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What the Eagles should do at center

Eagles roster outlook: position-by-position.

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Today we continue our Philadelphia Eagles roster outlook series by examining the center position. Previously: Defensive end | Defensive tackle | Linebacker | Cornerback | Safety | Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight ends | Offensive tackle | Offensive guard.

THE PLAYERS

JASON KELCE

STATS: 1125 snaps, 12th out of 39 centers graded by PFF, 4 sacks allowed, 3 hits allowed, 13 hurries allowed, 10 penalties

REVIEW: In an Eagles season defined by offensive line instability, Kelce was basically the only constant up front. He briefly missed time in Week 11 but ultimately played 99.56% of the team’s offensive snaps. Kelce battled through injury and, while he might not have been in All-Pro form, he was still one of the Eagles’ best players.

OUTLOOK: Selfishly, I hope Kelce plays for the Eagles as long as he can. But in wanting what’s best for him, I hope he retires. Kelce, who turns 34 this season, has previously given weight to walking away. There’s no sense in him sacrificing his body for an Eagles team that’s probably not going to be very good in 2021. If Kelce wants to keep playing, the Eagles should look to trade him to a contender. The Kansas City Chiefs are a logical fit. Kelce would be reunited with Andy Reid and get to play with his brother, Travis. The Chiefs also currently don’t have a center under contract for next season. If Kelce retires, gets cut, or gets traded before June 1, the Eagles actually LOSE about $1.7 million in cap space. But if Kelce departs after June 1, the Eagles clear $5.5 million in cap space this year (with about $7.2 million in dead money for 2022). As much as it’ll be sad to see an Eagles legend leave, Kelce departing is what’s best for both him and the team. Maybe the Birds can get a late Day 2 or early Day 3 pick for him? As for Kelce’s replacement, the Eagles could look to either move Isaac Seumalo (most likely bet) or Nate Herbig from guard to center.

MY TAKE: Go.

Poll

Jason Kelce: Stay or go?

This poll is closed

  • 65%
    Stay
    (1028 votes)
  • 34%
    Go
    (533 votes)
1561 votes total Vote Now

LUKE JURIGA

STATS: 14 snaps, 50th out of 55 centers graded by PFF, 0 sacks allowed, 0 hits allowed, 1 hurry allowed, 0 penalties

REVIEW: The Eagles paid Juriga the highest guarantee out of their 13 undrafted rookie free agent signings. He began the season on the practice squad before being promoted to the roster in early October. Juriga saw some limited playing time at center when Kelce got hurt against the Cleveland Browns in Week 11. He struggled.

OUTLOOK: Juriga, 23, has a legitimate chance to make the 2021 roster. He could be in the mix start if Kelce isn’t back, though I wouldn’t say that’s likely. Juriga’s youth and center/guard versatility should help his chances of making the team. Maybe Jeff Stoutland can help him make a jump from Year 1 to Year 2.

MY TAKE: Stay.

Poll

Luke Juriga: Stay or go?

This poll is closed

  • 81%
    Stay
    (827 votes)
  • 18%
    Go
    (185 votes)
1012 votes total Vote Now

ROSS PIERSCHBACHER

STATS: 1 snap

REVIEW: The Eagles signed Pierschbacher (Peersh-BAY-ker) away from the Washington Football Team’s practice squad in mid-December. Pierschbacher was a 2019 sixth-round pick after playing college football at Alabama, where he actually snapped to Jalen Hurts in 2018. Pierschbacher played some offensive tackle in high school but split time between guard and center for the Crimson Tide.

OUTLOOK: Pierschbacher, 25, will be competing for a roster spot in training camp. The Eagles’ potential lack of center depth could help his chances of sticking around. Might be reduced to a camp body, though, if/when they draft a center to add to the competition.

MY TAKE: Go.

Poll

Ross Pierschbacher: Stay or go?

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    Stay
    (298 votes)
  • 65%
    Go
    (563 votes)
861 votes total Vote Now

FREE AGENCY OR TRADES

With Kelce potentially leaving, the Eagles could afford to add another body at center. Looking at what’s available in free agency, though, there aren’t many intriguing options in terms of finding the right age and cost. At most, the Eagles are probably looking at taking a cheap flyer on someone.

NFL DRAFT APPROACH

The Eagles could reasonably draft an interior offensive lineman as early as Day 2. Quinn Meinerz is a name that’s generating some buzz leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft. BGN’s Benjamin Solak recently wrote about him for The Draft Network. The Eagles must draft someone with the ability to play center at some point whether Kelce is back or not.