After what Howie Roseman classified as a “disappointing” 2019 season, the Eagles have plenty of work to do this offseason. Free agency begins on March 18.
The Eagles are in a strange spot at safety. Rodney McLeod is set to become a free agent and Malcolm Jenkins has said he won’t play on his current deal. So there’s a really good chance only one of them is back in 2020. If that happens, the Eagles might need to bring in someone via free agency or the draft. I like the idea of moving Avonte Maddox back there, but there are options outside the building too.
Here’s an early look at five safeties for the Birds in free agency:
In 2019, the former first-round pick played on a one-year, $4.5 million deal and was a big reason for the 49ers’ success. The 28-year-old had 11 tackles in the Super Bowl. Ward has played a bunch of different positions but prefers to play safety. That’s not a bad thing. He’s a safety with coverage skills. The problem for Ward has been his inability to stay on the field. He played 13 games (13 starts) in 2019 but has played all 16 games just once in his six year career.
The former third-round pick will still be 26 when the 2020 season starts and is probably going to bring a nice-sized salary on the open market. Spotrac estimates 5/$72M. That’s more expensive than McLeod and probably even Jenkins but if the Eagles are really interested in getting younger, this would be a way to do it but also a way to get a proven player. In four years in Denver, Simmons has played in 58 games (48 starts) and has 11 interceptions and 289 combined tackles.
Playing alongside Harrison Smith, Harris has turned into a really impressive player himself. And the 28-year-old is coming off his best pro season in 2019. Harris started 14 games and had 60 combined tackles, 6 INTs and 11 pass breakups. I think he’d be a good complement to Jenkins. But Harris won’t be cheap either; Spotrac estimates a deal worth $13.8M per season.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
The former first-round pick from Alabama was a Pro Bowler back in 2016 but it’s fair to say he has never really lived up to his potential. He has played for three teams in the last two years. But Clinton-Dix has played all 96 games in his six-year career and has 16 interceptions. And if the Eagles sign him, you can look forward to more wonderful puns like this:
As the trade deadline closes, Washington gets the last laugh. https://t.co/YmLXm0W5tu— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) October 30, 2018
After years with the Chargers and Cardinals, Boston was back with the Panthers in 2019 and had another solid season. He played and started all 16 games, had three interceptions and 68 tackles. And he did all that on a one-year, $2.1 million contract he signed during training camp. He’s a good and reliable player and the fact that he’s played on three different teams over the last three years is strange to me. Maybe this is the offseason he finally gets a somewhat significant deal.
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