Eagles News: Philadelphia Works Out Two Free Agents, Including A Former Seahawks Player

Plus: the NFL reportedly weighs in on Keanu Neal's hit on Jordan Matthews.

Kenny Lawler. (USA Today Sports)

Kenny Lawler. (USA Today Sports)

Here’s a look at some Eagles news and notes as the Birds prepare to play the Seattle Seahawks this week.


The Eagles reportedly worked out two free agents on Tuesday: wide receiver Kenny Lawler and fullback Chris Swain.

Lawler was drafted by the Seahawks in the seventh-round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Seattle waived the 6-2, 203 pound pass catcher from their practice squad last week. Lawler attended Cal and is a former teammate of Eagles receiver Bryce Treggs.

It’s not surprising to see the Eagles show interest in wide receivers given their lackluster receiving corps (more on that later). The fact that Lawler used to play for the Seahawks could also be a sign the Eagles are doing a little extra intel ahead of their Week 11 matchup.

Swain, a U.S. Navy reserve officer, was waived by the Chargers in final cuts. Pro Football Focus graded Swain as one of the top fullbacks of the 2016 preseason.

There’s no indication the Eagles will sign Lawler or Swain at this time.


The NFL has reportedly confirmed the obvious: Keanu Neal’s hit on Jordan Matthews in the Eagles-Falcons game was indeed illegal. John Clark reports the NFL told Doug Pederson a penalty should have been called on Neal. Watch the play again below.


After the game, Matthews told reporters his helmet was bent and his face mask was broken due to Neal’s hit. This was an obvious penalty that NFL officials missed.

Howard Eskin reports Neal will receive a fine for his hit.


Pro Football Focus graded all 32 NFL offensive lines. The Eagles rank second.

The only team to allow fewer total QB pressures as a unit than the Cowboys this season is the Philadelphia Eagles (70), but they can’t match the Dallas line when it comes to run blocking. Philadelphia’s line also won’t be quite as strong going forward, given RT Lane Johnson’s suspension; Johnson was playing at an All-Pro level this year. His replacement, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, started off extremely poorly, but has improved with each subsequent start, and has been fine in each of the past two games. Free-agent acquisition G Brandon Brooks has been the standout performer on this unit, allowing just eight total pressures this season and also run blocking well.

Football Outsiders, meanwhile, ranks the Eagles’ offensive line sixth in run blocking but only 20th in pass protection.

In the interest of looking ahead to this week’s matchup, the Seahawks’ offensive line ranks 29th by PFF. Football Outsiders ranks Seattle 24th in run blocking and 20th in pass protection.

The Seahawks figure to be a really tough challenge for the Eagles this week. Seattle is 35-5 in their last 40 home games. If the Eagles are going to have a chance in this week’s game, they’re going to need to their defensive line to step up and dominant the Seahawks up front.


Seattle running back Thomas Rawls is set to return to action this week for the first time since suffering a broken fibula in September. Rawls rushed for four touchdowns and 830 yards on 147 attempts as a rookie in 2015, which comes out to a very impressive 5.6 yards per attempt.

In order to make room for Rawls, the Seahawks waived former second-round pick Christine Michael. Michael rushed for six touchdowns and 469 yards this season before being cut. He also had 20 receptions for one touchdown and 96 yards.

In other Seahawks injury news, Seattle is expected to be without starting defensive end Michael Bennett against the Eagles.


It’s not breaking news to say Nelson Agholor has been a big bust for the Eagles. But if you needed more evidence for some reason, here you go.

Funny enough, the wide receiver the Eagles were reportedly targeting before the NFL trade deadline, Torrey Smith, ranks worse than Agholor by both PFF and Football Outsiders.


The Eagles had an open practice squad spot after promoting Aaron Grymes to the 53-man roster last week. Philadelphia signed 26-year-old tight end Marcel Jensen to the scout team in order to fill the vacancy. Here’s an updated look at the Eagles’ 10-man practice squad.

LB Don Cherry
TE Anthony Denham
OG Darrell Greene
TE Marcel Jensen
RB Byron Marshall
QB Aaron Murray
C Aaron Neary
DT Aziz Shittu
WR Paul Turner
WR David Watford