The Philadelphia Eagles officially announced two transactions on Thursday afternoon. An overview:
- P Braden Mann was signed from the practice squad to the active roster.
- LB Brandon Smith was signed to the practice squad.
Let’s sort through this news on a player-by-player basis.
The Eagles had a decision to make on Mann after using the third of his three temporary practice squad elevations in Week 5.
Instead of looking for a new punter, the Eagles decided to fill the roster spot opened with Cam Jurgens being placed on injured reserve by signing Mann to their active roster.
Mann originally joined the Eagles’ practice squad when the team finally decided to move on from Arryn Siposs after Week 2.
Mann has yet to prove he’s a significant upgrade on his predecessor. With a small sample size of five attempts, Mann’s 41.6 yards per punt ranks 33rd out of 35 punters this season. His 38.8 net yards per punt ranks better but still not great at 26th out of 36 punters.
Mann ranks 26th out 36 punters graded by Pro Football Focus. Funny enough, that’s one spot ahead of where Siposs checks in at 27th. Improvement! (Side note: Siposs training camp opponent Ty Zentner is 36th out of 36.)
Just because the Eagles signed Mann to the roster doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll stop exploring other punter options. But, until further notice, he’s the guy that they’ll hope they won’t have to use very often.
First of all, great first name.
The Eagles previously worked out Smith prior to Week 1. Here’s what we wrote at the time:
The Eagles hosted Smith, a Penn State alumnus, on a visit prior to the 2022 NFL Draft. He was a fourth-round pick (No. 120 overall) by the Carolina Panthers last year before getting waived under a new coaching regime this summer. With the Eagles thin at off-ball linebacker (only three on the roster), they could conceivably have interest in signing Smith to a practice squad spot at some point.
With Nakobe Dean expected to return as soon as this week, the team will have four linebackers on the roster: Dean, Nicholas Morrow, Zach Cunningham, and Christian Elliss.
Signing Smith provides another depth option in addition to undrafted rookie free agent Ben VanSumeren.
UPDATED EAGLES PRACTICE SQUAD
Number of utilized practice squad elevations (three maximum limit) listed in parentheses.
WR Devon Allen (1)
DB Tristin McCollum (1)
CB Bradley Roby (1)
CB Mekhi Garner
CB Tiawan Mullen
LB Brandon Smith
LB Ben VanSumeren
DE Tarron Jackson
DT Thomas Booker
OG Tyre Phillips
OL Julian Good-Jones
OT Le’Raven Clark
T/G Brett Toth
RB Bryant Koback
WR Joseph Ngata
WR Greg Ward