Eagles

Eagles reach terms on 2-year deal with safety Rodney McLeod

Eagles reach terms on 2-year deal with safety Rodney McLeod

Shortly after letting Malcolm Jenkins walk, the Eagles moved to bring back their other veteran safety.

The Eagles announced Tuesday afternoon -- about 90 minutes after formally cutting ties with Jenkins -- that they’ve agreed on a two-year deal with Rodney McLeod.

According to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Dave Zangaro, the deal is worth $12 million over two years. 

The  average of $6 million per year makes McLeod right around the 24th-highest-paid safety in the league, according to Spotrac.

It's a fair contract for a key defensive player.

McLeod originally signed a five-year, $35 million deal in 2016, and that deal was restructured last year, eliminating the 2020 season and dropping his salary last year from $7 1/2 million to $4 million, including a $1 million bonus for playing all 16 regular-season games.

McLeod would have become an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday if the Eagles hadn't signed him.

Jenkins and McLeod have been the Eagles’ safeties the last four years, but McLeod will have somebody new across from him in 2020 after the Eagles cut ties with Jenkins after six seasons.

McLeod, who turns 30 in June, isn’t Jenkins, but he’s been a very solid, very consistent and under-rated player in his four years with the Eagles. 

In the Super Bowl win over the Patriots, McLeod made two open-field touchdown-saving tackles on Rob Gronkowski.

He has eight interceptions over the last four seasons, most of any Eagle, despite missing most of the 2018 season with a knee injury suffered in Week 4. 

McLeod spent his first four seasons with the Rams as an undrafted free agent out of Virginia. 

Earlier Tuesday, the Eagles re-signed Jalen Mills, who many believe could be playing alongside McLeod at safety in 2020.

With Halapoulivaati Vatai, Kamu Grugier-Hill and Jenkins all gone and Jason Peters and Nelson Agholor not expected back, McLeod and Mills are among only 11 players on the roster who were here in 2016, Pederson’s first year as head coach.

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Eagle Eye podcast: Should the Eagles bring back Shady?

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Eagle Eye podcast: Should the Eagles bring back Shady?

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro figure out if the Eagles should sign LeSean McCoy or another veteran running back. 

Looking closer at the all-Andy Reid vs. all-Doug Pederson teams. Roob’s dispels some long-standing Eagles myths. And the guys continue better or worse with a deeper dive into the cornerback position. 

It’s all right here: 

  • (1:55) — Carlos Hyde will not be joining the Eagles.
  • (8:28) — Available veteran running backs.
  • (16:41) — All-time Andy Reid Eagles vs All-time Doug Pederson Eagles.
  • (32:13) — Debunking 10 Eagles myths.
  • (39:57) — Better or Worse: Cornerback.
  • (47:06) — Brian Dawkins advocates for mental health. 

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ESPN unveils new 2020 projections with Super Bowl chances, playoff predictions

ESPN unveils new 2020 projections with Super Bowl chances, playoff predictions

With June almost here, we're a little more than three months away from the start of football, which means it's time to fire up the arguments about which teams will dominate the 2020 regular season.

ESPN unveiled its 2020 Football Power Index rankings on Tuesday, an analytics-based look at all 32 teams, and no one should be surprised by the No. 1 team, defending champion Kansas City. Good for Andy Reid.

But outside the top two teams - the Chiefs and the No. 2 Ravens - it's clear ESPN's rankings believe the NFC is the stronger conference, with six of the top eight teams hailing from the NFC.

Including, you guessed it, the Eagles.

The Eagles rank No. 6 in the league, according to ESPN, one year after they won the NFC East despite a rash of injuries and setbacks. It feels fair: the Birds didn't even reach the Divisional Round of the playoffs, but this year they'll (hopefully) be healthy and ready to make some noise.

The problem for Eagles fans, however, comes when you look one spot above the Eagles to No. 5 and find... the Cowboys.

Rough.

ESPN's projections basically have the Eagles and Cowboys in a dead heat - which is fair - but they give Dallas the slight advantage instead of the Birds, an interesting decision considering the ways both teams finished their respective seasons last year.

Here's a look at a few of ESPN's more interesting projected stats:

5. Dallas Cowboys
Projected wins: 9.3
Chance to reach playoffs: 69%
Chance to win NFC East: 48%
Chance to win Super Bowl: 4.8%

6. Philadelphia Eagles
Projected wins: 9.1
Chance to reach playoffs: 66%
Chance to win NFC East: 44.7%
Chance to win Super Bowl: 4.3%

ESPN's Seth Walden explained Tuesday that the relative consistency in Dallas's offensive personnel, plus the addition of Mike McCarthy as the team's new head coach, gives the Cowboys the advantage.

It's certainly an explanation. 

One might imagine that, given the teams' fairly even offseasons, these projections would take recent history into account and give the Eagles the slight upper hand. Alas, it's the other way around.

I know I'll gladly take the coach with a more recent Super Bowl win, and the team with the more recent division championship, until proven otherwise.

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Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

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