The 2014 NFL offseason has begun for the Eagles, which means Chip Kelly and his staff will spend the next couple of weeks evaluating the 2013 roster. While the team was able to manage a 10-6 record along with an NFC East crown, there are still many ways the Eagles roster could be improved upon. By the time NFL free agency starts on March 11, the Eagles will have a good idea of which players they'll want to bring back for the 2014 season. Today we'll continue this offseason review series by looking at the offensive tackle position.
Jason Peters - 31
Stats: 1040 snaps, 4th best graded OT by PFF out of 76, 4 penalties, 4 sacks allowed, 3 QB hits allowed, 28 QB hurries allowed
Review: Jason Peters wasn't the completely dominant player he was in 2011 prior to the Achilles injury he suffered in 2012, but he was still very, very good. Peters was crucial in opening holes for LeSean McCoy to run as well as protecting Nick Foles' blind side. Eagles running plays in the direction of Peters went for an average gain of 6.12 yards, which was the best in the NFL. Peters was named to the 2014 NFL Pro Bowl (but decided to opt out), the 2013 AP NFL All-Pro Team, and the 2013 PFWA All-NFC team. He is also deserving of Comeback Player of the Year consideration. Peters' toughness can't be doubted as he played throughout the year with a number of injuries including a broken finger, a sore shoulder, and maybe more.
Lane Johnson - 23
Stats: 1127 snaps, 39th best graded OT by PFF out of 76, 8 penalties, 10 sacks allowed, 8 QB hits allowed, 39 QB hurries allowed
Review: The Eagles selected Lane Johnson with the 4th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft because they believed he would be a very good athletic offensive lineman for years to come. He's the perfect fit as a tackle in Chip Kelly's offense. Leading up to the draft, the book on Johnson seemed to be that he wasn't the most polished offensive lineman, but he had the highest ceiling of all the prospects. Johnson flashed serious potential in his rookie year. He excelled in run blocking, but could improve as a pass blocker in the future. Expect Johnson to build on his rookie season and take a big leap forward in 2014.
Allen Barbre - 29
Stats: 89 snaps, 2 penalties
Review: Barbre was the first offensive tackle off the bench in case of an injury. The majority of Babre's playing time came against the Raiders in garbage time and when he had to come off the bench to fill in for an injured Jason Peters against the Packers. Barbre looked very capable in the absence of Peters. Barbre can also play guard, so he's a valuable backup to have on the roster.
Matt Tobin - 23
Review: Tobin, an undrafted free agent, seemingly came out of nowhere to earn a roster spot. Tobin showed some potential in preseason and training camp in order to win a job. Tobin never saw significant time but was active for two games. It's interesting to note that Tobin was active instead of second year player Dennis Kelly for those two games. The Eagles have reportedly used Tobin as a guard during practice. The team wants Tobin to use this offseason to get tougher and stronger.
Dennis Kelly - 24
Review: Kelly suffered a back injury that required surgery and caused him to miss a majority of training camp and preseason. Kelly returned to 100% health a couple games into the season but he never played. It was interesting to see Tobin active over Kelly for two games. Kelly's future in Philadelphia is unclear.
Michael Bamiro - 23
Review: This Eagles undrafted rookie tackle had a unique passage to the NFL. Bamiro spent the entire year on the team's practice squad. He has good size at 6-8, 340 lbs. Along with Tobin, Bamiro also spent repetitions at guard during Eagles practice this season. Bamiro would make for a very big guard.
Who Could Leave
Cutting Jason Peters would save the Eagles $10M, but the Eagles won't want to part ways with a player that played so well for them. Peters is scheduled to be a free agent after the 2014 season, so perhaps the Eagles could extend him this year in order to save some cap space this offseason. Elsewhere, it will be interesting to see if the coaching staff has plans for Dennis Kelly as part of the team's future.
Who Could Sign
No big names necessary here. At most, an inexpensive depth signing would make sense. The starters are likely set and Barbre is a solid backup. The Eagles will hope young players such as Tobin and Bamiro can make strides in their development.
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