Before the start of NFL Free Agency, I will attempt to break down as many of the Eagles’ free agents as possible. Each article will include stats, the player’s strengths and weaknesses, and my overall thoughts on whether the player should be re-signed or not. All rankings only include players with at least 20% of the snaps this year. All statistics are via Pro Football Focus unless mentioned otherwise! PREVIOUSLY: Javon Hargrave review | James Bradberry review.
The stats show T.J. Edwards is a pretty good, consistent starting linebacker. I was shocked to see the missed tackles that high because I did not see that as an issue at all on film. I do wonder how PFF calculates missed tackles and I also think the more snaps you play, the higher that statistic will be. It was not something that stood out as a problem to me.
+ Is an excellent tackler in the open field. Wraps up well and has good technique
Eagles defense all22 thread vs. Saints. #1 I thought TJ Edwards was fantastic against the run and especially against Taysom Hill. His tackling in the open field is outstanding and his play recognition has come on so much the past couple of years which has made him much faster pic.twitter.com/YedsFijXG6— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) January 3, 2023
+ Reads the game exceptionally well. Incredibly quick to diagnose a play and get to the football
Look at TJ Edwards on this play. The ability to recognize the play and get across from his position and make the tackle on one of the leagues best backs is fantastic. Edwards has gone underrated this year imo and is playing at a high level. pic.twitter.com/stW87kOAyL— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 23, 2022
I thought TJ Edwards was brilliant in this game, especially in pass defense. His speed and quickness to diagnose the play was exceptional. He made multiple plays in the open field like this one and his tackling technique is consistently great. pic.twitter.com/43NHGOphCc— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 23, 2022
+ Is massively underrated in coverage. He’s never going to be Fred Warner, but he’s turned into a good coverage linebacker who can handle the non-elite tight ends in coverage and understands his responsibility in zone
Fantastic play by TJ Edwards (who was superb by the way) but just look at how long slay stays in his backpedal against Jefferson! He had 0 fear of getting beat over the top and was so patient which allowed him to close on the ball so quickly. It was so impressive. pic.twitter.com/3pp9RMUSJg— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) September 21, 2022
I said this a lot last year, but I remained really impressed by Eagles in zone coverage and their ability to pass off routes and create tight throwing lanes. Slay is in a great position but superb instincts by TJ Edwards to read Goff's eyes and make a play on the ball. pic.twitter.com/seE2ihS1YD— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) September 13, 2022
+ Very physical, competitive player who is willing to land a strong blow on opposing lineman to prevent double teams and stop lineman from getting to the second level easily
Watch TJ Edwards charge immediately at the TE here and take on the block in order to prevent him from double teaming Cox. That allows Cox to win and help Slay tackle Henry. Edwards gets downhill so quickly and he helps the Eagles here despite not contributing to the stat sheet. pic.twitter.com/cn4M7x8arA— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 6, 2022
+ Good at staying clean in run defense when needed (avoiding blocks) and keeping his eyes on the ball carrier
#9 Milton Williams does these incredibly quick moves on lineman each week and they can't get a hand on him! He blows up this run and prevents the TD, but only because TJ Edwards is following it up as always. He was so good at avoiding blocks and making tackles in this game. pic.twitter.com/Rv1jkxuRVx— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) January 3, 2023
Seriously look at TJ Edwards on this play?? Diagnose quick, flat out juke the guard, get to the edge and make the tackle. This guy put on a show against the run. I really did not think he had this in him athletically. Fair play, proved me wrong! pic.twitter.com/mszgH9rk0m— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 9, 2021
+ Didn’t get the opportunity to do it very often, but showed the ability to take on a running back in pass protection and get pressure when given a chance to rush
This is fun. Reddick & Graham (lol) drop into coverage. Late safety rotation to single high. TJ Edwards blows up the RB and Slay plays it perfectly against Jefferson one on one! pic.twitter.com/0PNE4L6xJ1— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) September 21, 2022
+ Has the speed and tackling technique to play sideline-to-sideline as a run defender.
