The Eagles announced today that they've signed linebacker Rashad Jeanty to a one-year deal.
Linebacker is probably the Eagles' most uncertain positional group, and there will likely be jobs to be won whenever the Birds prepare for the 2011 season.
Here are the linebackers currently listed on the roster: Stewart Bradley, Jamar Chaney, Keenan Clayton, Moise Fokou, Omar Gaither, Akeem Jordan, and Ernie Sims.
Of that group, Bradley, Gaither, Jordan and Sims are not under contract for next season. In other words, the Eagles have a lot of offseason decisions to make.
Chaney was a pleasant surprise after filling in for Bradley last season, but doesn't have a large enough body of work to be considered a sure thing.
Bradley's future is up in the air. Will he be back? Will be play in the middle? Will he be moved to the strong-side?
Clayton was active for seven regular-season games as a rookie. Fokou was OK, but not great, after taking over the strong-side position from Jordan. He was also the Eagles' leading special-teams tackler.
I'm not expecting either Gaither or Sims to be back. And Jordan is a tough call. He couldn't hold on to the strong-side job last year, and the Eagles kept Sims at the weak side instead of him. Jordan was a valuable contributor on special teams though.
As for Jeanty, he played the strong side in Cincinnati, but fractured his fibula during the Bengals' playoff game against the Jets in January of 2010. He didn't play at all last season after the Bengals released him in August, and there was some controversy around their decision.
Jeanty's agent David Canter told The Cincinnati Enquirer that the Bengals incorrectly advised him not to have surgery after his injury.
"It’s tremendously disappointing on the way this has been handled," Canter told The Enquirer's Joe Reedy last year. "We don’t see how the Cincinnati Bengals can do this without any inclination that this was even a possibility. It’s a tad shocking how he was released and was done in a disheartening, callous and unfair manner. The only reason why he isn’t healthy and wasn’t able to pass the physical is because they failed to fully diagnose and mistreated the injury."
According to Adam Caplan of FoxSports.com, Jeanty got looks from the Dolphins, Jets, Seahawks and Vikings.
In 2009, he led the Bengals in special-teams tackles, and in 2008, he won the Ed Block Courage Award. Jeanty is 27 years old and listed at 6-2, 243.
According to Mac's Football Blog, Jeanty can earn up to $1.25M in 2011, so this looks like a low-risk signing by the Birds.
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