Was the poor play of the Eagles’ offensive line, especially guards Tobin and Allen Barbre, a result of the players or of coach Chip Kelly’s offensive scheme?
That question looms over the evaluation of the roster being conducted by new head coach Doug Pederson and his staff. Kelly’s scheme placed unique stresses on players on offense and defense. It will be a challenge for Pederson to sift through those elements as he watches game tape.
The tender for Tobin is an indication that Pederson believes the third-year guard has potential to play in the Eagles’ new offense. That decision was likely based partly on the recommendation of offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, who served in the same capacity under Kelly.
The Eagles also announced the retirement of backup center David Molk, who was placed on injured reserve after tearing his biceps in September. Molk, 27, started four games in 2014 after center Jason Kelce was injured.
Tobin, 25, signed with the Eagles as an undrafted free agent in 2013. He appeared in one game as a rookie, but was pressed into service because of injuries to starters in 2014. Tobin started seven games in 2014.
In 2015, Kelly released veteran starting guards Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans. Tobin started the season as a backup. When starting right guard Andrew Gardner went on injured reserve with a foot injury, Tobin moved into the starting lineup. He started 13 games in 2015.
Tobin was scheduled to become a restricted free agent when the market opens Wednesday. By tendering him, the Eagles agreed to pay Tobin $1.67 million for the 2016 season. Another team can sign him to an offer sheet, but the Eagles would have the right to match. Tobin would be eligible for unrestricted free agency next year.
That gives Tobin a chance to show what he can do in a more traditional NFL offense. And it gives the Eagles a chance to fill an offseason hole with a player they have been developing for three years.