It was just last week that the Eagles announced that they would be bringing in an external candidate to take over as the team’s defensive coordinator in 2023 when they hired Sean Desai.
The move meant that the Eagles will likely be looking to implement an entirely new defense, something that isn’t ideal to start doing while the scouting combine is already underway.
Further, the team still has a vacancy at linebackers coach from Gannon poaching Rallis following his own hiring as a head coach. Rallis and defensive backs/passing game coordinator Dennard Wilson were the internal DC candidates.
On Sunday, it became official that, on top of building a new defense during the combine with a defense that has half of it’s major pieces hitting free agency, the team will need to also replace Wilson.
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport was the first to break the news that Wilson and the Eagles will be parting ways.
After being a finalist for the #Eagles DC job that went to Sean Desai, Philly defensive pass game coordinator and DBs coach Dennard Wilson and the team are mutually parting ways, sources say. This is often the outcome when an in-house candidate is passed over for a promotion.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 5, 2023
After being a finalist for the #Eagles DC job that went to Sean Desai, Philly defensive pass game coordinator and DBs coach Dennard Wilson and the team are mutually parting ways, sources say. This is often the outcome when an in-house candidate is passed over for a promotion.
Wilson, likely seeking a defensive coordinator position, will likely look to land with another team that could promote him to the position if/when an opening happens.
Wilson had joined the Eagles in 2021 when Nick Sirianni and Jonathan Gannon joined the team.
Wilson had been a well-respected player by the defensive backs, which may be something that hurts the Eagles in any potential negotiations with Chauncey Gardener-Johnson, Marcus Epps, James Bradberry and even Darius Slay, who could be an option for an extension to create some cap space.
The move leaves the Eagles in a position where they will be evaluating talent and trying to negotiate contracts for a defense that has a new DC in place and the only potential holdovers at positional levels are Tracy Rocker (defensive line), Jeremiah Washburn (EDGE) and D.K. McDonald (assistant defensive backs). It is possible Desai chooses not to retain those coaches, but no official word on that has been made.
Rumors of Matt Patricia potentially joining the staff have been heard, but Desai has yet to make any official announcements on his defensive staff.