The Philadelphia Eagles waived veteran linebacker Eric Wilson on Wednesday morning, according to an official announcement from the team.
The writing was on the wall for Wilson after the Eagles kept him as a healthy scratch for the team’s Week 8 game against the Detroit Lions. While noteworthy, his deactivation hardly came as a shock considering his snap count decreased in recent weeks. This despite Wilson beginning the season as a Week 1 starter as Philly’s top linebacker.
The Eagles deserve credit for being willing to move on from Wilson and not be committed to a sunk cost. But they also deserve blame for spending $2.75 million guaranteed on a player that couldn’t even make it halfway through the season.
Wilson is just the latest example of the Eagles’ free agent struggles at the linebacker position. Other failed signings include:
- Paul Worrilow (couldn’t stay healthy)
- Corey Nelson (didn’t even make the Week 1 roster despite getting a contract on Day 1 of free agency)
- Zach Brown (cut midseason for being ineffective)
- L.J. Fort (went on to have success with the Ravens but couldn’t get playing time in Philly)
- Jatavis Brown (retired from football before training camp)
(As a related aside, the Eagles almost accidentally cut Alex Singleton — one of their few relative successes at the position until recently — at one point in the past.)
To be clear, it’s not like the Eagles made major investments in these players. But that’s part of the problem. They haven’t invested enough in their linebackers and, as a result, they’ve had some really poor linebacker play.
The Eagles won’t be on the hook for Wilson’s remaining salary if he’s claimed by another team but that happening seems unlikely. Wilson has struggled this year and the Eagles could’ve dealt him before the deadline if he was drawing interest.
The Eagles will move forward with the following linebackers on their roster: T.J. Edwards, Davion Taylor, Genard Avery, Alex Singleton, Shaun Bradley, and Patrick Johnson. The team also has JaCoby Stevens on the practice squad. If the Lions game was any indication, Edwards and Taylor are the top two linebackers now with Singleton seeing a decreased role.