. He started all 17 games for the Falcons, posting 159 tackles and a pair of sacks. That led to mutual interest in a re-up, but Evans remained on the open market throughout the offseason.

Now, the 27-year-old will join an Eagles team in need of depth at the linebacker spot and likely see time on gamedays in short order. Players can be elevated to the active roster up to three times in a season, but veterans in Evans’ situation often sign from the taxi squad to a full-time position relatively quickly. Evans would be hard-pressed to see action in the Eagles’ upcoming Thursday night contest, but he may be on the field not long after that.

NFC East Notes: Eagles, Davis, Giants

Once again positioned as a Super Bowl frontrunner, the Eagles did lose both their starting safeties (Marcus Epps, C.J. Gardner-Johnson) and three-down linebackers (T.J. Edwards, Kyzir White) in free agency. The team has retooled at those spots, placing outside additions (Terrell Edmunds, Nicholas Morrow, third-rounder Sydney Brown) and holdovers (Reed Blankenship, Nakobe Dean) in the starter picture. Dean, a former Georgia standout who unexpectedly dropped into the 2022 third round, will be expected to start, Tim McManus of notes, adding Edmunds and Blankenship are the early expected starters at safety. But more help will probably be on the way. The spring additions aside, McManus expects the defending NFC champions to add both at safety and linebacker before the season. The Howie Roseman-era Eagles have a history of late-offseason supplementation on defense, having acquired Gardner-Johnson barely a week before last season and having traded for Ronald Darby in August 2017.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • The Cardinals’ tampering violation involving Jonathan Gannon may have impacted Vic Fangio‘s decision-making this offseason. Fangio likely would have become the Eagles’ defensive coordinator had the Cardinals and Gannon been upfront about the process that led to the two-year Eagles DC leaving for Arizona, Adam Schefter of ESPN said during a recent appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic’s John Kincade Show. Cards GM Monti Ossenfort confessed to inappropriate contact with Gannon after the NFC championship game. The Cardinals officially requested a Gannon HC interview on Super Bowl Sunday, but discussions occurred before that point. The Eagles had previously eyed Fangio, who had served as a consultant for the team last season, as a Gannon replacement. Ex-Fangio lieutenant Sean Desai is now running Philly’s defense, and the team would have needed to pay up to keep Fangio, who is earning upwards of $4MM per year with the Dolphins.
  • Lane Johnson played in all three Eagles playoff games, coming back in limited form after suffering a late-season adductor injury that required offseason surgery. With that operation successful, Johnson alerted fans this week (via Twitter) he is good to go. This injury was not expected to threaten Johnson’s training camp availability, and the Eagles are on track to have their right tackle back — and on a new deal — well in time for the season.
  • Commanders linebacker Jamin Davis will miss offseason time after undergoing a cleanup procedure on his knee, Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post tweets. This procedure occurred earlier this year and should be considered unlikely to threaten the third-year defender’s chances of starting the season on time. A 2021 first-round pick, Davis worked as a full-time starter in Washington last season, making 104 tackles (nine for loss) and tallying three sacks.
  • The Giants are making some changes to their scouting department. D.J. Boisture, a second-generation Giants staffer who had been with the team for a decade, is no longer in place as its West Coast area scout, Neil Stratton of tweets. Pro scout Steven Price is also out, per the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz, who notes this may be a case of neither’s contract being renewed. Price spent the past three years with the Giants. GM Joe Schoen did not make many changes to Big Blue’s scouting staff last year, but the post-draft period often sees shuffling in these departments. The Giants are also promoting Marcus Cooper — an ex-Bills exec — to a national scout role. Cooper has been with the Giants for five years. Blaise Bell, who has been in the organization since 2019, will also rise to an area scout role.
  • Oshane Ximinesdeal to stay with the Giants will be worth the league minimum. The fifth-year outside linebacker will be tied to a one-year, $1.1MM deal, per The Athletic’s Dan Duggan, who notes the Giants are guaranteeing the former third-round pick $200K (Twitter link).

NFC East Notes: Giants, Eagles, Lamb

The Giants‘ long-rumored James Bradberry separation leaves them thin at the cornerback position. Although Big Blue should not be ruled out of a veteran addition here, the team is turning to one of its holdovers to fill Bradberry’s spot. Aaron Robinson, a 2021 third-round pick, is the early favorite to start on the outside opposite Adoree’ Jackson, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY notes. A 2021 third-round pick out of Central Florida (by way of Alabama), Robinson played in just nine games last season and made two starts. Despite beginning the season on the PUP list due to an offseason core surgery, Robinson played 243 defensive snaps as a rookie. The Giants also have 2021 slot corner Darnay Holmes as a possible outside option in Don Martindale‘s defense, per Vacchiano, with third-round rookie Cor’Dale Flott competing with Holmes for the slot gig.

