It's no question that the Eagles linebackers are the worst position group on the team. That position got even weaker this afternoon, as the Eagles announced that free-agent signing Jatavis Brown is retiring at the age of 26.
Since there isn't a whole lot of depth at the position, Brown had the potential to be one of the team's three starting linebackers this season. With him now out of the picture, it appears that Duke Riley will now be a starter along with Nate Gerry and T.J. Edwards.
Riley was acquired early in the 2019 season from the Atlanta Falcons. Mainly a special teams ace, Riley flourished in the limited opportunities he had on the Eagles defense. He'll now have a full season to prove that he can be a full-time starter for the Birds.
The departure of Brown also means that the Eagles will likely have to rely on both of their rookie linebackers being able to produce and rotate into the lineup. Third-round pick Davion Taylor will now be slated behind Duke Riley to start training camp, and sixth-round pick Shaun Bradley will provide depth behind Nate Gerry and Alex Singleton.
As they enter the 2020 campaign the Eagles linebackers won't have a veteran or superstar to rally around like they have in years past with Nigel Bradham. Alex Singleton will be the team's oldest linebacker this season, and he is just 26 years old.
Still, with all of that youth there is bound to be one who will step up this season and be the vocal leader that Jim Schwartz will need for this defense.