Hold the phone!
The Eagles went out and signed a linebacker. Pigs are flying over the Delaware Valley as we speak.
Confirmed by the Birds, Mike Garafolo reported a one-year, $3.25 million deal for Eric Wilson, the former Minnesota Viking:
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) April 7, 2021
Wilson is pretty damn good, to answer the question in the article’s headline. He’s only 26 years old and last year was his only season as a Minnesota starter, which was a result of covering for the injured Anthony Barr. It’s kind of a funky free agency period, because of the pandemic and salary cap, which is why Wilson was available on April 7th.
He’s viewed as a guy who is good in coverage, which will make the (admittedly large) anti-Nate Gerry contingent of the fan base very happy. But he’s lacking a bit in run stoppage:
New #Eagles LB Eric Wilson had 122 tackles (60 assisted – 3rd most in league), he was PFF’s 27th highest graded LB in coverage (65.5) but was 85th/99 against run (38.3). Eagles desperately needed a LB who can cover, they got one in Wilson pic.twitter.com/jLzvJX0Yql
— Chris Infante (@Infante54) April 7, 2021
He’ll be a starter on this defense. High motor guy. Stands 6’1″ and plays at 230. He was an undrafted player out of Cincinnati and was first-team AAC in 2016.
He’s “flying around” out there:
Eric Wilson signing is a great move by the #Eagles!
Has played every LB spot in this Vikings defense over last few seasons… Most a SAM down on LOS. Good speed, read/react with thick core that can battle/absorb contact
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) April 7, 2021
Wilson joins a linebacker group that includes Alex Singleton, Davion Taylor, T.J. Edwards, Shaun Bradley, and two guys in Rashad Smith and Joe Bachie that we know nothing about. He worked with Eagles linebacker coach Nick Rallis, who was his assistant position coach out in Minneapolis. Defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon was also there, working under Mike Zimmer during Wilson’s rookie year, so there’s familiarity with two guys now on the Birds’ staff.
But yeah, really nice move. This guy is young, with upside. They got him on a one-year deal during a transitional/rebuild moment, so they can test the waters without being stuck in a long-term commitment. Nice job by Howie Roseman.