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Richard Rodgers won’t be returning to the Eagles but he will be staying in the NFC East

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Dick Rod moves on.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles-Training Camp Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles will not be signing Richard Rodgers for the third offseason in a row. The 28-year-old tight end is instead headed to Washington on a one-year contract.

The Eagles originally signed Rodgers when the Green Bay Packers allowed him to enter free agency in 2018. With Trey Burton leaving to sign with the Chicago Bears, Rodgers was set to be the Eagles’ No. 3 tight end behind Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. Rodgers was having a solid summer before suffering an injury that caused him to go on injured reserve. The Eagles eventually activated Rodgers off IR but he’d only go on to log one reception for seven yards. He mostly played special teams in addition to occasionally serving as a blocking tight end.

The Eagles re-signed Rodgers during the 2019 offseason. He won the home run derby at Carson Wentz’s charity softball game, which may go down as his most notable achievement in Philly. Rodgers suffered another injury during training camp and began the season on IR for the second year in a row before the Eagles cut him with an injury settlement. Rodgers re-signed with the Eagles on Christmas and appeared in the Eagles’ final two games as a special teams contributor.

I thought the Eagles might re-sign Rodgers yet again since they seemed to like him for some reason. Letting him walk was the right call, though. Give someone else a chance to be the third tight end behind Ertz and Goedert. My favorite for the role is Alex Ellis, who showed some promise last year.

Outlook: Ellis turns 27 in February so he’s not some young developmental prospect but I like what I’ve seen out of him in limited action. He’ll have a full offseason to make his case for the No. 3 tight end job behind Ertz and Goedert. He’s my favorite to win that job. He has some pass catching ability, he can block, and he even showed up on special teams last summer.

Note that Rodgers’ contract likely won’t qualify towards the Eagles’ compensatory pick formula.

List of Eagles 2020 free agents

CB Ronald Darby

CB Jalen Mills - Re-signs 1-year, $5 million contract with the Eagles

LT Jason Peters

S Rodney McLeod - Re-signs 2-year, $12 million contract with the Eagles

WR Nelson Agholor - Signs 1-year, $1 million contract with the Las Vegas Raiders

DE Vinny Curry

RB Jordan Howard - Signs 2-year, $10 million contract with the Miami Dolphins

OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai - Signs 5-year, $50 million contract with the Detroit Lions

LB Kamu Grugier-Hill - Signs 1-year contract with the Miami Dolphins

QB Nate Sudfeld - Re-signs 1-year, $2 million contract with the Eagles

QB Josh McCown

DT Timmy Jernigan

TE Richard Rodgers - Signs 1-year contract with Washington

DT Hassan Ridgeway - Re-signs 1-year contract with the Eagles

RB Corey Clement

CB Craig James (ERFA)

P Cameron Johnston (ERFA) - Tendered