There’s a chance (no pun intended) that Chance Warmack won’t play in a single game during the 2017 NFL season.
Doug Pederson confirmed the team will only keep seven offensive lineman active on game day. Of the eight offensive linemen that the Eagles kept on their 53-man roster, Warmack projects to be eighth in the pecking order.
The five starters are obvious: Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson. After that, the Eagles have their swing tackle in Halapoulivaati Vaitai. And then there’s Stefen Wisniewski, who can play at either guard or center. Strictly a guard, Warmack doesn’t offer much position versatility.
Despite this, the Eagles felt good enough to sign Warmack to a one-year contract extension over the weekend. The contract details might surprise you.
The #Eagles 1-year extension for G Chance Warmack is worth up to $5M, source said. The base value is $2.5M -- big jump from $ 1.51M in 2017.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 4, 2017
So, what does it mean?
Well, $2.5 million doesn’t necessarily guarantee Warmack as a starter in 2017. Stefen Wisniewski also has a base salary with the same figure next season and he could still be a backup.
But a max value of $5 million gives Warmack a decent reward if he does get on the field. And it’s looking like there’s a reasonable chance (again, no pun intended) that that would happen.
The reality is Jason Kelce is probably not going to be on the Eagles for much longer. Earlier this offseason it was reported Philadelphia was ready to move on from their long-time starting center. Kelce is still here, of course, but that doesn’t mean the Eagles weren’t open to offers for him.
In any case, Kelce is the starter for 2017. After this year? Probably not. Kelce can be released/traded in 2018 for a savings of $6 million, which could be much-needed, compared to only $1.2 million in dead money.
With Kelce likely gone, it could be 2017 starting left guard Isaac Seumalo who takes over in his stead. Keep in mind Seumalo played at center while coming out of college. He also takes a few reps there in practice despite Kelce’s presence.
If Seumalo moves over, a hole opens up at left guard. Warmack just might be the guy the Eagles want to have fill that spot. Although Warmack didn’t overly impress in the preseason, offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland is still clearly high on his former and current pupil.
It’d be idea if Warmack can prove to be a good starter again after flaming out with the Titans. The No. 10 overall pick from the 2013 NFL Draft turns 26 this month so he could potentially prove to be a long-term starter on the interior.
It’s also possible Warmack just isn’t good enough. If that’s the case, the Eagles could have Wisniewski fill in at center or left guard with Kelce gone. The fact the Eagles have multiple replacement options doesn’t bode well for the two-time Pro Bowler.
At his peak, Kelce was one of the best centers in the NFL. The unfortunate truth is that he’s struggled to maintain that type of consistency over the past two seasons. Kelce, who turns 30 years old in November, isn’t likely to majorly rebound at this stage in his career.
It’d be nice to be wrong about that, but it seems like the Eagles really like Warmack and believe in him. Maybe two full offseasons with the team can revive Warmack’s career. The Eagles, at least, have some level of faith that’ll be the case. The proof is in the contract.