The starting 11 on both sides of the ball is essentially set for the Philadelphia Eagles. Offensively, we can pinpoint every starter with relative ease. It’s the depth behind the starters that remains a bit of a question mark.
No offensive position has as many depth questions as tight end. Dallas Goedert is a beast and primed for a breakout campaign with this being the first year he’ll enter the season as the unquestioned TE1. Behind him, we really have no idea how the tight end depth chart is going to shake out.
Last season, the Eagles ran 12 personnel (two tight ends) 25 percent of the time, according to Sharp Football Stats. It’s clearly a point of emphasis for Nick Sirianni and Shane Steichen. Even after Zach Ertz was dealt midseason, the team remained steadfast with their two tight end approach.
As of right now, the team has a lot of youth in their tight end room but they lack experience. Jack Stoll, Tyree Jackson, and Grant Calcaterra are all 24 years old or younger. Stoll is entering his second year as an undrafted free agent in 2021, Jackson is currently injured and still relatively new to the position, and Calcaterra is a sixth-round rookie. Oh, and I guess we should mention J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, who officially switched from wideout to tight end this year. Frankly, I would be shocked if he ended up making the final roster this year.
The main trio of backups — Stoll, Jackson, and Calcaterra — all have potential, but it may behoove Howie Roseman to go out and find a veteran to complement the young corps. There are still a few notable tight ends on the open market. Eric Ebron, Kyle Rudolph, Jesse James, and Blake Jarwin headline the remaining tight ends. According to the NFLPA Public Salary Cap Report, the Eagles are working with about $7 million in cap space at the moment. That would be enough to sign one of these veterans to a one-year deal.
At the end of the day, it really all depends on how much value the team places in the backup tight end positions. They seemed perfectly fine with using Stoll primarily as a blocker last year. Maybe that’s how they envision the TE2 role functioning this year as well. With all the additions at wideout, it would make sense for Sirianni and Steichen to get as many of them involved as possible. Which obviously means we’ll see more three or four wide receiver sets.
It would be safe to assume the Eagles are done signing players at this stage of the offseason with training camp just under a month away now. But if the front office does dip their toes back into the market, don’t be surprised if it’s for a veteran tight end.
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