It might be time to scratch Micah Parsons’ name off the draft board. The Philadelphia Eagles signed linebacker Eric Wilson to a one-year contract on Wednesday, the team announced.
The deal is worth up to $3.25 million (via NFL Network) and immediately upgrades one of the worst linebacking corps in the NFL. Wilson, undrafted out of Cincinnati in 2017, slides into the starting middle backer role in Philadelphia. The 26-year-old recorded 122 total tackles in 2020 (13th-best in the league) and ranked among the top-20 players at this position (via Pro Football Focus), including the 27th-best linebacker in coverage.
Wilson filled in admirably for injured Vikings starter Anthony Barr but became expendable as the four-time Pro Bowl linebacker is expected to return in 2021. Wilson started 15 games last year for Minnesota and tallied the third-most assisted tackles (60) in the NFL. He has 234 combined tackles (18 for loss) in 64 games, plus eight sacks and three interceptions along with two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
Eric Wilson in 2020:
• 122 Tackles
• 3 INTs, 8 PDs, 1 FF & 2 FRs
• 3 Sacks, 9 QB Hits & 8 TFLs
• Played 96.28% of defensive snaps
He’s improved every year since being drafted, has a nose for the football & played under DC J. Gannon in 2017.
— James Nagle (@NagleNFL) April 7, 2021
More importantly, the Cleveland native earned the respect and admiration of his teammates. He has been called an incredibly smart kid who studies hard in the film room. He should challenge T.J. Edwards for the starting middle linebacker job, with Alex Singleton, Shaun Bradley, Davion Taylor, Genard Avery fighting to fill out the Eagles’ depth chart.
“E-Wil is a beast, man. The guy is a mental beast,” linebacker Eric Kendricks said, via the Vikings’ website. “He’s mentally capable of handling this game in all of its capacity. He’s a physical beast. As far as the weight room, he’s fast and he can hit anybody. And he has the football IQ. He does things with his instincts sometimes where he makes those reactions. He can do it all.”
Eric Wilson intercepts Russ with 5:45 remaining! #SKOL
— NFL (@NFL) October 12, 2020
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Eagles Re-Sign Power Runner Jordan Howard
The Eagles also announced that running back Jordan Howard would be returning in 2021. The one-time Pro Bowler rushed for 27 yards on seven carries in 2020 after re-joining the Philly practice squad on Nov. 23. He was brought in to be the short-yardage back to Miles Sanders but never got into a rhythm. Howard brings oodles of experience to Nick Sirianni’s team: 3,955 rushing yards, 36 total touchdowns in six professional seasons.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) April 7, 2021
Nate Sudfeld Inks Deal with San Francisco
The Eagles are officially looking for a third-string quarterback after Nate Sudfeld inked a one-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers. The 27-year-old attempted only 37 passes in three seasons in Philadelphia, most notably going 5-of-12 for 32 yards and an interception in last year’s controversial season finale. The Eagles were trailing 17-14 when Sudfeld replaced starter Jalen Hurts.
“Yes, I was coaching to win, yes that was my decision solely,” former head coach Doug Pederson said at the time. “Nate has obviously been here for four years and I felt that he deserved an opportunity to get some snaps.”
I don’t know what the story is here but Jeffrey Lurie is rocking a Nate Sudfeld jersey. pic.twitter.com/5Nb72vSW4h
— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) June 1, 2018
Sudfeld leaves town with a career quarterback rating of 77.3. He threw for 188 yards and a touchdown in four games while winning high praise from team owner Jeffrey Lurie over the years. The Eagles let him walk in free agency back in March, fueling rumors that the franchise might take a developmental quarterback in the later rounds of this year’s draft. Stay tuned.