It took a while for Isaac Seumalo to become the Philadelphia Eagles left guard
The Philadelphia Eagles offensive line will look very different in 2020. First of all, they lost right guard Brandon Brooks to a season-ending injury. Later, they brought back former left tackle Jason Peters to take over for their four-time Pro Bowler. Then, there’s Andre Dillard, who will be occupying the left tackle position “The Bodyguard” vacated in March. With so many changes at the line of scrimmage, the Eagles should feel at ease knowing that Isaac Seumalo will be in the mix. He’s coming off of a season where he started all 16 games. That’s the first time that he’s done that in his career.
He, center Jason Kelce, and right tackle Lane Johnson will return in the same roles that they filled last season. As mentioned earlier, Dillard and Peters, who’s accepting a position change, make up the rest of the starting lineup.
Originally a third-round pick in 2016, Seumalo was relegated to backup duty during his first two seasons in the NFL. It wasn’t until 2018 when he saw significant playing time. Looking to reshuffle their offensive line that year, the “Birds” made Seumalo their starting left guard in Week 5. He’d miss the last three games of the regular season with a pectoral injury, but he returned for the team’s two playoff outings. The Eagles’ brass must’ve liked what they saw from Seumalo because they awarded him with a three-year, $17.6 million extension in the offseason.
The Philadelphia Eagles were right to give Isaac Seumalo an extension
Once Seumalo was signed, some saw his addition as a gamble, especially seeing as how he hadn’t played in more than 13 games in a season. There were no guarantees, nor was there any evidence that he could withstand the rigors of the NFL. Nevertheless, Philly’s decision ended up paying off.
Seumalo didn’t miss any games and performed exceptionally well in 2019. He allowed just two sacks, one hit, and nine hurries. Pro Football Focus gave him a 70.0 overall mark and graded him as the 19th best guard in the league.
Seumalo’s performance in 2019 proves that it was smart for the Eagles to draw up a contract with him. His $5 million salary averages out to about $626,000 yearly, which ranks 12th in the NFL, but the discrepancy between the highest-paid left guard in the NFL and the 12th is obvious. We aren’t talking about a couple of million dollars.
The top five left guard contracts are double what Seumalo is making. Here’s an example if you need one. Joe Thuney and Andrew Norwell, the NFL’s most well-paid guards, will earn $14.78 million and $13.3 million respectively.
Can Isaac Seumalo start 16 games again for the Philadelphia Eagles again?
It will be interesting to see if Seumalo can repeat his 2019 performance. Behind him, potentially, are third-year standout Matt Pryor and rookie Jack Driscoll. The former played 79 snaps on offense last season while the latter is an unknown commodity. As it is, the Eagles are going through a transition period at the left tackle position. The “Birds” can’t simply afford more changes to the left side of their offensive line.
Seumalo showed last season he can perform effectively if healthy. The Eagles will need him to start 16 games again if they want some kind of consistency at the line of scrimmage. He already did it once, Philly’s brass likely wants to know if it was a one-time deal or Seumalo is here to stay.