Lost in the shuffle of Thursday’s Nigel Bradham and Haloti Ngata news was the introduction of linebacker Corey Nelson, probably the most curious and low-key of the Eagles’ early offseason additions.
The former Bronco joins on a one-year deal and was a key special teamer in Denver, appearing in 53 regular season and 4 playoff games. He recorded three special teams tackles in the 2015 Super Bowl win.
I thought the Eagles would have him playing that same role here, a guy who can be an ace on the third unit while providing some backup linebacker snaps ala Najee Goode or Joe Walker.
But when Nelson spoke to the media yesterday, that didn’t seem to be the case:
“First and foremost, the Broncos are a great organization. Nothing against them whatsoever. I just wanted to kind of break the mold of me being a second-string linebacker. I didn’t want to have that title. I kind of wanted to go out on a limb and show people that I can be a starter in this league and the Eagles gave me the opportunity to be able to compete, to work hard to try to earn that right.”
Nelson was asked what job he’s competing for:
“The WILL position. I’ll compete for that, and also on special teams as well.”
There ya go.
That’s Mychal Kendricks’ position, the weakside linebacker. Kendricks is due more than $7 million this season and Nigel Bradham just signed an $8 million per year deal, plus Jordan Hicks is coming back from injury. Makes you wonder if Kendricks goes back on the trade block this spring. He was excellent this year, finishing behind only Bradham with 77 tackles while adding two sacks, three tackles for loss, and six passes defended.
Nelson says he did a bit of everything in Denver, playing all three downs and covering tight ends and running backs. He says he heard from the Eagles on Monday when the NFL’s legal tampering window opened. Like Ngata, he’s coming off a torn biceps injury but describes himself as “ahead of schedule” in his recovery. His one-year deal is worth $2.25 million.
You can listen to Nelson’s first meeting with the media below:
Tune in now as Corey Nelson meets with the media. https://t.co/Zxv2phwdw2
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) March 15, 2018