Alex Singleton will not be returning to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022.
The 28-year-old linebacker is instead signing with the Denver Broncos, according to a report from NFL Network. The one-year contract is reportedly worth $1.1 million guaranteed with another $750,000 available in playing time incentives.
The Eagles notably — but not exactly surprisingly — decided to forgo using a restricted free agent tender on Singleton. Here’s what Bleeding Green Nation wrote at the time of that decision:
Singleton has undoubtedly been a solid find for the Eagles as a signing from the Canadian Football League. He actually led the team in linebacker snap count percentage last year at 63.9%, just edging out T.J. Edwards at 60.8%. Singleton is a tackling machine and a good guy to have for special teams. He also comes off as a nice, rootable player who is well-liked in the locker room.
But Singleton has athletic limitations, as evidenced by a 102.8 passer rating when targeted in 2020 and a 111.4 passer rating when targeted in 2021. He’s also not exactly a young, ascending player considering he’s entering his age 29 season.
Tendering Singleton at the lowest level would’ve cost $2.4 million in 2022. While that might not seem like a ton, consider it would be the 18th highest cap number on the Eagles this year. And, as we all know, Philly is hardly eager to spend resources on the linebacker position.
Just because the Eagles didn’t tender Singleton doesn’t mean he’s 100% leaving. It’s possible that he and the team can reach an agreement that brings him back to Philly. But now that he’s set to be an unrestricted free agent, it is possible that Singleton moves on to another team. We’ll just have to wait and see.
The Eagles successfully used the “don’t tender one of our RFAs only to re-sign them at a lower rate” approach with Boston Scott, who rejoined the team on Friday evening. But Singleton used his opportunity to hit the open market to move on elsewhere.
That Singleton seemingly didn’t get a lucrative deal indicates 1) the Eagles didn’t care about having him back or 2) he was cool with taking less money to play for a team that might have a better chance at contending (see: the Broncos acquiring Russell Wilson).
Whatever the reasoning, Singleton is gone. The Eagles will move forward with the following off-ball linebacker options on their roster:
- T.J. Edwards
- Davion Taylor
- Shaun Bradley
- Patrick Johnson
- JaCoby Stevens
- Christian Elliss
Edwards is a solid starter. Taylor showed some promise last year but struggled with injuries. Bradley has been more of a special teams contributor thus far. Johnson and Stevens were rookies who didn’t play much. Elliss was a practice squad guy.
Needless to say, the Eagles could really use some more talent. It’s possible they’ll add to the position in free agency. There’s thought that might even draft a linebacker in the first round (Devin Lloyd, perhaps?) for the first time since 1979 ... but it’ll be more believable when we actually see it happen.