So it turns that J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is indeed “out” in Philadelphia.
As we recently wrote about, JJAW’s time in Philly was clearly coming to an end.
JJAW was listed as a non-participant in Sunday’s training camp practice due to personal reasons. He saw limited playing time late in the Eagles’ preseason game against the New York Jets. He was also recently listed as the sixth tight end on the team’s depth chart. Point being: the writing has been on the wall for him.
JJAW has obviously been a big disappointment for the Eagles since they selected him with a second-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. To his credit, he did find a way to be of use last year as a blocking receiver and special teams guy. Nick Sirianni referred to him as the Eagles’ “enforcer” shortly after the season ended.
But now Zach Pascal projects to play the role that JJAW did last year. And his legitimate receiving ability makes him an upgrade at that spot.
Assuming JJAW gets cut, there might be some talk about how it’s happening now because the Eagles want to give him a chance to latch on with another team. And perhaps there’s some truth to that. But given his previous struggles and overall lack of production, it won’t be easy for him to stick around with a new team. He just might be donezo or destined to spend time on a practice squad.
That the Eagles got anything in return for a player who was obviously going to get cut anyway isn’t too shabby. Of course, the player the Eagles are getting back was also set to be released by the Seahawks.
Amadi was originally selected by Seattle in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He has 47 career games played under his belt with 12 starts in there. During that span, he’s logged 125 total tackles, 13 passes defensed, one interception, and one forced fumble.
Amadi’s best season seemingly came in 2020 when he only allowed a 86.8 passer rating when targeted. That number rose to 97.1 last year, when his Pro Football Focus grade had him ranked 132nd out of 134 total cornerbacks (minimum 20% snaps played).
While he’s mostly played nickel corner in the NFL, Amadi does have safety experience. It’s possible the Eagles will be looking to utilize him on the back end of their defense, especially since they’re not loaded at that spot. A position change didn’t exactly work out for JJAW (he’s reportedly moving back to WR instead of continuing as a TE in Seattle, by the way) ... but maybe it could help Amadi? And/or maybe the Eagles value his special teams ability?
Amadi should hardly be considered a lock to make the Eagles’ 53-player roster just because they traded for him. But he’ll have a shot to impress his new team over the next couple weeks. He has a better chance of being useful to this year’s squad than JJAW ever did.
Pre-draft scouting report via NFL.com:
Amadi lacks a clean fit from a positional standpoint, but he’s a productive player with good toughness who improved each season. He lacks recovery burst and the height to handle downfield jump-balls and he lacks coverage twitch against slots, but he’s strong and physical in press and is a willing run supporter which gives him a shot as a sub-package down safety with punt return talent.
“He has good football character and good leadership. He’s smart on and off the field. He doesn’t have the juice to be a full-time slot so I’m writing him as a safety with some nickel ability.” — NFC area scout
Ah, sneaky little note about the punt returner thing in there. Amadi did have 14 returns for 223 yards (15.9 average, which is strong) and one touchdown during his final year at Oregon. Wonder if the Eagles might give him some looks there as well, especially with Britain Covey dealing with an injured thumb. Amadi never returned for Seattle.