Broncos Sign Former Eagles Leading Tackler: Report

Broncos

Getty Philadelphia Eagles LB Alex Singleton reacts.

The Denver Broncos made another big defensive addition signing inside linebacker Alex Singleton, according to James Palmer of NFL Network.

According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, Singleton’s contract includes $1.1 million fully guaranteed and $750,000 in playing time incentives.

Singleton played for the Philadelphia Eagles for the last three seasons. He led the Eagles in combined tackles in both 2020 (120) and 2021 (137).

Last season, Singleton was tied with Deion Jones and Fred Warner for 11th in the NFL in combined tackles.

Singleton was also a valuable special teams contributor for the Eagles, as he played 710 special teams snaps over the last three years.

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Singleton Was Not Great In Pass Coverage

Despite his production as a tackler, there are some concerns regarding Singleton’s ability in pass coverage. Last season, Singleton was targeted 74 times in pass coverage, and he allowed 63 completions for 494 yards and five touchdowns.

Singleton’s PFF coverage grade of 40.9 does not inspire confidence, either.

Still, Singleton is a good run defender, and he is a good value signing at $1.1 million guaranteed. His average annual salary ranks only 33rd in the NFL among inside linebackers, and if he hits all his playing time incentives, he will only move up to 26th among inside linebackers.


Broncos Linebacker Rotation Starting to Take Form

The Broncos entered this offseason with many questions at the inside linebacker position, but we are starting to gain some clarity. Obviously, they added Singleton, who figures to play a significant role.

In addition, they re-signed Josey Jewell to a two-year, $11 million contract. Jewell has developed into a reliable all-around linebacker.

Last season, he was playing at the highest level of his career before he suffered a season-ending injury in Week 2. During his shortened season, Jewell posted an overall PFF grade of 83.5; only two linebackers posted higher overall grades last season: Micah Parsons and De’Vondre Campbell.

Second-year linebacker Baron Browning will also be in the mix. Browning was a third-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft. As a rookie, Browning had 58 combined tackles and two tackles for loss across 14 games.

Finally, Justin Strnad still has upside. He was selected by the Broncos in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL draft. Unfortunately, he spent his rookie season on the IR with a wrist injury.

In 2021, Strnad appeared in all 16 games; he recorded 36 combined tackles.

With the addition of Singleton, re-signing Alexander Johnson seems unlikely. Johnson is an elite run defender. He had a PFF run defense grade of 90.3 last season, which was the third-highest among linebackers.

Johnson and Singleton would be somewhat redundant on defense. Ideally, if the Broncos add another inside linebacker, it would be one who excels in pass coverage and can match up well against tight ends and running backs.

Additionally, PFF projects Johnson will receive a contract that averages $7 million per season, so signing Johnson would make it more difficult to address other needs on the roster like cornerback and safety.

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