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10 safeties for Eagles to target in free agency this year


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10 safeties for Eagles to target in free agency this year


When NFL free agency begins on March 16, the Eagles will be looking to bolster a roster that made it to the playoffs in Year 1 under Nick Sirianni.

We’ll look position-by-position for some possible targets. We started with running backsreceiversquarterbacks, offensive linemen and tight endsdefensive tacklesdefensive endslinebackers and cornerbacks. Today, we'll finish it off with safeties.

This is a really obvious area of need for the Eagles as Rodney McLeod and Anthony Harris are set to become free agents next week. Their top safeties under contract in 2022 are Marcus Epps and K’Von Wallace. Even after the Bengals slapped a franchise tag on Jessie Bates III, this is still an intriguing crop of free agent safeties.

Here are five free agent safeties who might make some sense for the Eagles:

Marcus Williams: This would be expensive if Williams hits the open market but think of it as the top-end safety model. Williams doesn’t turn 26 until September and the former second-round pick already has five seasons under his belt. He has never made a Pro Bowl but he has that potential and has been extremely solid in his NFL career. But, like we said, he won’t be cheap. Spotrac estimates his deal coming in at $15 million annually.

Justin Reid: It would make sense for Reid and the Texans to part ways after Reid’s play has dipped and after he was benched for disciplinary reasons during the 2021 season. Maybe that stuff will drop his price tag too. Because it wasn’t that long ago that Reid looked like a promising young safety. The former third-round pick and brother of Eric Reid is still just 25. Plenty of time to get his career back on track and it ought to happen away from Houston.

Quandre Diggs: Diggs is 29 now but coming off back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons with the Seahawks with 10 picks total in those two years. He’s just 5-9 but Diggs has become a presence in the middle of the field and understands how to play the deep safety spot in a zone defense.

Marcus Maye: The 29-year-old tore his Achilles during a season in which he was playing on a franchise tag. This is setting up for a one-year, prove-it deal. And sometimes when a player gets a prove-it deal they want it to be somewhere with familiarity. Eagles DBs coach Dennard Wilson coached Maye for the first four seasons of his career so a reunion could help the Eagles.

Terrell Edmunds: The 2018 first-round pick has been a pretty good player for the Steelers but he’ll become a free agent after Pittsburgh declined to pick up his option. Edmunds (6-1, 217) has played in 64 games with 60 starts in his four years in the NFL and won’t turn 26 until January of 2023.

Jordan Whitehead: Another 25-year-old free agent safety. Whitehead was a fourth-round pick back in 2018 and he has been a solid starter for the Bucs for the last four years. Whitehead is under 6-foot but is known as a big hitter. He might not be the perfect schematic fit for the Eagles but he’s good enough to change some of what they do.

Deshon Elliott: Tough one to figure out here. Elliott was fantastic in his only year as a full-time starter for the Ravens in 2020 but he made it through just six games in 2021 because of injury. A former sixth-round pick, if he gets paid based on his 2020 season, he’ll make a ton. But he might not get a huge deal because of the limited sample size.

Jayron Kearse: Dan Quinn got the most out of Kearse in 2021 after the Cowboys paid him peanuts on a one-year deal. But the 28-year-old had a career season last year and could make decent money this offseason. There’s an obvious Jonathan Gannon connection here. Gannon was the assistant DBs coach in Minnesota when they drafted Kearse and Gannon coached Kearse in his first two NFL seasons.

Malik Hooker: Another guy with some familiarity with Gannon. Hooker was another free agent signing in Dallas but he wasn’t nearly as good. Hooker played in 15 games with three starts. But Gannon coached Hooker for three seasons in Indianapolis. If you remember, Hooker was the player the Colts got after losing the coin flip for the 14th spot back in 2017. The Eagles ended up with Derek Barnett and the Colts got Hooker.

Tyrann Mathieu: This is probably a long shot but I’ve admired Mathieu’s game for so long, I didn’t want to leave him off the list. He’ll be 30 when the next season starts, he’s expensive and the Chiefs really shouldn’t let him walk. But if the Eagles were to bring him in for a season, he’s the type of playmaker on the back end that could really change the entire identity of the defense.


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didn’t realize Maye played under our DB coach if we can’t get some of the others would have interest in him.

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I'm on board with getting Reid.  Maybe both him and Maye...both could be lesser priced thus affordable (to have both).  

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