4 Philadelphia Eagles in line for bigger roles in 2018 after first wave of free agency
Mack Hollins #10 of the Philadelphia Eagles reacts after completing a pass for a first down against the San Francisco 49ers in the second quarter against the San Francisco 49ers during their game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 29, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
The moves the Philadelphia Eagles have made in free agency seem to fall into two camps: One is adding players to the roster to help the organization; the other is moving on to let younger players on the roster step up. With the first wave of free agency over, it’s becoming a little clearer which players on the Eagles roster have the chance to step up and earn increased roles in 2018. Here’s four of them — all of whom were rookies in 2017.
Derek Barnett #96 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates recovering a fumble during the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
2017 stats: 21 tackles, 5.0 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries
Why: The Eagles cut Vinny Curry, who signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Though the Eagles traded for Pro Bowler Michael Bennett before they cut Curry, Barnett still seems to be in line for a more significant role this fall. Bennett figures to slot in as more of a pass rush specialist, while the Eagles drafted Barnett in the first round last year to be an every-down defensive end. Curry was solid last season, and while he didn’t perform up to his hefty contract, he still leaves some big shoes for Barnett to fill on the defensive line.