After Brandon Brooks announced his retirement earlier this offseason, it seemed like veteran Isaac Seumalo would be the first in line to fill his shoes. While that’s still a real possibility, so is moving him.
Seumalo is entering his seventh year in the NFL. For the most part, he’s been a very serviceable offensive lineman and has shown the versatility to play every position along the interior. But he’s had trouble staying healthy essentially his entire career. Seumalo has only started a full season once in his career, 2019. Since then, he’s dealt with two pretty significant injuries: An MCL sprain in 2020 that held him out for seven games, and a Lisfranc foot injury that required season-ending surgery this past season.
Not to mention, Seumalo will carry a pretty hefty cap hit for the 2022 season. He’s set to account for approximately $7.6M against the cap, the third highest cap hit along the offensive line behind Lane Johnson (~$15M) and Jason Kelce (~$8M), according to Spotrac.
If Seumalo is cut after June 1, the Eagles will save about $5M in cap space while incurring a dead cap hit of approximately $2M this year and $3M next year. At the moment, it doesn’t appear that Howie Roseman and his Eagles front office are on the cusp of anymore moves, but that can change in a heartbeat. If something does come up like, say, a trade for Bengals safety Jessie Bates, cutting Seumalo (or even including him in that trade) could be on the table.
Seumalo got off to a great start last season, posting his highest Pro Football Focus grade to date with a 74.8 mark and an 82.9 grade in pass blocking. However, the Eagles offensive line didn’t really miss a beat once Seumalo was sidelined. From Week 5 to 12, Jack Driscoll manned the right guard spot and held his own there. On 293 pass blocking snaps in 2021, Driscoll only allowed one sack and three quarterback hits.
Driscoll and Seumalo are pretty comparable from a skill set standpoint, but one is only 25 and the other will turn 29 in October. Plus, Driscoll will only account for a hair over $1M against the cap this season.
Now, Driscoll is no stranger to injuries either. He wasn’t able to finish last year after suffering a high ankle sprain against the Giants in Week 12. The team still has depth behind Driscoll with Sua Opeta, who played fine in Driscoll’s absence, but one of the most valuable assets the Eagles have along their offensive line is their depth. They run three deep at nearly every position.
Maybe keeping Seumalo just to ensure the Eagles retain their offensive line depth is the smart move here. But, as we know, Howie is always looking to save cap where he can and Driscoll probably has a higher ceiling moving forward. It’s not a foregone conclusion just yet, but don’t be shocked if by Week 1, Seumalo is playing elsewhere.