According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan, the Philadelphia Eagles are hosting a pair of NFL free agent veteran offensive linemen on Tuesday. Eric Winston and Wade Smith are both scheduled to visit.
Veterans RT Eric Winston and G Wade Smith are expected to visit the #Eagles today, league sources said.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) September 9, 2014
This news come following a report that the Eagles fill-in starter at right tackle, Allen Barbre, is expected to have season-ending surgery on his ankle.
Winston, who is the president of the NFLPA, was profiled by Bleeding Green Nation's Mike Kaye earlier today.
Eric Winston, OT, Eight Seasons: Winston has the name and pedigree that everyone likes to talk about, but the truth is that he's been cut four times in the last three years. He went from a stable situation in Houston to year-long stops in Kansas City and Arizona. He was in camp with the Seahawks this summer and was let go during final cuts. The Eagles had the opportunity to sign him last season when they had worse depth and decided not to, so I'd assume he doesn't get a look here.
Wade Smith, like Winston, also spent time with the Seahawks this past summer. Smith, 33, entered the NFL in 2003 as a third round draft pick by the Miami Dolphins. In his 10-year NFL career, Smith has recorded 98 starts and has appeared in 138 games. Smith most recently started all 16 games at left guard for the Houston Texans in 2013.
The Eagles are obviously very thin on the offensive line right now. Starting All-Pro left guard Evan Mathis is expected to miss time (but hasn't been ruled out for the season) with an MCL injury. Fill-in starting right tackle Allen Barbre, as previously mentioned, is expected to have season-ending surgery on his ankle. Second-year right tackle Lane Johnson is serving a four-game PEDs suspension and won't be able to return until September 29th. Second-year backup guard/tackle Matt Tobin is dealing with an ankle injury he suffered against the Jets and isn't expected to return for a few weeks.
With only six healthy offensive linemen remaining on the Eagles' roster (and two on the practice squad), it's no surprise Philadelphia is looking to outside options for help.
UPDATE (2:10 PM EST) - Tom Pelissero reports that Winston left Philadelphia without a deal. This doesn't rule out a Winston signing but it makes it less likely.
Busy couple days for NFLPA president Eric Winston, who was in NYC for drug policy meeting, then visited #Eagles. Left Philly without a deal.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 9, 2014
UPDATE (4:20 PM EST) - The Eagles sign Wade Smith.
The Eagles are also reportedly working out some linebackers. Note that inside linebacker Najee Goode left the Eagles-Jaguars game early with a pectoral injury.
Also heard Eagles are going to host some LBs as well.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) September 9, 2014