It was not TJ Edwards best game. But he still made some plays & he had a hard job in this game. With a 5 man front, it's not easy as the lone LB on outside runs. This is a great play and highlights the athleticism and speed that he can show when he reacts quickly. pic.twitter.com/VBU0lyx7lC— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 11, 2022
- Had a disaster of a Super Bowl. Played his worst game of the season in run defense, was slow to react to motion, and didn’t trust his instincts at all
Eagles defense all22 vs. Chiefs. I'm sorry in advance. #1 Eagles run defense was really bad. It cost them. The Chiefs OL worked them all game. No idea why TJ Edwards is distracted by the motion here when they already have the motion/Mahomes covered. He needs to get downhill fast. pic.twitter.com/KlPl3ONy9v— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) February 14, 2023
#6 It's a very bad sign when your 2 LBs are unblocked and can't get near the ball. Either Hargrave takes the wrong gap or TJ Edwards does (I'd assume TJ) but someone screws up. Gonna be honest, the difference between the Chiefs CBs and Bradberry in this game was massive too. pic.twitter.com/via5QH1m73— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) February 14, 2023
- Will never be an elite cover linebacker in the middle of the field and teams with exceptional tight ends/big slots/shifty receivers will target him
#3 This is the dream call against Eagles cover 4. They just leave Slay covering no one. TJ Edwards was killed here but he needs help badly. I think Bradberry has to come off the vertical route quicker or CGJ needs to leave the deep route to Bradberry and watch out for Kelce. pic.twitter.com/HpZPxvODzN— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) February 14, 2023
Again, this is the stuff the Cardinals did to really make it hard for TJ Edwards. 3 WRs to 1 side, put your fast guy in the slot (Rondale Moore here) and the Eagles are asking a lot to expect TJ Edwards to be able to cover this. pic.twitter.com/3iYu3FRkOB— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 11, 2022
- Can struggle at times to get off blocks if he is unable to avoid contact
#9 Yikes, this is rough. Once again, this is yet another time where 2 players take the same gap. Either Davis is wrong or CGJ is wrong. Then Cox/Edwards get blocked easily. If Davis is supposed to command double teams then it didn't work because he had 0 impact on the run game. pic.twitter.com/buNYVbTvVK— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) February 14, 2023
- Looked good in coverage but wasn’t asked to play a lot of man coverage.
- I didn’t think he had the athleticism to be a starter a couple of years ago. I was totally wrong. But the lack of speed and athleticism does show up at times.
Eagles All22 Defense thread v. Washington. TJ Edwards is outstanding in the box. He's had a good year. But every so often his athletic limitations show up, especially in space, and you remember the Eagles can still upgrade here. pic.twitter.com/KFkIooLwm1— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 23, 2021
It’s very hard to do this, but I think the Eagles’ fan base needs to forget the Super Bowl. TJ Edwards had a terrible Super Bowl. He had a very good season. He impressed me nearly every single week and I think he has developed into a good linebacker. He will never have the athleticism to be an elite linebacker, but he is consistently solid and deserves a huge amount of credit for his play.
When TJ Edwards signed for the Eagles as a UDFA, I just did not see the athleticism to be a starter. I was wrong. He has proved his doubters wrong (including me!) and I could not be happier for him. TJ Edwards is the type of player that I want to keep around. Having UDFAs develop into full-time starters is amazing to see.
Spotrac has him projected to receive a 4 year, $47 million contract which would rank 25th amongst starting linebackers (keep in mind, this includes some EDGE defenders as Spotrac uses the Madden system of linebacker and defensive end which is very outdated). I think that is a fair contract and whilst the money seems high, the yearly average is not absurd for a starting linebacker.
I do not expect Kyzir White to be re-signed, and whilst I am very excited to see Nakobe Dean, having him play next to a solid starter in TJ Edwards would be helpful for his development. Asking Dean to be the main linebacker from day one would be asking a lot. I think keeping TJ Edwards as the more physical linebacker who gets downhill quickly will also allow Nakobe Dean to stay away from contact and play a more secondary role as Kyzir White did this year.
I hope TJ Edwards gets paid because he deserves it and watching him develop has been truly awesome. I do not think the Eagles can afford to pay him ‘huge’ money, but I really hope they manage to strike an agreement with him and he sticks around. I think he will be a miss for this defense if he leaves.
Should they re-sign = yes.
Should the Eagles re-sign T.J. Edwards?
This poll is closed