If the Giants are to pursue vets, many are available. Kevin King, Xavier Rhodes, Joe Haden and Trae Waynes remain free agents, as does ex-Martindale Ravens charge Jimmy Smith, though he has battled injuries and is going into what would be his age-34 season. Here is the latest from around the NFC East:

  • New York did make a replacement effort at tight end, after losing Evan Engram to Jacksonville. Ex-Texan Jordan Akins is a Giant, and Ricky Seals-Jones remains rostered. But fourth-round rookie Daniel Bellinger resides as a candidate to usurp both on the depth chart, Vacchiano adds. Bellinger, who played collegiately at Georgia, has taken first-team reps during OTAs. The 6-foot-6 pass catcher was a three-year Bulldogs contributor, though he only topped 350 receiving yards once (357 in 2021, a two-touchdown season).
  • Ex-Bellinger Bulldogs teammate Nakobe Dean entered the draft with more fanfare, though he nearly joined Bellinger as a Day 3 pick. The Eagles stopped the acclaimed linebacker’s freefall at No. 83 overall, doing so in part because they were high on his football IQ during the pre-draft process. In working at both the middle and weakside spots, Dean has a chance to carve out a significant role as a rookie, per NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Reuben Frank. This could mean Dean ascends to a three-down role as a rookie. The Eagles signed ex-Charger Kyzir White but nontendered 2021 regular Alex Singleton as an RFA. T.J. Edwards, however, has been a starter for the past two seasons. It will be interesting to see where Dean is once the Eagles convene for training camp.
  • Isaac Seumalo is involved in a rather high-stakes offseason. The injury-prone guard looms as a cut candidate, but he remains an option to be a Week 1 starter. This is by design, with Frank adding the veteran blocker will either be the Eagles’ right guard starter or be released. This appears a test to see if Seumalo (21 missed games since 2020) can still show the form that prompted the Eagles to give him a three-year, $17.6MM extension in 2019. Now that we are into June, a Seumalo release would create more than $5MM in cap space.
  • CeeDee Lamb has both bulked up and, strangely, grown a half-inch this offseason. The 23-year-old Cowboys wide receiver has gained 10 pounds and said he grew to 6-foot-2 1/2, Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News notes. With Jerry Jones calling Lamb a superior No. 1 option to the since-traded Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup unlikely to be ready for Week 1, Lamb will have plenty on his shoulders to start the season.

NFC Rumors: Jenkins, Eagles, Seahawks, Rams

Offensive lineman Teven Jenkins was taken in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft last year by the Chicago Bears, but only got a small portion of his rookie season to earn a spot on the line. Well, according to Adam Jahns of The Athletic, the new Bears’ staff is giving him the best chance, alongside fellow 2021 Draft pick Larry Borom, to start at right or left tackle.

Jenkins underwent back surgery in the preseason last year and was placed on injured reserve. He returned and made his debut in early December, playing on special teams. An injury to left tackle Jason Peters opened the door for Jenkins and he subbed in for the next two weeks, returning to a reserve role after that.

New offensive line coach Chris Morgan has been pleasantly surprised by the two second-year players, so far, but remarks that “everything changes once the pads come on.” It appears, though, that, for now, the starting tackle jobs are Jenkins and Borom’s to lose.

Here are some other rumors from around the NFC, starting with a rumor out of the City of Brotherly Love:

  • The Eagles were the franchise that mercifully and excitedly put an end to the slide of presumed first-round pick Nakobe Dean. Dean ended up falling to the third round due to projections about his long-term health. The Eagles could’ve gone another route, though, according to Zach Berman of The Athletic. Berman says that Philadelphia reportedly had multiple trade offers to move back from the pick they used to select Dean. Due to their significant lack of of Day 3 picks, it would have made all of the sense in the world for them to take one of those teams up on their offers, but, lo and behold, the Eagles stood pat and drafted Dean, a testament to the confidence they have in his addition.
  • The Eagles weren’t the only team looking at the possibility of moving. According to Brady Henderson of ESPN, “the Seahawks tried to trade up into the late first round” of the 2022 NFL Draft for Penn State outside linebacker Arnold Ebiketie. Like Philadelphia, Seattle stood pat, hoping he may slide to them in the second round. Unfortunately for the Seahawks, Atlanta moved up to select Ebiketie two spots in front of them. Seattle ended up selecting Minnesota outside linebacker Boye Mafe instead. Mafe is no consolation prize but a strong pick in his own regard, having generated first-round buzz before slipping to the front of the second round. Seattle swung and missed on Ebiketie, but they most certainly did not strike out when they landed Mafe.
  • The Rams won Super Bowl LVI despite the losses before the game of tight end Tyler Higbee and safety Jordan Fuller. Fuller suffered an ankle injury in the team’s Week 18 loss to the 49ers and Higbee suffered a knee injury in the NFC Championship game. Both players underwent offseason surgery and, according to Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic, are “working their way back up to full football activity.”

Eagles Sign Rookie LB Nakobe Dean

One of the prospects who fell much farther down the board than expected in last month’s draft has signed his rookie contract. The Eagles announced on Monday that they have inked third round linebacker Nakobe Dean to his first NFL deal. 

[RELATED: Eagles Select Dean At No. 83]

Dean enjoyed a highly productive three-year career at Georgia. His sophomore campaign saw him make 71 tackles, as he grew into an integral role on the team’s defense. That was followed up by an improved performance in 2021; he posted 72 tackles, including 10.5 for a loss. He also added six sacks and a pair of interceptions.

Seen by many as the engine driving the Bulldogs’ lights-out defense, Dean was one of many members of the unit to receive notable accolades. He won the Dick Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker, in addition to being named a consensus First-Team All-American in 2021. That had him pegged as no worse than the second-best inside ‘backer in the class, and led to him being widely projected as a first round pick.

However, teams were hesitant to draft Dean for two main reasons. The first was related to health concerns; many believed that pectoral surgery would cost him his rookie season, though there are early indications that may not be the case. The second had to do with his measurables – a five-foot-eleven, 220-pound frame coupled with an underwhelming 40-yard dash time led to concerns about his potential at the NFL level.

While Dean therefore had to wait much longer the rest of his college teammates to hear his name called, the Eagles were able to acquire a potential steal in the third round. He will have the chance to continue playing behind defensive tackle Jordan Davis, whom Philadelphia selected with their top pick, while playing a role in a re-vamped Eagles LB room.