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Eagles roster outlook: Specialists

Position-by-position breakdown.

New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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

THE PLAYERS

JAKE ELLIOTT

STATS: 14 field goals made on 19 attempts for 73.7% (29th out of 36 kickers), 0 attempts from 1-19 yards, 1/3 from 20-29 yards, 6/6 from 30-39 yards, 5/5 from 40-49 yards, 2/5 from 50+ yards, longest made of 54 yards, 24/26 on extra points for 92.3% (20th out of 36 kickers), 66.0 yards per kickoff attempt (29th out of 38 kickers) ... 2 punts for 77 yards

REVIEW: The 2020 Eagles had so many issues that it’s forgivable to forget that their kicker was one of them. The numbers above just don’t paint a pretty story. Elliott missed chip shots from 22 and 29 yards out. He was perfect from 30-49 but he wasn’t reliable from deep. Worst season of Elliott’s career.

OUTLOOK: The Eagles clearly made a mistake by rushing to sign Elliott, who could’ve played on a restricted free agent tender last year, to a long-term deal. Cutting him this offseason would actually cause the Eagles to LOSE about $2.3 million in cap space. The team merely has to hope the 26-year-old can rebound in 2021. Even if he does, though, the Eagles will still be overpaying him based on his production. The following statistics simply don’t justify one of the most lucrative kicker contracts in the NFL.

FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE

2017: 83.9% (19th out of 37 kickers)
2018: 83.9% (20th out of 36 kickers)
2019: 84.6% (15th out of 38 kickers)
2020: 73.7% (29th out of 36 kickers)

EXTRA POINT PERCENTAGE

2017: 92.9% (23rd out of 37 kickers)
2018: 94.3% (22nd out of 36 kickers)
2019: 94.6% (20th out of 38 kickers)
2020: 92.3% (20th out of 36 kickers)

MY TAKE: Stay.

Poll

Jake Elliott: Stay or go?

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    Stay
    (820 votes)
  • 27%
    Go
    (307 votes)
1127 votes total Vote Now

CAMERON JOHNSTON

STATS: 71 punts, 46.7 average (12th out of 34 punters), 41.2 net average (15th), 66 long (t-12th), 6.7 yards allowed per punt return (9th), 1 punt blocked, 6 touchbacks (t-4th most), 4.32 average hang time (21st)

REVIEW: Johnston tied for the third most punt attempts in the NFL last year with how bad the Eagles’ offense was. His numbers were pedestrian at best.

PFF RANK

2018: 30th out of 32 punters
2019: 31st out of 34 punters
2020: 23rd out of 34 punters

OUTLOOK: Johnston, who turns 29 this week, is set to be a restricted free agent. Tendering him at the lowest level would cost $2.24 million. The Eagles simply can’t afford to do that given their cap situation. Thus, the Eagles will opt to not tender Johnston and allow him to enter unrestricted free agency. Assuming he doesn’t garner interest from other teams, which seems safe to expect, the Eagles can re-sign him to a minimum deal. (Not unlike how the Eagles handled Corey Clement last year.) If Johnston returns, he should have to win a punting battle in training camp in order to make the 2021 roster.

MY TAKE: Stay.

Poll

Cameron Johnston: Stay or go?

This poll is closed

  • 63%
    Stay
    (640 votes)
  • 36%
    Go
    (373 votes)
1013 votes total Vote Now

ARRYN SIPOSS

REVIEW: The Eagles signed Siposs, a 2020 undrafted rookie free agent, to a futures contract back in January.

OUTLOOK: Siposs was said to be “neck and neck” in a Detroit Lions training camp battle with Jack Fox, who went on to earn Pro Bowl honors, second-team All-Pro honors, and finished last year as Pro Football Focus’s top-graded punter. Assuming the Eagles are able to re-sign Johnston, Siposs and him will battle it out for a roster spot. May the best Aussie win.

MY TAKE: Stay.

Poll

Arryn Siposs: Stay or go?

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    Stay
    (703 votes)
  • 14%
    Go
    (115 votes)
818 votes total Vote Now

RICK LOVATO

STATS: 1 solo special teams tackle, 5 assisted special teams tackles

REVIEW: Lovato had a bad snap that resulted in the Eagles failing to get off an extra point kick attempt against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 15. Outside of that, no complaints.

OUTLOOK: No need to move on from Lovato, who is signed through 2023.

MY TAKE: Stay.

Poll

Rick Lovato: Stay or go?

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    Stay
    (855 votes)
  • 3%
    Go
    (30 votes)
885 votes total Vote Now

FREE AGENCY OR TRADES

Nope.

NFL DRAFT OPTIONS

The Eagles could justifiably sign an undrafted rookie free agent kicker to compete with Elliott but I’m guessing they won’t since they can’t really move on from his contract.

If Johnston isn’t back, the Eagles could add a rookie punter to compete with Siposs.