Eagles Transaction: Birds Bring Back Veteran OL Dennis Kelly

Christopher Hanewinckel, USA TODAY Sports

While not the glaring weakness many might think it to be, it certainly seemed that the Eagles had an opening on the offensive line.

The starting roles may be filled aside from the competition between Cam Jurgens and Tyler Steen for starting right guard. There isn’t much solidified depth, though.

Jurgens or Steen will be a backup along with Jack Driscoll. Since the Eagles will carry between 3-5 reserve lineman on their roster, that leaves at least one spot open.

Sua Opeta and Brett Toth have the most experience with the team but are coming off of down seasons. It’ll be a major competition in camp.

The Eagles chose to add another hat in the ring in the form of a veteran they originally drafted: Dennis Kelly.

Kelly was a fifth-round pick of the Birds in 2012. He spent three years with the Eagles, appearing in 30 games with 15 starts.

He was a solid player for the Eagles, serving as the team’s top backup tackle.

In the 2016 offseason, Kelly was the player the Eagles traded for Dorial Green-Beckham. He went on to play five seasons as the top backup tackle and, in 2020 the starting tackle, for the Titans. DGB, of course, never made anything of himself other than an off-the-field issue.

Kelly has since been with the Packers and Colts, as well. In each location, he has served as his team’s top backup. He has wound up starting in 10 of his 11 NFL seasons (2013 being the only exception).

He has had incredible seasons in his role as the top backup between 2018-2021, but was not as good last season. If he can return to his 2021 form, he’d figure to have an inside track to a roster spot. Essentially, he’d be taking over Andre Dillard’s role after Dillard left for a major payday this offseason.

Kelly is likely not getting much guaranteed money, so he’ll need to do well in camp to ensure he finds a spot on the roster. Add him to the list of players to watch in that position battle.