The Eagles have done well to not lose key players in their defense. While they have lost Javon Hargrave and T.J. Edwards, Philadelphia was well prepared for their departures. Oddly enough there is one departure that they may have not been prepared for and that’s the role of Marcus Epps.
They are still trying their best to retain C.J. Gardner-Johnson who’s holding out a bit for a larger offer it appears, so we won’t focus on his position just yet. But the Safety spot overall has been an issue for the Birds over the last couple of years due to a lack of depth and young talent.
Yes, Reed Blankenship showed a ton of promise but we don’t know how he would fit within Sean Desai’s scheme just yet. In the past, the Eagles have always valued that 3rd safety in their schemes which could allow Blankenship to blossom but who should the Eagles bring in to be their starting Free Safety? Here are some options:
John Johnson III, Free Agent
We know that the Eagles’ front office has been enamored with the thought of bringing Johnson to Philadelphia. They attempted to do so in the past but it never amounted to anything. Now that the Browns have released him, it only makes sense to pursue him. Johnson is a unique talent at 27 years old and could be enticed with a 3-year deal that would keep him somewhere until he’s 30 or 31 years old (his birthday is in December).
He’s been in the league for six years and has spent four of them with the Rams, and two of them with the Browns. During his time with the Browns, Johnson tallied 4 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, and 162 tackles with 101 of them coming in 2022.
He’s a very smart player that has great play recognition which is something that the Eagles’ defense needs at that position. We saw just how much a lack of awareness affected them in the Super Bowl so to have a player like him would be great.
Kevin Byard, Trade Candidate
This one is tricky but intriguing. While Byard has not openly expressed his want to be released, it has been reported that he has refused a pay cut with the Titans. This could be one of those moves where Howie swoops in and trades a worthy pick for the 29-year-old safety. The former third-round pick has two years left on his deal which could lead to a restructured contract if he’s traded. This could be a great risk for the Eagles.
Bringing in Byard would be a huge win as he has been one of the more underrated Safeties in the league for quite some time. He recorded four interceptions with the Titans last season and 108 tackles. A great thing to know is that he only missed four tackles last season. We know how crucial those tackles from a Safety can be, just look at the Christian McCaffrey run in the NFC Championship game.
Adrian Amos, Free Agent
Amos signing with the Eagles almost makes too much sense. He had one of his better years in the league when Sean Desai was the team’s defensive quality control coach with the Bears. Since then, Adrian Amos has been as consistent as can be for the Green Bay Packers with last year him recording a career-high in tackles with 102.
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