According to the National Football Post, the Eagles have signed Mat McBriar away from the Dallas Cowboys. McBriar worked out for the Eagles on Monday, and the Cowboys yesterday. Mat’s wife Erin tweeted late last night that a decision would be made this morning.
Yesterday I spoke with Eagles special teams coach Bobby April. Here’s what he said about Mat McBriar:
A reporter mentioned that the punters they brought in are established vets, and not just “camp bodies,” which April agreed with. The first punter he mentioned (on his own) was McBriar. He said “McBriar has had as good a career as anybody playing. He’s right up there, top 2 or 3. I don’t know how it’s going to work out, I don’t know that negotiating/financial end of things.” April also thought McBriar’s previously injured plant foot looked fine in his workout. The impression I got was that if April had his pick of the litter, it would be McBriar, and the “negotiating/financial” quote could be an indication that the Eagles and McBriar may already be discussing a contract. To be determined if Howie Roseman gets him his new toy. I know Cowboys fans won’t be very thrilled with that development, should it happen.
April said that Chas Henry needs to improve, and wants competition for him. He noted that Henry is a talented guy, but needs to be more consistent. April also noted that very few rookie punters do well their first year in the league, and thought he did well for a rookie, especially an undrafted one. (For the record, I’m not so sure I agree Henry had a good season last year, even for a rookie). “We want competition to enhance his ability or competition that can surpass his ability.”
This is most certainly not a “camp body” signing. Mat McBriar is a two-time Pro Bowl punter, and if his plant foot is healthy, he has to be viewed as the clear-cut favorite to win this job.
More details on Briar’s plant foot injury here.
Also, McBriar struggled with holding for FGs a few years back with kicker Nick Folk in Dallas. Some more on that here.
Update: The Eagles have confirmed the signing. They have until 4pm to cut a guy to make room for McBriar.