Eagles

Eagles

Reuben Frank, Dave Zangaro and Andrew Kulp continue the 2019 edition of Stay or Go, trying to figure out the future of the Eagles.

Today, they’ll look at the specialists. 

Jake Elliott

Roob: The PAT miss in Dallas was brutal, but Elliott is very good — 86 percent on field goal attempts in his career (13th highest all-time), perfect in the postseason (8 for 8), an NFL all-time-best 22 for 24 in his career from 40 to 49 yards (91 percent) and 19 for 21 in the fourth quarter (91 percent), eighth best all-time. 

Verdict: Stays

Dave: Elliott is an exclusive rights free agent, which means he can’t negotiate with other teams. If the Eagles tender him, he doesn’t have anywhere else to go, so once he signs the tender, he’ll have a one-year deal at a minimum salary or the Eagles can just sign him to a different deal. That stuff is boring and it doesn’t really matter. Just know he isn’t going anywhere. Elliott has been pretty good in his two years in Philly and has made all eight of his postseason field goals. He seems to be clutch. 

Verdict: Stays

Kulp: Percentages-wise, Elliott is roughly league average on field goals and extra points. The misses inside 40 yards are frustrating, but he’s been a weapon from distance and in clutch situations. Elliott is an exclusive rights free agent, too, which pretty much means the Eagles can pay him peanuts for another year. This is not the time to get cute and look elsewhere.

 

Verdict: Stays

Cameron Johnston

Roob: The Eagles lost the greatest punter in franchise history and may have landed one that’s even better. Never thought I’d say that, but Johnston averaged a franchise-record 48.2 yards per punt this year, the 22nd-highest average in NFL history, and although he wasn’t technically a rookie, his average was fourth-highest ever by a punter 26 or younger. The Eagles are lucky to have him.

Verdict: Stays

Dave: It wasn’t technically his rookie season, but Johnston was great as a first-year player. He had a gross punting average of 48.1 and a net of 42.7 in 2018 — both were single-season franchise records. And he also got better with directional punts. He’s under contract. 

Verdict: Stays 

Kulp: He needs to improve his directional kicking, for sure, yet there was a lot to like about Johnston’s first season. Finished third in the NFL with a 48.1 average per punt and tied for third with a 42.7 net average. He also tied for second with seven touchbacks and had the fewest punts of the eight players with six or more, so there’s work to be done. Still a strong debut overall.

Verdict: Stays

Rick Lovato

Roob: There aren’t any stats for long snappers, but Lovato seems to get the ball there just fine, so he must be doing a good job. Lovato is following a legend in Jon Dorenbos, but he’s done a nice job since replacing Dorenbos late in the 2016 season and there’s certainly no reason to change now.

Verdict: Stays

Dave: Lovato is a restricted free agent, but there won’t be a ton of teams banging down the door. And he really …  you know … long-snapped well in 2018. 

Verdict: Stays 

Kulp: Lovato is a restricted free agent, though I’m not sure what the alternative is here. He’s been getting the job done the last two seasons and built a rapport with the kickers. He’s 26. Long snappers tend not to move around a lot, and the pay sort of is what it is, usually maxing out around $1 million per year for the established guys. No real reason to expect any change.

Verdict: Stays

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