Philadelphia Eagles: Does a Bennie Logan reunion make sense?

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

With Timmy Jernigan set to test the market, should the Philadelphia Eagles pursue a reunion with former third-round defensive tackle Bennie Logan?

In 2016, the Philadelphia Eagles had the best defensive tackle twosome in the NFL.

With Fletcher Cox on the left and newly acquired ex-Baltimore Raven Timmy Jernigan on the right, Jim Schwartz‘s defensive front dominated in the trenches in route to a darn near generational front seven, but it seemingly was unsustainable.

A few months removed from the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory, the team’s prolific depth started to chip away, with Beau Allen and Vinny Curry taking their talents to Tampa Bay. But the additions of Michael Bennett, Haloti Ngata, and Chris Long‘s return seemingly made that point moot.

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However, that all changed on one fateful day in May, when it was announced that Jernigan had injured his back and would be out for 8-10 months following surgery.

Just like that, teams were able to double team Cox with multiple interior linemen, and the Eagles’ defensive dominance began to falter.

Sure, Jernigan was eventually able to rebound and make his way back to the field, but it was too little too late. The Eagles were able to go 2-1 with Jernigan on the field but faltered against the New Orleans Saints in the divisional round of the 2019 NFL playoffs.

Fast forward to present day, and Jernigan is officially a free agent, as the Eagles opted against his $11 million option.

On paper, the move made sense, as Jernigan’s injury seriously derailed the team’s 2018 season, and his cap hit was simply outrageous for a team’s second defensive end, but in doing so, the team’s front seven took a major hit.

Either through free agency or the draft, the Eagles are going to have to replace Jernigan’s snaps and production somehow, but is there a way to have their cake and eat it too?

Totally, just re-sign Bennie Logan.

For those out of the loop, Logan was the Eagles’ defensive tackle from 2013-16, earning 51 starts in 59 appearances. A perfect fit for Chip Kelly, or should I say Billy Davis‘ 3-4 scheme, Logan played very well against the run, despite being one of the smaller nose tackles in the game (6-foot-2, 315), and looked like a franchise-caliber player.

However, when Doug Pederson and Jim Schwartz came to town, Logan’s deficiencies as a pass rusher became more pronounced.

Sure, Logan set a personal record for sacks at 2.5, a high water mark that still stands, but that simply wasn’t the kind of production that earns a player an $8 million a year payday in an attacking 4-3 scheme.

With Logan set to test the open market, the Eagles instead opted to trade their third round pick to the Baltimore Ravens for Jernigan and a third-round pick, a move that paid off very well.

From there, Logan bounced around the league, signing a one-year, $8 million deal with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2017, and another one-year, $4 million with the Tennessee Titans in 2018.

Was Logan ever bad? No, but both of his post-Eagles stints were incredibly unremarkable, resulting in consecutive trips to the open market without a long-term deal.

Forcefully labeled the league’s dirtiest word, journeyman, Logan’s career is rapidly approaching a crossroads; sure, he could accept $1 million deal after $1 million deal and bounce around the league for the next half decade, but if he wants to find a home to finish out his league, the 29-year-old needs to put together a solid season.

Philly can afford him that opportunity.

With no true answer for Jernigan on the roster, Logan would instantly become the Eagles’ second starting defensive tackle, reuniting with Cox in the middle.

Now granted, that wouldn’t be an ideal situation for the Eagles, as a Logan-Cox tandem wasn’t particularly effective in 2017, but if Bennie were instead slotted in as the team’s first tackle off the bench, then that’s a whole different story.

That could be dangerous.

With pretty much every draft expert mocking a defensive tackle to the Birds, either Houston‘s Ed Oliver, or one of the Clemson Tigers‘ terrible twosome (Dexter Lawrence, and Christian Wilkins), they really don’t need to invest big money into a free agent addition, like, say, Ndamukong Suh, when they could secure Jernigan’s eventual heir on a cost-controlled contract for the next five years.

Logan, on the other hand, should only command a contract in the $2 million range, and may even accept a prove it, veteran-minimum deal to join a playoff-bound team.

At the very least, Logan could be viewed as a legitimate upgrade over Haloti Ngata, and give the Eagles a longterm swing player capable of logging quality snaps either as a starter or in a reserve role, a major boon for a team potentially adding an untested talent in the first round.

Ultimately, whether Bennie Logan decides to return to the City of Brotherly Love will come down to price, and his relationship with the team. If Howie Roseman views Logan as a top-50 tackles, whose presence could free the team to go best-player-available in the first round, then by all means a reunion could, and should be in order, but if a tackle-hungry team wants to give the LSU product a legitimate chance to earn a starting role in a 3-4 scheme, then the Philadelphia Eagles may look less enticing.

Thomas Davis is a perfect veteran linebacker addition. dark. Next

Either way, if you’ve been hoarding a number 96 jersey in your closet (not belonging to Derek Barnett), you may be in luck, as the (now) annual Bennie Logan sweepstakes will soon be upon us. Will he return to Philadelphia, with Vinny Curry potentially in tow? Only time will tell, but boy, what a sight that would be.