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Eagles have 11 players who will be at least 30 years old by the end of the season

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Looking at the Eagles’ veteran experience.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles begin their 2018 training camp schedule when players report on Wednesday, July 25. Bleeding Green Nation is already breaking down the Philadelphia Eagles roster’ position-by-position but we’re also going to be running a countdown series that’s more geared towards unique thematic angles. We continue that series by taking a look at the new players on Philadelphia’s roster. Previously: [The New Players]

Longest Tenured Eagle

Jon Dorenbos was the Eagles’ longest tenured player at this time last season. The torch was then passed to Brent Celek after Dorenbos was traded (before ultimately having to retire) last summer. When Celek was released as a cap casualty earlier this offseason, left tackle Jason Peters became the new longest tenured Eagle.

Acquired in a trade back on April 17, 2009, the 36-year-old Peters is set to enter his 10th year with Philadelphia. Peters was playing like one of the best offensive tackles in the league before suffering an ACL injury last October. The Eagles are very much counting on ‘The Franchise’ to play at a high level again while protecting their franchise quarterback, Carson Wentz.

30 and Over Club

36

Jason Peters [15 seasons played]

35

Darren Sproles [14]

34

Haloti Ngata [13]

33

Chris Long [11]

32

Michael Bennett [10]

31

Mike Wallace [10]

Chris Maragos [9]

30

Malcolm Jenkins [10]

Brandon Graham [9]

Jason Kelce [8]

Turning 30 during the 2018 season

Nick Foles in January [7]

Roles

The Eagles’ roster does not lack veteran experience. 11 players currently on their roster will be 30 or older by the end of the 2018 season. Let’s examine their roles on the team.

The aforementioned Peters projects to start at left tackle. Hopefully he’ll be able to stay healthy.

Sproles, like Peters, is coming back from an ACL injury. He still figures to be a nice change-of-pace option in the Eagles’ running back rotation. In addition to his role as a pass-catcher, Sproles should provide value as a punt returner with the ability to take it to the house.

With Timmy Jernigan potentially expected to miss half the season, if not longer, Ngata is projected to start at defensive tackle next to Fletcher Cox. The No. 12 overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft has a strong track record and should solidify the interior of the Philly’s d-line.

Long was a very important contributor to the Eagles’ Super Bowl success. The veteran defensive end was very efficient as a pass rusher; Long finished the 2017 season with the seventh best pressure rate of any 4-3 defensive end (per PFF). Long will still be coming off the bench with Brandon Graham and Michael Bennett ahead of him on the depth chart but he’ll still see a lot of playing time in a rotational role.

Speaking of Bennett, it’ll be interesting to see how the Eagles’ biggest offseason acquisition performs. The thought is he’ll be more effective now that he’ll get to play something like 300 fewer snaps than he did last year. Adding Bennett, who finished 16th out of 39 4-3 defensive ends in pressure rate, to an Eagles pass rush unit that generated the most pressures of any NFL team in 2017 seems unfair ... for other teams, that is.

Wallace was signed in free agency to be Torrey Smith’s replacement. Wallace is hardly a superstar but he’s been more effective than Smith in recent years. He should represent an upgrade as a complementary piece in the offense.

Maragos is coming off a PCL tear that cost him 10 games (plus the playoffs) in 2017. Is the Eagles’ special teams captain a lock for the 53-man roster? I tend to think they won’t cut him, but I’m not sure.

Jenkins is only 30 but he already has 10 NFL seasons under his belt. That’s the same amount Bennett, who is two years older, has played. We all know Jenkins’ value as a versatile chess-piece who can be moved all over the defense. Not to mention what he brings to this team as a leader.

Graham, who strip-sacked Tom Brady in the Super Bowl, is finally appreciated as he should be. The 2010 first-round pick led all Eagles defensive linemen in snaps played last year. He figures to be a key member of the defense once again. Hopefully his offseason ankle surgery won’t cause him to miss any time.

Kelce, the Mayor of Philadelphia, was arguably the best center in the league last year. Hopefully he’ll continue to play like that player instead of the one who struggled during the two seasons prior to 2017.

Foles will always be appreciated as the Eagles’ first-ever Super Bowl MVP. Hopefully he won’t have to play any meaningful snaps in 2018, though.

Last year as an Eagle?

Have to imagine this could very well be Peters’ last year with the team. He’ll turn 37 in January. His retirement would save the Eagles $8 million in cap space compared to only $2.67 million in dead money.

Sproles originally planned to retire after the 2017 season. He changed his mind when he got hurt. This is probably his last year in the NFL.

Ngata is only signed to a one-year deal so he could easily be done after this season.

Long seemed to be mulling retirement earlier this offseason before ultimately deciding to come back. He’s probably done after this year.

Bennett can be cut or traded for a cap savings of $7 million with zero dead money after 2018. The Eagles can evaluate how this year goes and cut bait if they’re not satisfied with him. If things go well, maybe the two sides can re-work the deal.

I could see Wallace re-signing on another one-year deal if he decides he really loves playing in Philly. I also wouldn’t be shocked if he retired if the Eagles win another ring.

Even if Maragos makes this year’s roster, I can’t see him sticking around after this season. He can be released for a savings of $2 million with only $250,000 in dead money.

It’d be financially realistic for the Eagles to move on from Jenkins but I don’t think they’ll be doing that.

Graham is a free agent after this season. Will the Eagles re-sign him? The feeling here is that they should find a way to get a deal done for their Super Bowl hero.

Kelce has no guaranteed money in his contract after his season. If he has another strong year in 2018, I’d think the two sides might revisit his deal. The Eagles could try to lower his 2019 cap number by adding another year to his contract.

Foles will almost certainly be gone after 2018. The Eagles might try to work out a situation where they activate his team option and trade him to an approved destination. If Foles doesn’t want to be traded, he can always opt out of his contract and become a free agent by paying back $2 million to the Eagles.