PHILADELPHIA - Days after he was a healthy scratch in Detroit the Eagles moved on from veteran linebacker Eric Wilson.
The athletic but undersized Wilson had signed a one-year, $2.75M deal with Philadelphia back in March with the idea that he’d be the team’s three-down linebacker in what Jeffrey Lurie labeled a transition year.
The University of Cincinnati product had developed a reputation in Minnesota as a playmaker in coverage who had issues in run support. The latter turned out to be true over his seven games with the Eagles and the former couldn't make up for those deficiencies.
Wilson played 85 percent of the snaps in the season opener against the Falcons, and his playing time decreased steadily from there.
By Oct. 10 in Carolina, defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon went to a more rotational look at LB, utilizing T.J. Edwards and Davion Taylor during perceived run downs while allowing Alex Singleton and Wilson some time in obvious passing situations.
It became clear that Wilson, however, was No. 4 on the list with Edwards taking the majority of the snaps in a 44-6 drubbing of the Lions last week. Taylor, a second-year player with extraordinary athleticism, is a player the Eagles want to develop and Singleton remains perhaps the Eagles' most complete LB.
With Wilson not having a role in the regular defense, special teams became more important and head coach Nick Sirianni noted that Singleton is the ST captain and lauded second-year player Shaun Bradley for his work on Michael Clay's coverage units.
“We had some guys with Davion developing and doing some good things, we wanted to give him more playing time,” Sirianni said. “On special teams, when it comes to the backup linebackers, they are such an important part of special teams. Not that Eric didn’t play well on special teams or do his job when he was practicing special teams, but Shaun has really flourished on special teams.”
Wilson ended playing seven games and starting two for the Eagles. He had 43 tackles (18 solos) with an interception and a pass breakup.
The Eagles have an opening on the roster now, with a couple of candidates who could potentially fill that spot in tight end Tyree Jackson and running back Jordan Howard.
-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on both PhillyVoice.com and YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.