This is a curious development. The Eagles don’t currently have a need at either position.
Jake Elliott has missed two of his nine total field goal attempts but they’ve come from 53 and 57 yards out; not exactly gimmes. The Eagles signed Elliott to a long-term extension last year and it doesn’t really make financial sense to move on from him until 2022 at the earliest.
Cameron Johnston, meanwhile, has performed well this season. The Eagles’ punter ranks third in net average punt yards.
Hajrullahu isn’t exactly some young prospect. The Kosovo native turns 31 in April and he’s been playing professionally since 2014. Here’s a look at his career stats via CFL.ca:
For perspective, Hajrullahu’s career field goal made percentage, 83.3%, is nearly identical to Elliott’s mark, 83.5%. His net average for punting is only 35.3, which is well below Johnston at 47.8.
The Los Angeles Rams signed Hajrullahu in April earlier this year but he lost a kicker competition to 2020 seventh-round pick Sam Sloman.
One could theorize the Eagles are working out Hajrullahu in case something happens to Elliott and/or Johnston, be it COVID-related or otherwise. BGN reader igglesnut recently raised a point about this:
With onboarding process for FAs now taking 6 days, Eagles really should use a couple of their open PS spots to add specialists. If someone gets hurt during practice or even the previous game, there might not be time for an outside replacement to clear protocols.— Greg Richards (@igglesnut) October 10, 2020
Though the versatility is nice, I don’t really love the idea of using a practice squad spot on a backup kicker/punter. But maybe that’s what the Eagles are planning to do here?
In other news, the Eagles recently hosted their 2019 fourth-round pick Shareef Miller on a visit. Miller was claimed by the Carolina Panthers after Philly waived him in early September but then got waived again in early October. The Eagles could look to sign Miller to their practice squad, especially after losing Casey Toohill.