We all know the Eagles’ top two needs this offseason are wide receiver and cornerback but because those needs are so pressing, we’ve all lost sight of another pretty big one.
The Eagles need some help at defensive end.
Sure, the Birds will bring back Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett, their two starters, for the 2020 season but neither of those guys are elite. Graham is on the wrong side of 30 and Barnett has been solid but hasn’t lived up to his draft status.
After those two? Vinny Curry is set to be a free agent, so their top rotational players are Authentic Josh Sweat Jersey, Authentic Shareef Miller Jersey, Authentic Genard Avery Jersey and Authentic Joe Ostman Jersey.
The Eagles might be in the market for some defensive end help this offseason and they’ll have a few options.
We have a long way to go before the start of the 2020 season but we have some jersey number updates from the Eagles.
Most of these new numbers are for new players, but Jalen Mills is also switching out of the number he’s worn for the first four years of his career.
Here they are in numerical order:
Authentic Jalen Mills Jersey: 21
Mills spent the first four years of his career in No. 31. But his rookie contract is over and he’s returning as a safety in 2020. So new position, new number.
“It’s just recreating myself,” Mills said this week. “Recreating that Green Goblin, that monster. It’s a new position, it’s a new feel, and it’s going to be new energy.”
Mills said he admires guys like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, who each changed their jersey numbers throughout their NBA careers.
The No. 21 became available after Ronald Darby left in free agency to head to Washington. Darby wore 41 back in 2017 when he arrived in a training camp trade; Patrick Robinson had the 21 on his one-year deal.
Complete Eagles history at 21: James Zyntell, Les Maynard, Paul Cuba, John Kusko, Herschel Stockton, Allison White, Chuck Cherundolo, William Boedeker, Al Pollard, Jim Carr, Joe Scarpati, Ray Jones, Jackie Allen, Wes Chesson, Al Clark, John Sciarra, Evan Cooper, Eric Allen, Bobby Taylor, Matt Ware, William James, Joselio Hanson, David Sims, Roc Carmichael, Jerome Couplin, Leodis McKelvin, Patrick Robinson, Ronald Darby
Darius Slay: 24
In Detroit, Slay wore No. 30 during his rookie season back in 2013 but had the No. 23 in the next six years. But in Philly, Rodney McLeod has 23, so Slay is happily changing to 24 to honor the late Kobe Bryant.
“I’m going Kobe mode,” Slay said. “Black mamba. Rest in peace to the One of my favorite players. I will look good in 24.”
Last season, Jordan Howard wore the No. 24 during his one-year stint with the Eagles.
Complete Eagles history at 24: Howard Auer, Joe Carpe, Dick Lachman, Jack Knapper, Herman Bassman, Joe Pilconis, Rabbit Keen, Bill Schneller, Dom Moselle, George Taliaferro, Don Schaefer, Nate Ramsey, Artimus Parker, Henry Monroe, Zac Henderson, Ray Ellis, Russell Gary, Reggie Brown, Alan Reid, Alan Dial, Corey Barlow, Tim McTyer, Darnell Autry, Rod Smart, Blaine Bishop, Sheldon Brown, Joique Bell, Brandon Hughes, Nnadmi Asomugha, Bradley Fletcher, Ryan Mathews, Corey Graham, Jordan Howard
Will Parks: 28
During the first four years of his NFL career, Parks wore No. 34 in Denver as a sixth-round pick. But that number is owned by Cre’Von LeBlanc in Philly.
So Parks will hop into the No. 28 that was vacant for most of last year until Jay Ajayi was signed during the season.
Complete Eagles history at 28: Dick Thornton, Guy Turnbow, Algy Clark, Joe Pilconis, Max Padlow, J. “Stumpy” Thomason, Harry Klopenburg, Ray Keeling, Bob Jackson, Paul Dudley, Jim Gray, Bill Bradley, Lou Rash, Greg Harding, Don Griffin, Mel Gray, Clarence Love, Amp Lee, Correll Buckhalter, Ramzee Robinson, Marlin Jackson, Dion Lewis, Earl Wolff, Wendell Smallwood, Jay Ajayi
Nickell Robey-Coleman: 31
As an undrafted player, Robey-Coleman came into the league and wore No. 37 for his first three seasons in Buffalo before he got a big-time improvement and took over 21 in 2015. For the last three seasons, he wore 23 with the Rams but that’s taken by McLeod here.
So he’ll be in the 31 that Mills wore for the last four years.
Complete Eagles history at 31: Joe Carter, Tom Graham, Irv Kupcinet, William Brian, Bob Masters, Emmett Mortell, Jerry Ginney, Phil Ragazzo, Jim Castiglia, Ted Williams, Art Macioszczyk, Dan Sandifer, Ebert Van Buren, Ron Goodwin, Tom Bailey, Wilbert Montgomery, Troy West, Tyrone Jones, Brian O’Neal, Derrick Witherspoon, Al Harris, Daryon Brutley, Dexter Wynn, Ellis Hobbs, Curtis Marsh, Shaun Prater, Byron Maxwell, Jalen Mills
Trevor Williams: 41
You might have forgotten the Eagles signed Williams back in January, but the cornerback and Penn State product has 39 NFL games and 27 starts to his name with the Chargers and Cardinals.
He has previously worn 42, 24 and 22.
Complete Eagles history at 41: Ted Schmitt, Foster Watkins, Buist Warren, Gil Steinke, Frank Ziegler, Jerry Norton, Bob Freeman, Howard Cassady, Harry Wilson, Richard Harvey, Randy Logan, Earnest Jackson, Keith Byars, Alvin Ross, Fred McCrary, Johnny Thomas, William Hampton, Thomas Tapeh, Stephen Spach, Tanard Davis, Antoine Harris, Jarrad Page, Emil Igwenagu, Randall Evans, Ronald Darby, De’Vante Bausby
Jatavis Brown: 53
Everyone pretty much understood that Nigel Bradham wasn’t going to return to the Eagles in 2020 but now they went ahead and gave his number away. Bradham wore 53 for the last four seasons in Philly.
During his first four NFL seasons with the Chargers, Brown was No. 57 but that’s occupied in Philly by second-year linebacker T.J. Edwards.
Complete Eagles history at 53: Walt Masters, Alex Wojciechowicz, Ken Farragut, Bob Pellegrini, John Simerson, Bob Butler, Harold Wells, Fred Whittingham, Dick Absher, Dennis Franks, Fred Smalls, Jody Schulz, Dwayne Jiles, Maurice Henry, Ivan Caesar, John Roper, Bill Romanowski, N.D. Kalu, Hugh Douglas, Mark Simoneau, Moise Fokou, Ryan Rau, Najee Goode, Nigel Bradham
Javon Hargrave: 93
Not long after news broke that Tim Jernigan was heading to Houston, Hargrave got his jersey number.
A switch was necessary for Hargrave, who wore 79 during his first four seasons in the NFL with the Steelers. The Eagles already have a No. 79 who is pretty good in right guard Brandon Brooks. And Hargrave wore 97 in college but that number in Philly is owned by Malik Jackson.