Brandon Brooks, the best guard in football during the Doug Pederson Era, plans to retire after 10 seasons.
In a videoconference Tuesday morning with Eagles beat writers, the 32-year-old Brooks made the announcement, which certainly didn’t come as a surprise to anybody.
Brooks has not finished a season healthy since the 2017 Super Bowl season and played only two games over the last two years.
Brooks, the Texans’ 3rd-round pick in 2012, spent the first four years of his career in Houston before signing a five-year, $40 million contract with the Eagles before the 2016 season.
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He made the Pro Bowl after the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons, but late in 2018, he suffered the first in a series of major injuries when he tore his Achilles early in the playoff loss against the Saints at the Superdome.
He returned in 2019 and late in the season signed a four-year, $56.5 million extension that made him the NFL’s highest-paid guard. But he played only nine more games in an Eagles uniform. During the regular-season finale, he suffered a dislocated shoulder and missed the playoff game against the Seahawks.
In June of 2020, Brooks suffered another torn Achilles and missed the entire season. He returned for the start of 2021 but suffered a pec strain in a Week 2 loss to the 49ers and spent the rest of the season on Injured Reserve.
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So this year’s season opener against the Falcons was the only game he started and finished since Week 15 of the 2019 season.
Brooks also missed three games during his Eagles career because of anxiety -- two in 2016 and another in 2019. By being open about his condition and the value of medication and counseling, Brooks inspired countless athletes and non-athletes to seek help for similar issues.
Brooks has earned just under $60 million in his career, and he’s walking away from base salaries of $13.4 million in 2022, $11.6 in 2023 and $13.4 million in 2024 -- a total of $38.4 million.
To help the Eagles’ cap situation, the Eagles and Brooks restructured his contract that lowered his 2022 cap figure from nearly $20 million to about $7 million.
Brooks played only four full seasons here, but his three Pro Bowls are tied for most ever by an Eagles guard. Bucko Kilroy, a Northeast Catholic graduate, made three Pro Bowls in the 1950s late in his career. Shawn Andrews and Evan Mathis made two apiece.
Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, Mathis and Brooks made a combined 13 Pro Bowls under Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland. None ever made a Pro Bowl in 14 combined seasons before they were coached by Stoutland.
The Eagles don’t have another Brandon Brooks on the roster, but they have gotten used to playing without Brooks and they do have very good depth along the offensive line.
With Brooks out much of the last two years, the Eagles have used seven different right guards: Nate Herbig (12 starts), Jack Driscoll (8), Matt Pryor (6), Jason Peters (2), Brooks (2), Jamon Brown (1), Landon Dickerson (1), Jack Anderson (1).
Depending on whether Jason Kelce returns for a 12th season, the Eagles have some options along the interior of their offensive line for 2022. If Kelce is back, the Eagles could go with either Isaac Seumalo and Driscoll as the right guard starter, with Sua Opeta and Herbig also in the mix.
If Kelce retires, Seumalo would likely move to center, although Dickerson could swing inside, with Seumalo returning to left guard and Driscoll handling right guard.