Eagles

Eagles mailbag: Pondering future of Kelce and center position

Eagles

We got a ton of questions on Twitter this week, so the mailbag is coming to you in installments.

I answered some big questions about Gardner Minshew and Jalen Hurts yesterday, but there are plenty more to answer today.

Let’s get to them:

Coming into this season, I thought for sure this would be Jason Kelce’s last season. But he’s playing at such a high level, even at 34 years old, that I’m beginning to wonder if he won’t be back for another year. His contract would need reworking for that to happen, but you’d have to imagine the Eagles wouldn’t mind figuring something out. It isn’t charity, bringing Kelce back. He legitimately hasn’t lost a step and is still one of the best centers in the NFL.

But if Kelce does decide to hang ‘em up after this season, the Eagles will have to figure out how to replace him. And it won’t be easy. I guess there’s a possibility that Landon Dickerson could slide into the center role but he’s been playing so well at left guard recently, I wouldn’t move him. Not to mention that he’s so big and powerful, I always kind of saw him as a guard anyway.

So if Dickerson remains at left guard, then the answer on the roster would be to move Isaac Seumalo to center. Seumalo brought guard/center versatility with him in the draft back in 2016, but he’s mostly played guard in the NFL because of how durable Kelce has been.

 

Last November, I actually asked Seumalo if, after years in the NFL as a guard, he’d be able to play center. Here’s what he said:

“Coach Stout knows I’m always willing to help out the team in any way I can and play wherever, which was the theme of my first 3-4 years. Now I’m kind of just playing at one spot. But I feel comfortable if the call came because of injuries or something, I could play center. But I’m gonna trust the coaches and the five guys they put out. First and foremost I gotta do my job to the best of my abilities and look at myself in the mirror at the end of the day and make sure I’m doing everything I can to individually help the team.”

So, yeah, I think Seumalo could still play center if they needed him too.

I don’t know if folks outside of Philly think of him the same way, but Kelce has gotten plenty of recognition. He’s a four-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro and he has a really good shot of being named to one or both teams again this season.

My colleague Reuben Frank took a long look at the Hall of Fame chances for Fletcher Cox and Kelce last year. It’s generally tough for pure centers to make it into the Hall of Fame and Kelce’s missing the all-decade team from the 2010 certainly didn’t help his cause. But with the Pro Bowls and All-Pros and with a Super Bowl ring, I think he’s got a real shot.

Well, the Eagles went to the Super Bowl at the tail end of the 2017 season … so that was four years ago. That’s an eternity in the NFL. And you can also argue that it took the Eagles too long to turn the page on the Super Bowl. They tried to run it back in 2018 and 2019 with varying levels of success. There are only a handful of Super Bowl Eagles left and some of them won’t last here much longer.

Nick Sirianni made it pretty clear that he had no intention of benching Reagor. His reasoning was that playing Reagor gives the Eagles the best chance to win. I just don’t see it that way. In fact, Reagor is hurting the team. The situations with Reagor and Nelson Agholor in 2016 aren’t exactly the same but they’re pretty close. Doug Pederson had the right idea giving Agholor a game off to clear his head and it ended up helping to salvage his career. That’s what I’m thinking about with Reagor right now: Salvaging his career. At this point, it’s not even about getting first-round production out of him; it’s about getting anything valuable out of him.

 

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