In this series, we’ll take a look at new additions to the 2019 Philadelphia Eagles team as they work their way through Training Camp and the Preseason. Whether they’re totally new players or old friends, we’ll let you know what to expect from each of these players. Each player will also receive a grade based on their most recent production, injury history, projected production, and the value the Eagles signed them for. Last week we discussed DeSean Jackson's reunion with the team. Let’s dive in to this week's player with former Washington Redskins linebacker Zach Brown.
Back in May, the Eagles signed Brown to a one year deal worth up to $3 million. Brown is a versatile linebacker, so it’s yet to be seen how the Eagles and defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz will utilize him. However, like Nigel Bradham, it’s already clear Schwartz is terrific at assisting underrated linebackers in reaching their potential.
Brown is 29 years old and about to enter his seventh season in the NFL, but he can’t seem to find a long term deal with a team. Despite garnering second-team All-Pro honors with the Buffalo Bills in 2016, and trailing only Bobby Wagner and Luke Kuechly in Pro Football Focus grades in 2018 with the Washington Redskins, both teams opted to not bring back Brown.
Then, he had to wait until May for the Eagles to sign him to a one-year deal. Why?
It could be that teams are simply just not valuing linebackers as much as they used to — partly because the pass game is such a massive part of football nowadays. One could argue this should only make Brown more valuable considering he was a top graded coverage linebacker in 2018, but I digress.
Eagles fans can expect Brown to have an above average season. That will be refreshing to the fans of Philadelphia after Jordan Hicks’ short stint here that left something to be desired. Hicks’ career was off to a fast start, but injuries hampered the young linebacker, and he was never able to get back to the turnover machine he started out as.
Brown will have to keep up with Evan Engram, Jimmy Graham, and Kyle Rudolph, among other talented tight ends the Eagles are set to face in 2019 to be recognized as one of the best in the business. Eagles fans can expect Brown to handle his coverage assignments, lead the team in total tackles, and create a few turnovers in the process.
Signing Grade: 8/10
Next Wednesday, we move away from the NFL vets, and take a look at what rookie wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside might be bringing to the Birds in 2019.
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