In 2021, the Eagles’ goal was to create a younger, more youthful team. The front office branded the season as a “Rebuild Year”, and fans were under the impression that they wouldn’t see a winning season for years to come.
Since then, rather than signing all early 20-something year olds, the Eagles have brought in a mix of fresh players and big-time veterans across the league. Essentially, this created a new team, leaving very few Philadelphia veterans left. In fact, there are only eight Eagles players remaining who have been wearing midnight green for five or more seasons.
LONGEST TENURED EAGLES PLAYERS
Brandon Graham — 12 seasons
Brandon Graham isn’t only the longest tenured Philadelphia Eagle, but he is the longest tenured player in Philadelphia across all sports teams.
The Eagles selected the defensive end in the first-round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Since then, he has played for four head coaches, including Andy Reid, Chip Kelly, Doug Pederson, and Nick Sirianni. Over Graham’s career, he has played in 161 games, completing 416 combined tackles, 59 sacks, 19 forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries, seven pass deflections, and one defensive touchdown.
In 2016, he was named to Second-team All-Pro, and in 2018, he striped sacked Tom Brady forcing a fumble recovery during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LII. The Eagles went on to win their first franchise championship with a 41-33 victory. In 2020, Graham was selected for his first Pro Bowl — one that came surprisingly late, but it was well earned.
During Week 2 of the 2021 season, Graham suffered a torn Achilles, ending his season early. He is now eager to return for his 13th season, and is set on making it to year 15 with the Eagles.
Jason Kelce — 11 seasons
Another beloved Eagles’ player, Jason Kelce has become one of the most popular names around the league.
Philadelphia selected the center in the sixth-round of the 2011 NFL Draft, becoming the first rookie in Eagles’ history to start all 16 games at the position. Kelce has been named to First-team All-Pro four times, and is a five-time Pro Bowler, earning the title over the last three consecutive seasons.
Last season, Kelce was the Eagles’ nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of Year Award.
More importantly, he announced he wasn’t retiring — something all Eagles’ fas were happy about. Following the news, the Eagles signed him to a one-year deal worth $14 million. The contract made Kelce the highest-paid center throughout the league. As he enters the 2022 season (his 12th season with the Eagles), the 34-year-old will continue building upon his 122 consecutive start streak.
Fletcher Cox — 10 seasons
Fletcher Cox didn’t have the best season in 2021, but things weren’t always like that.
As a former first-round draft pick, the defensive tackle is a First-team All-Pro, three-time Second-team All-Pro, and six-time Pro Bowler. The 2021 season was the first year since 2014 that Cox wasn’t selected for the Pro Bowl. He had just 3.5 sacks and 35 tackles in 16 games, and fans are hoping that was just a fluke.
Earlier this offseason, Cox was released from the team, but re-signed a one-year contract the following day. The move was said to be due to salary issues. The once highest-paid Eagles’ player will now make $14 million.
To date, Cox is the fifth all-time in sacks (58.0), sixth in forced fumbles (14), third in tackles for a loss (78), and second in quarterback hits (142) for Philadelphia. Entering this 11th season with the Eagles, we hope Cox is on the up-swing.
Lane Johnson — 9 seasons
An all-time great, Lane Johnson is part of one of the best (if not, the best) offensive lines in the league.
The Eagles selected Johnson in the first-round of the 2013 NFL Draft, and he immediately became a force to be reckoned with. As a rookie, he started all 16 regular season games. The three-time Pro Bowler became the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL in 2019, and was named to the NFL’s All-Pro team in 2021 alongside Jason Kelce.
Despite battling mental health issues early last season, Johnson returned, catching a pass from Jalen Hurts, making his first-ever touchdown catch.
Isaac Seumalo — 6 seasons
The former starter at left guard may be making the switch to the right side this season. Joining the Eagles in 2016 as a third-round pick, Seuamlo has been a large presence on the offensive line despite numerous injuries. After suffering a season-ending Lisfranc sprain in 2021, Seumalo is healthy and recently participated in OTAs without any issues.
Though a positional change may be tough, Seumalo brings talent and experience to the team. He stated “But, I think when I’m healthy the film says a lot, that I can play at a really high level, and I still feel that way.”
Rick Lovato — 6 seasons
Unlike his teammates already discussed, Rick Lovato didn’t start his career in Philadelphia. The Chicago Bears signed him in 2015. He later signed with the Green Bay Packers, and the (then) Washington Redskins. In late 2016, the Eagles signed him, and he earned the long snapping job the following season.
Lovato would go on to win Super Bowl LII with the Eagles and was selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time in 2019. In 2021, Philadelphia waived him, however, he was re-signed to the roster the following day. He will now be entering his seventh season for the Birds.
Derek Barnett — 5 seasons
Quite the controversial player lately, Derek Barnett joined the Eagles in 2017 as a first-round draft pick. Though he didn’t always live up to that first-round reputation, the Eagles’ exercised a fifth-year option on him in 2020. In 64 games, Barnett has only accumulated 21.5 sacks. He also led the team with eight penalties last season, losing a total of 62 yards for Philadelphia.
This offseason, the Eagles made a surprising move and signed Barnett to a two-year contract extension. If the defensive end plays every game for the 2022 season, his salary will be $5.5 million. Despite a career of poor performances, Barnett adds experience to the edge rusher position, adding decent pressure on the quarterback. Since 2017, he’s totaled 76 quarterback hits.
Barnett was once ranked the third-best defensive end by Pro Football Focus and the fourth-best by ESPN. Maybe 2022 will be his season.
Jake Elliott — 5 seasons
Jake Elliott is one of the best kickers the Philadelphia Eagles have ever had. He joined the team in 2017 after he was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals.
As a rookie, Elliott kicked a 61-yard field goal against the New York Giants, making the longest field goal in Eagles history. Though he struggled during the 2020 season, he returned in 2021 better than ever. He finished the year with a 90.9 field goal percentage — the best of his career. This percentage also broke the Eagles’ franchise record for the best field goal percentage in a single-season.
Elliot finished with 100% of his extra-point attempts, and surpassed Paul Madden for the second-most field goals in franchise history with 92. He now has 118 moving into the 2022 season.