For the second year in a row, the Eagles are bolstering their interior offensive line depth with an experienced veteran, this time in the form of guard Chance Warmack. Unlike Stefen Wisniewski, Warmack doesn’t double as a center, although he may possess far more upside.
The 10th-overall draft pick by the Titans in 2013, Warmack was only adequate in Tennessee. He gained valuable experience, nonetheless, starting 46 games over his first three seasons in the NFL. Warmack only turns 26 in September as well, which means there’s plenty of prime years remaining to access his full potential.
Although, it was sort of telling what the rest of the league thinks about that potential based on what the Eagles paid – just $1.5 million on a one-year deal. That’s not exactly the league minimum, but there clearly wasn’t a crazy bidding war, either.
Warmack is also stepping into a situation where he’s almost certain to serve in a backup capacity. Brandon Brooks is cemented at right guard, where Warmack has lined up exclusively, and 2016 third-round selection Isaac Seumalo is likely to take over on the left once Allen Barbre’s fate is decided. Again, a sign there was tepid interest in adding this guy.
Warmack was limited to two games last season due to a hand injury, which may have hurt the market for his services somewhat. Regardless, the simple reality is he has not performed up to his draft status, and, presumably, nobody out there was offering an opportunity to start.
None of which is to say this is a bad signing. Warmack is the definition of low risk, high reward. At worst, he’s a competent backup, which the Eagles are going to need if Barbre is traded or released and with Wisniewski becoming a free agent. Best case scenario, he’s thrust into action and finds newfound success with a change of scenery.
The latter is not improbable. Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland worked with Warmack at the University of Alabama, so both sides must’ve seen some value in a reunion. Who knows, maybe Warmack did have better offers, but viewed this as an opportunity to return to free agency in 2018 as a vastly improved player.
For Warmack to have been chosen as high as he was as a guard, scouts clearly viewed him as a special prospect. The Titans were also one of the worst franchises in the NFL for much of his time there, so it’s not unimaginable they screwed up his development.
In terms of what’s best for the Eagles in 2017, a case could be made Wisniewski is more reliable and his position versatility is a nice bonus. Whether his return remains a possibility after the addition of Warmack was not immediately clear.
Regardless, the drop-off from Wisniewski to Warmack probably isn’t enormous, and taking the long view, the Eagles might wind up with a great player as a result of the change. It has been speculated Seumalo can play center, too, which means an interior of Warmack, Seumalo and Brooks could be the end game here.