The Philadelphia Eagles have struggled with consistency this season. But with the Dallas Cowboys losing Sunday night to the Vikings, they are still in the thick of the playoff hunt in the NFC East. However, while the immediate season is the priority, teams do like to secure players for the future when they can.
The Eagles have locked up one vital piece of the puzzle for the immediate future—offensive lineman Brandon Brooks.
Since joining the Eagles in 2016, Brooks has been a key member of one of the best offensive lines in the NFL (often considered the best according to ProFootballFocus). But then all the hard work was almost derailed last January when he went down with a torn Achilles against the Saints.
A torn Achilles often takes upwards of a year to recover from. But Brooks was back on the field for the start of the season. Since then, he has been the best right guard in the game. He has played in 629 offensive plays this season, committed one penalty, and has yet to allow a sack.
Entering Week 10, ProFootballFocus had him graded as the No. 1 offensive lineman in the league. He is on track to become the fourth highest-rated guard in PFF history. With a PFF grade of 96.6 against the Bears, he became the first offensive lineman with a grade in the 90s this season.
So, it makes sense that the Eagles decided to extend him with a four-year extension worth $56.2 million and $30 million guaranteed. He is now the highest-paid guard in the NFL.
Brooks was humble when asked about the extension, via the team’s official website:
I’m blessed. After my first couple of weeks here when the Eagles signed me (in 2016), I knew I didn’t want to go anywhere else. I’m honored that the organization extended me early, with a year to go on my contract. I don’t know, man. I’m kind of speechless at this point.
If you look at the grades, the lack of penalties, and how well he has protected Carson Wentz (if he could only protect him from gossip as well as he does defensive linemen), it would seem that the answer is an obvious ‘yes.’ Many fans on Twitter would agree with most posting comments like ‘best lineman in the league,‘ ‘well deserved,’ and ‘deserves every penny of it, best OL in the league.’
But he is 30 years old. This year is his eighth season in the NFL. Data has shown that NFL players in general start to decline if they already haven’t when they hit 30. The peak age for an offensive lineman—28. The chances are good that the Eagles have already seen his best years.
Does Brooks deserve a healthy pay raise? Absolutely. He has been one of the best in the business since signing with the Eagles. However, contracts are not a reflection of what a player has done. They are meant to be a reflection of what a player is going to do.
Eagles fans can only hope that Brandon Brooks proves the team’s faith in him is well-deserved over the next few seasons. He could be the exception to the rule, the ‘Tom Brady’ of the offensive line. But it is more likely that the Eagles are going to come to regret this contract.
Last modified: September 23, 2020 1:15 PM