Philadelphia Eagles: Should we start to worry about Jake Elliott?

(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

After missing a field goal in each of the last two games, should the Philadelphia Eagles be worried about their recently extended kicker Jake Elliott?

Jake Elliott is now a very rich man.

After earning $1.949 million over the first three years of his rookie contract (plus a little bit from the Cincinnati Bengals), Elliott agreed to a massive five-year, $21.8 million deal on the eve of the Philadelphia Eagles‘ Week 13 game against the Miami Dolphins.

And on paper, this deal made sense.

Through the first 12 weeks of the season, Elliott was kind of on a roll – hitting all 14 of his field goals and sinking 21-23 extra-point attempts. Elliott also routinely put the ball into the endzone on kickoffs, only allowing 16 returns on the season through September, October, and November combined for an average of 21.375 YPR.

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But for whatever reason – maybe his heavier pockets are effecting his leg speed? – Elliott has started to struggle during the final month of the decade.

In the Birds’ December contests against the Miami Dolphins and the New York Giants, Elliott has missed two absolutely crucial field goals.

Now to be fair, Elliott’s missed field goal against the Dolphins isn’t the reason the Eagles – that was a whole team effort. Those three points would have been nice, but in a six-point loss, a missed second-quarter field goal is small potatoes. Elliott’s miss against the Giants, however, almost cost the game.

Down by seven midway through the second quarter (again), Elliott missed a 47 yarder wide left to give the Giants good field position and an opportunity to put the game even further out of reach. They didn’t obviously, but they could have.

Had Elliott made that kick, the Eagles may have been able to win the game outright in regulation, as opposed to having to take it into overtime and rest their playoff hopes on the flip of a coin.

Brandon Graham even got in on the fun, calling out What’s his name for missing a field goal.

Again, a win is a win, but should we start to worry about Elliott ‘s long-term fitness as the Eagles’ kicker? And worse yet, was Howie Roseman‘s decision to make Elliott the third-highest paid kicker in the NFL a grave one?

Personally, I’m not ready to go there just yet, but it is a storyline worth monitoring moving forward.

Barring an even further collapse in his kicking percentage, Elliott still looks like a strong contender to represent the East in this year’s Pro Bowl against the likes of Green Bay‘s Mason Crosby and Minnesota‘s Dan Bailey. With a 90 percent field goal percentage, a 92.6 extra point percentage, and 45 touchbacks on the season, only two players, Baltimore’s Justin Tucker and Bailey, grade out better on the season.

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And hey, if Jake Elliott doesn’t pan out, the Philadelphia Eagles are only on the hook for $10.45 million guaranteed, which means they could cut him loose with a minimal penalty after the 2021 season – not an ideal outcome, but a comforting one if things go south.