When Bennie Logan takes the field on Sunday afternoon at the Linc, it could be his last time doing so as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.
The defensive tackle, whom the Eagles took in the third round of the 2013 draft, will become a free agent this offseason. But he’s hoping for a return.
“I’ve been around here for four years,” Logan said on Thursday. “I have a connection with these guys. I enjoy playing next to Fletcher (Cox), Brandon Graham, Connor Barwin, just the relationships we have, man.
“Trying to start over and do something new, is something I’m not looking forward to. Because I enjoy being here, the city and everything. This is where I see myself at.”
Logan, 27, is finishing up the fourth and final year of his rookie contract that paid him just $1.66 million in base salary in 2016. After another solid season in 2016, Logan is in line for what should be a considerable pay raise.
While Logan won’t get involved in contract talks during the season so he can focus on football, he said he thinks his agent has had talks with the Eagles. Logan’s agent is CAA’s Todd France, who was able to negotiate Fletcher Cox’s mega deal this past offseason.
“That’s cool and everything, but I just enjoy playing football,” Logan said when asked about the money that’s coming his way. “I never looked into the money. That would be a good achievement and things like that, but I grew up having nothing, so the money thing would be good and everything but I just enjoy playing football and I enjoy playing next to the guys I’ve been playing with for four years.”
The Eagles have already invested a considerable amount of money in their defensive line and will be in a much tighter salary cap situation this offseason than normal. But Howie Roseman has continued to say the Eagles want Logan back.
He said it again on Nov. 18, the last time he spoke publicly.
“Bennie fits in that group as a fiber guy, as a guy that we drafted, great character, leadership and a really good player,” Roseman said. “We'd love to keep Bennie in Philly.
“In terms of the specifics in negotiations, we've always said we're going to kind of keep those. But certainly we have a tremendous amount of respect and appreciation for Bennie and would love to keep him in Philly.”
Logan is a unique player, in that he can play in a 4-3 or a 3-4 scheme. And on Thursday, he said he doesn’t have a preference. That could help to drive up his cost because the number of teams interested won’t be limited because of scheme.
Logan doesn’t have eye-popping stats as an interior defensive tackle. This season he has 31 tackles, four tackles for loss and 2 ½ sacks, but his impact has been felt, especially when the Eagles were without him for three games in the middle of the season.
While backup Beau Allen did an OK job filling in, the Eagles clearly lacked something without having Logan in the lineup.
Logan said he thinks he’s been “decent” this year, but was rusty when he returned from his injury. He admitted on Thursday that he still has plenty of room for improvement and he’s not one of the best defensive tackles in the league. Not yet anyway.
“I’m coming into being one of the best,” he said. “I’m not quite there yet. I still have some development to do and things I need to work on in the offseason. But I think, in a year or so, I’ll be there.”
The question is, will he be here?