Philadelphia Eagles: Letting Stefen Wisniewski walk is a $3 million mistake

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

While $3 million is a lot of money to pay a backup lineman, the Philadelphia Eagles look foolish for declining Stefen Wisniewski’s 2019 option.

What is the value of peace of mind? For the Philadelphia Eagles, that number is apparently less than $3 million.

$3 million was the value of reserve swingman Stefen Wisniewski‘s 2019 team option, which the Eagles officially declined on March 11th.

On paper, the decision makes some sense.

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While Wisniewski appeared in 51 games over his Eagles tenure, Isaac Seumalo‘s recent extension all but guaranteed that he’d be a backup once more and I guess Howie Roseman just couldn’t justify keeping the Super Bowl champion around for one more season.

However, just because a player isn’t a starter doesn’t mean they can’t still provide value to a team.

Far from it, in fact.

Wisniewski may be a mediocre starter by any measurable statistic, but his versatility and experience will undoubtedly earn him a contract by the start of training camp.

With 40 career starts at guard, and 61 starts at center, Wisniewski is the kind of fringe swingman every team in the league would like to employ. Why? Because a team can only have 46 players active on game day. With a player like Wisniewski on the roster, a team can keep one less lineman active on gameday, and instead deploy a special teams ace, a return man, or an additional offensive weapon.

So not only does Wisniewski provide value if his number is called, either at guard or center, but he also adds additional value on gameday due to his versatility, a sneaky smart value for a wise team builder.

With Wiz now on the open market, presumably looking for a new home, the Eagles’ offensive line prospects are suspect to be polite.

After Jason Peterscontract extension, the Eagles still have their starting five in place, which is among the best in the league, but on the bench, they don’t really have much to write home about.

Sure, they still have Halapoulivaati Vaitai, and everyone’s favorite former Rugby star Jordan Mailata on the bench, but presently the Eagles don’t have a backup center on their roster and only one guard in now-second year TCU product Matt Pryor, a situation that clearly needs to change.

Will the Eagles now look to procure an offensive lineman in the first round, especially after locking defensive tackle Malik Jackson into a three-year, $30 million deal? Oklahoma‘s Cody Ford and Texas A&M Erik McCoy could very much be in play at 26, but are either going to be the best player available if players like Ed Oliver, Parris Campbell, or even Philly’s own Nasir Adderley are still on the board?


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No, by moving on from Stefen Wisniewski without a clear backup plan in place, either in free agency or on their roster, Howie Roseman has effectively hamstrung the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive depth for a fourth of what Brandon Graham will make this season. A questionable move hidden among a number of flashy, high-profile moves to procure Desean Jackson and Malik Jackson.