The Philadelphia Eagles decided that adding Linval Joseph to their defensive tackle rotation wasn’t enough.
The Birds are ALSO signing veteran free agent Ndamukong Suh to a one-year contract. The possibility of Suh to Philly was first brought up by Jay Glazer. Terms of an agreement were reportedly shortly thereafter by Ian Rapoport.
Javon Hargrave, Fletcher Cox, Linval Joseph, Ndamukong Suh. That’s a lot of name power on the defensive interior. (Milton Williams is part of the group as well.)
Of course, the latter three players are past their prime. That doesn’t mean they can’t be helpful. But one must wonder just how much the likes of Joseph and Suh will be able to contribute having been unsigned to this point of the season.
In Suh’s case, there’s some reason for optimism. He’s coming off six sacks in 17 games with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year. He’s also incredibly durable, having never missed a game due to injury reasons (he sat out two games due to suspension all the way back in 2011). Having logged so many snaps could work against the 35-year-old, though, in terms of how much he has left in the tank.
For what it’s worth, Suh ranked 86th out of 129 interior defenders graded by Pro Football Focus in 2021. He was 50th in their run defense grading. Joseph ranked 46th and 82nd, respectively.
The Eagles were clearly not satisfied with their run defense in the absence of Jordan Davis. One would hope these signings do not indicate he is going to miss more than the four games he is required to sit out. But one would think the Eagles adding both Joseph and Suh indicates that might be the case.
The team also might just want to go overkill at the position due to the importance of the role that Davis was playing. They wouldn’t want to be caught without a viable option should Joseph get hurt.
The Eagles are also prioritizing the ability to rotate their defensive tackles. They began the season with a five-man rotation prior to Davis getting hurt. Now they can get back to that with playing Hargrave, Cox, Joseph, Suh, and Williams. They likely believe those players can be more effective in part by not logging heavy snap counts each week.
Time will tell if these additions prove to be helpful. In the meantime, it’s at least nice to know that the Eagles are making an effort to address a weakness. Their status as Super Bowl contenders undoubtedly played a role in convincing these big name players to sign with them.
— Ndamukong Suh (@NdamukongSuh) November 17, 2022