EAGLES

Eagles add playmaking linebacker Eric Wilson from Vikings

EAGLES

The Eagles have agreed to contract terms with playmaking Vikings free agent linebacker Eric Wilson, the team announced Wednesday.

According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, Wilson agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $3.25 million.

Wilson spent his first four NFL seasons with the Vikings, and new Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon was on Mike Zimmer’s staff Wilson’s rookie year before joining Frank Reich’s staff in Indianapolis, and Nick Rallis, the Eagles’ new linebackers coach, was on Zimmer’s staff the last three years as assistant linebackers coach.

Wilson started four games in 2018 and six in 2019 but last year was his first as a full-time starter, and he had three interceptions, two fumble recoveries, three sacks, eight tackles for loss, nine quarterback hits and 122 tackles.

Wilson and Steelers cornerback Mike Hilton were the only NFL players last year to record three INTs and three sacks.

For the sake of comparison, the only Eagles linebackers who've ever had three sacks and three INTs in a season are Seth Joyner three times from 1988 through 1992, William Thomas in  1996 and Mychal Kendricks in 2013.

Getting a talent like Wilson at a modest $3.25 million is a strong move for the Eagles and a sign that perhaps with Gannon on board the Eagles are finally going to start taking the linebacker position seriously.

Before adding Wilson, the Eagles were only spending about $5.1 million in 2021 cap space on all their linebackers combined.

And they haven’t drafted a linebacker in the first two rounds since Kendricks in 2012. 

 

The 26-year-old Wilson stands 6-foot-1, 230 pounds and joins an Eagles linebacker corps that has very little in terms of experience beyond undrafted Alex Singleton, who made his first 11 career starts last year, and undrafted T.J. Edwards, who started 12 games last year.

Wilson, like Singleton and Edwards, entered the league as an undrafted rookie. He began his college career at Northwestern before transferring to Cincinnati.

Gone from last year’s linebacker corps are Duke Riley (569 defensive snaps) and Nate Gerry (479 snaps). Riley is now with the Dolphins and Gerry with the 49ers.

The Eagles are also expected to work Genard Avery into the linebacker mix in some way during the preseason.

Other linebackers on the roster are 2020 3rd-round pick Davion Taylor, 2020 6th-round pick Shaun Bradley and street free agents Joe Bachie and Rashad Smith.

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