Former Washington Football Team center Ross Pierschbacher has joined the Eagles.
The Washington Football Team saw one of their late-round picks from 2019, Jordan Brailford, leave the practice squad earlier in the season to sign with the Minnesota Vikings’ active roster. Now, they’re losing another former draft pick from the unit.
This time, center Ross Pierschbacher will be joining a new team. The 2019 fifth-round pick elected to sign with the Eagles 53-man roster.
The news was first broken on Twitter by Zach Berman of The Athletic.
Berman’s point about this being a Casey Toohill for Pierschbacher trade is certainly an amusing anecdote. Washington did claim Toohill, a pass rusher that has some defensive end/linebacker versatility, off waivers from the Eagles earlier this year, but obviously, this wasn’t an actual trade.
Losing Pierschbacher won’t hurt Washington too much. Pierschbacher played in five games for Washington in 2019, but he saw action on just 12 snaps. All of those came on special teams. The team has two centers ahead of him on the depth chart, Chase Roullier and Keith Ismael, so Pierschbacher was just kept around to serve as a third-string option there.
Pierschbacher still has some upside in his second NFL season, but he was thought of as a low-ceiling player and potential career backup when he was drafted. With Ismael being a guy that Ron Rivera and Kyle Smith drafted and Roullier having his best season to date and being deserving of a contract extension, Washington simply didn’t need Pierschbacher anymore.
In the event that Roullier does leave in free agency, Washington will have to find a new backup center, but they can always take another shot at drafting a versatile offensive lineman or they can target a cheaper, veteran free agent if they believe Ismael can start. They’ll have options for sure.
As for Pierschbacher, he gets a fresh start with a new team, one that could use some help on the offensive line. He may get a chance to compete for some playing time late in the season depending on how the Eagles do, and his rapport with Jalen Hurts from their time together at Alabama could be a positive for him as he looks to fight for a future backup job.
Overall, this move will have minimal impact on Washington if Roullier and Ismael can stay healthy. Meanwhile, Pierschbacher will get a chance to prove himself elsewhere, so this should be a positive change for him too. We’ll see what comes of this and we’ll see what Washington elects to do with their newly-open practice squad space in the coming days.