Not unlike some other recent Eagles news, this development hardly comes as a surprise. We wrote about the Eagles not being likely to tender Johnston last month:
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 turned 29 in February, 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.
Ian Rapoport says that Johnston “should have an active market,” which doesn’t seem likely to me. It’s quite possible the Eagles end up re-signing him down the road.
In the meantime, the only Eagles punter currently under contract for 2021 is newcomer Arryn Siposs. As far as punter standards go, he was an intriguing addition that the team made in January.