5. Zach Cunningham, LB
An absolute stud at Vanderbilt, Zach Cunningham was a second-round pick for the Houston Texans in 2017. He burst onto the scene with 90 tackles as a rookie and proved to have a nose for the ball from their inside linebacker position. By his fourth year in the league, he was the top tackler in the NFL with 164. But then in 2021, he started to have troubles with the team.
Despite still putting up good numbers, Cunningham was released after 10 games by David Culley who had already benched him twice that year. This left him with 503 tackles in just under five years with the organization. He landed with the Tennessee Titans to close out the season and returned in 2022. Ahead of this past season, he was again let go and the Eagles came calling.
In need of linebacker depth, Cunningham proved to be a solid fit. He started 10 games while appearing in 13 and racked up 85 tackles. The only issue is that he had just two tackles for a loss and hardly made any splash plays. That’s one of the reasons they went after Shaq Leonard, which also wasn’t the answer.
Looking ahead, the Eagles will continue to search for a long-term option, and bringing back older players on an underperforming defense won’t be the way to go. That means Cunningham is likely out.