Jake Elliott's Unbelievable Decline & the Insane Cost of Cutting Him
Carson Wentz isn't the only Eagles star facing significant decline and creating front office headaches with his cap hit. After Jalen Hurts marched down the field Sunday to give the Eagles another scoring opportunity before the half, Jake Elliott missed a 22-yard field goal that would've secured an even wider lead over the conference-leading New Orleans Saints.
What happened to Jake Elliott? From 2017-2019, Jake Elliott made 84% of field goals attempted. In 2020, that dropped to 72%, and it's included some costly misses. He's also declined 4% in extra points made.
Is it time to move on? We probably can't. Cutting Jake Elliott comes with an $8 million cap hit. Not kidding.
Let's rewind. Jake Elliott kicked a 61-yard field goal at the Linc on Sept 24, 2017, to secure a win over the New York Giants in his second appearance as an Eagle and NFL kicker. That franchise-record field goal, 7th longest of all time in the NFL and longest by a rookie, kept the momentum going to secure a 13-3 season and first-round bye in the playoffs, where Jake Elliott set more records for longest playoff field goal and longest Super Bowl field goal by a rookie. Jake Elliott finished the 2017 regular season with 26/31 field goals made and 7/7 in playoffs.
After delivering similar results 2018-2019, Jake Elliott signed a $21.8 million contract extension through the 2024 season, making him the highest paid kicker in the NFL at the time. Jake Elliott had garnered Philadelphia legend consideration before 2020, earning the coveted "free beer for life" tag east of Harrisburg.
Is he now another poster boy for the 2020 campaign to dethrone Howie Roseman, who handed out hefty checks to veterans over the past few years that we now can't afford to cash? Or are fans confident that this is just a bump in an otherwise smooth road and that the investment in Jake Elliott will pay off in years to come?