After a day of big losses on defense, the hits just kept coming for the Philadelphia Eagles. On Monday afternoon, Ian Rapoport reported that Marcus Epps is signing with the Las Vegas Raiders.
Marcus Epps secures the bag
This move came as a surprise to many. Not because Epps was an outstanding player, but because it appeared as if the Birds were already willing to let Chauncey Gardner-Johnson walk. It felt as if the next natural step would be to retain the cheaper option in Epps, but even that has somehow slipped the Eagles by.
The former UDFA signed a two-year deal worth $12M. In fairness, he has probably earned that kind of payday after proving himself as a serviceable starter. Sure, he struggled in coverage at times, but his niche was always run-defense and tackling in the open field. It was a void he filled so well that the Birds opted to go with him over the popular Tyrann Matheiu last offseason. Marcus Epps ended 2022 with 94 tackles along with 6 PBU’s and a forced fumble.
What does this mean for the Eagles?
Realistically, $12M isn’t exactly a lot of money and there are plenty of players around the same kind of level as Marcus Epps set to hit the open market. Miles Sanders headlines the pack, but Kyzir White, James Bradberry, and Robert Quinn are all names who could end up signing a deal elsewhere.
One has to wonder whether or not Darius Slay & Chauncey Gardner-Johnson are closer to staying in Philadelphia than we think. It’s not like Howie Roseman to sit on his hands while the dominoes fall, but who knows? If the Eagles are able to keep CJGJ, then letting Epps leave would make sense.
It is plausible that the Eagles are ready to go all-in on Reed Blankenship. If they believe he can produce to the same beat as Epps then why would they overpay when they have another UDFA on a cheap deal who can do exactly the same, if not with a slightly higher ceiling?
I’m sure there are plenty more moves to come, but it’s been a day of tough blows for the Eagles to stomach.
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire