Eagles to reportedly sign former All-Pro DT

Eagles to reportedly sign former All-Pro DT

The Eagles have found some depth for the interior of their defensive line.

Five-time Pro Bowler Haloti Ngata plans on signing with the Eagles on a one-year deal when free agency kicks off on Wednesday, according to ESPN.

While the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett said the deal isn’t yet done, it appears that the Eagles are getting a big piece (literally) of their free agent puzzle.

Ngata, 34, is past his prime, when he helped the Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII and when he went to five straight Pro Bowls, but the big defensive tackle will offer the Eagles depth once Beau Allen departs in free agency. Allen is expected to land elsewhere with a sizable contract. He sent out a farewell message to the Eagles on Instagram early Tuesday afternoon. With Allen’s expected departure, defensive tackle depth was sneakily a big need for the Eagles.

Had Allen walked and the Eagles not replaced him, their top backup DT would have been Destiny Vaeao, who was undrafted a couple years ago. Instead, they picked up a big name who might still have something left in the tank, especially in the Eagles’ rotation.

At 6-foot-4, 340 pounds, Ngata has played as a nose tackle in a 3-4 defense and then as a defensive tackle in the Lions’ 4-3 defense. He’s been able to move very well during his 12-year career even at his enormous size.

While he played just five games for the Lions last season, his impact was clear. With Ngata in the lineup, the Lions gave up just 74.6 rushing yards per game. Without him in the final 11 games, that number ballooned to 129.7. There were other factors that went into it, but Ngata is good against the run, and he’ll be added to the NFL’s best run defense from 2017.

After turning 34 in January, Ngata will be the Eagles’ second-oldest player behind 36-year-old Jason Peters when the DT signs Wednesday. Bringing in another aging veteran on a one-year deal follows the path the Eagles set last year. They are trying to win this year but aren’t tying themselves to an older player long-term.

While he comes with a bigger name, at this point in his career, Ngata won’t demand a huge salary. That’s good news for the cap-strapped Eagles.

In 2017, Ngata played just five games for the Lions before a torn biceps landed him on IR. He played three seasons in Detroit after playing the first nine years of his career in Baltimore.

The Joe Douglas influence on this deal is again easy to see. Douglas, the Eagles vice president of player personnel, was with the Ravens from 2000-2015. Ngata is just the latest former Ravens player — Torrey Smith, Tim Jernigan, Corey Graham, Dannell Ellerbe — to come to the Eagles.

In 2018, the Eagles will likely start Fletcher Cox and Tim Jernigan at defensive tackle, but Ngata will be the top backup. They will also have Michael Bennett, Brandon Graham and (maybe) Vinny Curry as defensive ends with the ability to play inside on passing downs. That’s not even including other key players Chris Long and Derek Barnett.

The Eagles, who already had one of the scarier defensive lines in the NFL, just added another huge depth piece.

Eagles pick up two compensatory picks in upcoming NFL draft

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Eagles pick up two compensatory picks in upcoming NFL draft

The Eagles have officially been awarded two compensatory picks in the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft. The Eagles had been projected to get three by OverTheCap. 

They now have eight picks in the upcoming draft. 

The Eagles have been awarded one fourth round compensatory pick (No. 138) and one comp pick in the sixth round (No. 208). This is the first time since the 2013 draft they’ve been awarded a compensatory pick. 

Basically, the Eagles gained compensatory picks because they lost more compensatory free agents than they gained. Remember, these are free agents they lost last offseason. 

Lost: Beau Allen, LeGarrette Blount, Trey Burton, Patrick Robinson 

Gained: Haloti Ngata, Mike Wallace

Wallace was not originally expected to count in the formula, but he did. That’s the difference of one compensatory pick. 

Here’s an updated look at the Eagles’ nine draft picks in the 2019 draft, which runs April 25-27:

Round 1: No. 25

Round 2: No. 53 (from Ravens)

Round 2: No. 57

Round 4: No. 127

Round 4: No. 138 (Compensatory)

Round 5: No. 163

Round 6: No. 198

Round 6: No. 208 (Compensatory) 

The Eagles don’t have their third-round pick in this draft because of the Golden Tate trade. They don’t have a seventh-rounder because of trades for Deiondre’ Hall and moving up to get Jordan Mailata last spring. 

Here’s what the NFL says about the compensatory pick formula: 

“Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors. The formula was developed by the NFL Management Council. Not every free agent lost or signed by a club is covered by this formula. No club may receive more than four compensatory picks in any one year. If a club qualifies for more than four compensatory picks after offsetting each CFA lost by each CFA gained of an equal or higher value, the four highest remaining selections will be awarded to the club.”

Just 32 comp picks are awarded each year. 

The Eagles haven’t been very active in the compensatory pick game in recent years, but this offseason suggests that will likely change over the next few years. This is the first time the Eagles have had two compensatory picks in a single draft since 2011.  

Since 1994, the Eagles have been awarded 32 compensatory picks. 

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Eagles Mailbag: Most pressing needs in draft and free agency

Eagles Mailbag: Most pressing needs in draft and free agency

We answered the first batch of your Eagles questions Thursday (see story), but we have plenty more to go.

Let’s not waste any time:

I do think the Eagles go heavy on OL and DL in this draft, especially D-line. The Eagles seem to share your philosophy about building their team in the trenches. Howie Roseman has been pretty vocal about that since getting reinstated back to his position of power. It also just so happens the Eagles have some pretty clear needs along the offensive and defensive lines.

On offense, Jason Peters is aging and expensive. Could the Eagles possibly draft his replacement in the first two rounds? I think that’s entirely possible, especially because the Eagles have three picks in the first two rounds.

While I think there’s a chance the Eagles draft an offensive tackle that early, I’d almost be surprised if they don’t go hard after this very deep defensive line class. The Eagles have needs at defensive end and defensive tackle.

I think there will be some overlapping here and it’s a little harder because free agency obviously comes before the draft, but if I have to put them into categories, here’s my best guess:

Free agency: Receiver, linebacker, running back

Draft: Defensive end, defensive tackle, offensive tackle

The Eagles have tried to find speed in free agency over the past couple years, so there’s a pattern there. I think there’s a chance they’ll sign a running back and draft one, so I could have put that in either. I haven’t liked a lot of what I’ve seen from this linebacker draft class, so maybe they sign one, although that position has been devalued in recent years.

As for the draft, I got into it above, but I think they leave with linemen this year. I think that has to be one of their goals too.

Well, this is hard to answer because it would depend on the specific players. The idea of getting Le’Veon Bell is intriguing, but I don’t think that’s likely. And the idea of the Eagles drafting a running back at No. 25 is similarly unlikely.

So, as boring as this answer is, I think the result falls somewhere in between. Maybe the Eagles use one of their two second round picks on a running back and sign a guy like Tevin Coleman. Or maybe they get a guy like Mark Ingram and then draft a Ryquell Armstead or Rodney Anderson in the fourth round. I think either of those two scenarios are more likely.

I just lumped these two together because they’re both about running backs in the draft. I agree with the first tweet that Jacobs is going to be gone by the time the Eagles draft in the second round. Heck, he could be gone before they pick at 25.

I don’t think it’s crazy to think the Eagles might draft a running back in the second round this year. They haven’t done that since 2009, when they took LeSean McCoy. That was 10 years ago and it was also with pick No. 53, which they have thanks to the Ravens this season. The Eagles will really need to be in love with any running back they take in the second round. In a recent seven-round Eagles mock draft, I had them taking David Montgomery in the second round. I like him a lot.

Singletary could be in the mix for one of those second-round picks, but the Eagles have been burned just a couple years ago by taking a prolific but undersized prospect. My problem with Singletary is he wasn’t asked to catch the ball much at Florida Atlantic. That’s an important piece of playing RB in the Eagles’ offense, so I’d need to know he can do it.

Love is a tough one to figure out. Obviously, the medical checks at the combine will be important to see how he’s recovering from the ACL tear.

As for Anderson, he’s another guy with durability issues. As a player, I actually really like him. His 2017 season was really impressive. I’ve actually been watching Anderson since his high school days. Back then, I was living in Houston and he was going to Katy High School in the suburbs. He could be a low-risk, high-reward option in the fifth round area.

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