One of the key cogs from the 2017 Eagles’ Super Bowl run has cleared waivers. Stefen Wisniewski was released by the Steelers on Nov. 4 and saw his contract terminated. The versatile offensive lineman is a free agent who can play either guard spot and center. Anyone can sign him.
With all the recurring injury problems on the offensive line, Wisniewski is an intriguing name to keep an eye on. He knows Doug Pederson’s system and excelled under offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland during three productive seasons in Philly.
The 31-year-old started 24 games for the Eagles from 2016-18, including Super Bowl LII and all three playoff games — remember his “freight train” block in the divisional round? — before losing his starting left guard job to Isaac Seumalo five games into the 2018 season. The Chiefs signed him last year and he won another Super Bowl ring as a valuable reserve. In fact, Wisniewski started at left guard in Super Bowl LIV.
Goodness #61 (Stefen Wisniewski) freight train down field pic.twitter.com/KrLFsu29ZB
— Jeb Hill (@memphistigerjeb) January 14, 2018
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So the Eagles should pounce on their old friend, right? He has cleared waivers, according to the NFL transactions wire. However, the Steelers didn’t cut the 6-foot-3, 305-pounder due to poor performance or high salary.
They let him go because the 10-year veteran didn’t seem fully recovered from a pectoral strain suffered in Week 1. Pittsburgh activated him to the 53-man in Week 9 and then waived him with an injury designation three days later. It’s possible GM Howie Roseman invites Wisniewski in for a tryout to see just how bad the injury is.
Did Not Practice:
OL Stefan Wisniewski (Pectoral)
DE Tyson Alualu (Knee)
— Andrew Stockey (@astockeyWTAE) November 4, 2020
Then again, the Eagles are getting healthy at the right time. Seumalo was just activated to the 21-day practice window and Lane Johnson is expected back. Jason Peters seems fully healed from the toe ailment that landed him on IR after playing on 63 snaps (100%) versus Dallas. The team has also found budding stars in tackle Jordan Mailata and guard Nate Herbig while getting valuable reps from Matt Pryor.
“It’s awesome getting our vets back,” Mailata told reporters on Monday. “Anytime someone comes back the room gets bubbly. It’s a lot more interaction in meetings and discussions on how to run plays and protections. It’s always good to have the boys back from injury and back into the fold.”
Wisniewski Surprised Eagles Cut Him
Wisniewski thought he had played well enough to stick around in Philly. The former second-round pick out of Penn State inked a three-year contract extension in 2016 and started 11 games the following year en route to a Lombardi Trophy. He lost the starting gig to Seumalo in 2018 but he was still an effective reserve off the bench.
#Chiefs Guard Stefen Wisniewski is one of the two current players who has been to a super bowl before (Eagles 2018) Today I spoke with him in the locker room about how he’s using that experience to help prepare his teammates for Miami. pic.twitter.com/cejZDmE4mj
— Hayley Lewis 👑 (@HayleyLewisKSHB) January 23, 2020
The Eagles declined a team option in 2019 and when no one signed him, they brought him back only to cut him for good after training camp. Luckily, “Wiz” caught the eye of Andy Reid in Kansas City and added another trophy to his case. But the pain of getting cut made him think twice about his future.
“I was surprised. I definitely thought I was going to make the team in Philly,” Wisniewski told The Inquirer at last year’s Super Bowl. “This NFL is a crazy business. But I knew I was good enough to still be playing football. Honestly, I was a little surprised it took so long.”
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