Among the flurry of acquisitions and retentions for the Philadelphia Eagles on the first day of legal tampering, a sad note: offensive linemen Stefen Wisniewski is hitting the free agent market.
#Eagles are not picking up the 2019 option for OL Stefen Wisniewski, sources say. He'll be free. Heard some rumblings the #Jets might be interested in him if he skirted free so watch for that maybe.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 11, 2019
Firstly, I didn’t even realize Wisniewski was on an option year. He wasn’t much mentioned in terms of potential cuts (off of what I saw; I’m sure somebody had it somewhere) and was more so referenced as a potential trade piece.
Wisniewski’s 2019 price tag was $3.7M, which would have been 13th among left guards in the league, and 33rd among all guards. Obviously, Wisniewski was not penciled in as a 2019 starter for the Eagles, as Isaac Seumalo took over and retained the starting LG spot in Week 5 of last season.
However, Wisniewski did have some value as a backup on the interior. C Jason Kelce was extended this offseason, but is still an older player; RG Brandon Brooks is currently rehabbing from a torn Achilles tendon. Wisniewski, with starting experience at guard and center alike, provided nice insurance on the Eagles’ interior.
But perhaps Wisniewski asked to hit free agency, as he believes he could be an impact starter elsewhere, like he was for the Eagles throughout 2017 and in the early goings of 2018. This move could also speak to the Eagles’ faith in second-year player Matt Pryor, more of a G/T swing type who the Eagles are hoping develops into a sixth man on their offensive line.
I can’t imagine the Eagles though Wisniewski wasn’t worth the $3.7M — at least, I can’t imagine they needed that cap space so direly that it was worth declining to keep a great depth piece at an important position that already has some injury uncertainty. As it stands, the Eagles are betting on their young offensive linemen to take the training wheels off as they round out the depth chart.
[BLG Note: It’s worth noting that declining Wisniewksi’s option does not count as a cut, so Wis WILL count towards Philly’s compensatory pick formula. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Ben clearly didn’t read my cap casualty article.]
that championship was so special. I am sad to be leaving, but I trust that God is calling me elsewhere for a reason, and I am excited for that new opportunity— Stefen Wisniewski (@stefenwiz61) March 12, 2019