While the Philadelphia Eagles are not expected to make the playoff this season, their offensive line was supposed to be one of the bright spots for a team that is attempting to recover from Chip Kelly’s failed regime. They signed former Houston Texans guard Brandon Brooks in free agency, and the team was looking forward to a new offense that was different than Kelly’s up-tempo style. Offensive tackle Lane Johnson has appealed his 10-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, but it appears as though he is not going to win the ruling.
Without Johnson anchoring the offensive line, the Eagles are, once again, going to struggle to run the football and protect quarterback Sam Bradford. Additionally, Jason Peters, who is now 34-years-old, has been extremely prone to injuries over the past few years, and there is a good chance that he has to miss time this year.
Report: Will Beatty worked out for Jaguars, spoke to Eagles https://t.co/POyRTB4vyx— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 14, 2016
In order to improve the line until Johnson is eligible to return, the Eagles have reportedly reached out to former New York Giants offensive lineman Will Beatty, per NJ Advance Media. While Beatty had been a solid contributor for the Giants in the past, he has also had his fair share of injuries over the past few seasons.
In 2014, he broke his leg, but he still managed to play in every game. Last year, he suffered a torn pectoral and missed the entire 2015-2016 season. While he is apparently healed and healthy, there are still question marks regarding his future. At 31-years-old, Beatty is not too old for an offensive lineman, but the recent injuries are a concern for a team that needs stability at the position.
NJ Advance Media notes that losing Johnson could cause additional problems if Peters has to miss any time.
“Losing Johnson would be problematic on both fronts as the right tackle is also the team’s primary option to replace Jason Peters at left tackle. Peters missed nearly two weeks of practice and Thursday’s game due to a quad injury and sat out two games last season, with Johnson taking his place along the offensive line. Beatty, 31, missed all of last season with a torn pectoral and was released by the Giants earlier this year. Saturday evening’s report that the Eagles reached out to Beatty is the first tangible evidence that the team is actively pursuing other options to solidify the offensive line with the likelihood that Johnson could miss more than half of the season.”
In addition to the Eagles, the Jacksonville Jaguars have also been in contact with Beatty, as ProFootballTalk reports. They have offered him a contract, but he is still mulling over his options since there are likely to be offers from other teams, including the Eagles.
With Carson Wentz not expected to play much this season, it is being viewed as a transition year. New Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is in his first season running an NFL team, so there are going to be growing pains. Regardless, it is important that the offensive line is at least somewhat competent.
Eagles reportedly talked to OT Will Beatty https://t.co/hmoaXAMceI— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) August 14, 2016
Bradford, who is no stranger to injuries himself, needs a line that can protect him. While he managed to remain healthy for much of the season last year, he is always one hit away from missing numerous games. Bradford is not in the team’s long-term future, but it is important that he plays well this season. The Eagles traded a lot in order to move up to the No. 2 overall pick in order to select Wentz, so it would be in their best interest if Bradford played well enough to be traded after this season.
With the start of the Eagles’ 2016 season only a few weeks away, rumors will continue to come out regarding the possible replacements for Lane Johnson on the offensive line. Will Beatty is currently the most likely option, but it is all going to come down to whether or not he prefers the Eagles or the Jaguars.
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