Is their a better defensive line group in the NFL than the Philadelphia Eagles? A unit that already includes Fletcher Cox, Timmy Jernigan, Michael Bennett, Brandon Graham, and Derek Barnett, the Eagles defensive line is adding another name. Haloti Ngata will sign a one-year contract to join the reigning Super Bowl champs.
Adam Schefter of ESPN was the first to report the news:
Former Lions’ DT Haloti Ngata intends to sign a one-year deal with Eagles, per @mortreport and me.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2018
Ngata, 34, still has tread on those tires. Ngata only played five games this past year but Detroit was significantly better when he was on the field. In five games with Ngata, the Lions allowed 74.6 rushing yards per game. In the 11 games without him in the middle of that defense, the Lions gave up 129.7 on the ground. Despite suffering an injury-plagued 2017 season, Ngata vows that he is ready to contribute.
“I think if I finished the year healthy I would have been a little closer to probably retiring, but I want to finish the season so I think I want to keep on playing. And definitely I loved being able to be here and help Detroit have more dominance in this league. We’ve had winning seasons, I just want to continue to build this franchise and get it to where it can be a dominant franchise and a great team. So I definitely want to be here, I definitely want to keep on playing, but we’ll have to see once free agency hits.”
Beau Allen is expected to depart in free agency and Ngata gives the Eagles a low-cost option to replace him. He may not be the uber-productive guy he was back with the Ravens but this is still a really good player. In 12 NFL seasons, Ngata has recorded 31.5 sacks in his career. While he hasn’t been a big-time sack machine, Ngata commands the double team and makes those around him better. As previously mentioned, Ngata also plays the run at a high level.