The Eagles should target these 6 Safety options to replace C.J. Gardner-Johnson

PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 03: Philadelphia Eagles free safety Rodney McLeod (23) celebrates a turnover during the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs on October 3, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

It’s been an interesting first week of Free Agency for the Philadelphia Eagles. After keeping the necessary pieces for their defense as well as adding some promising talent, the Eagles suffered another loss on Sunday night. 

It has been reported that former Eagles safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson has agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $8 million with the ….. Lions. Yes, you read that right. Apparently, upon the recommendation of his agency, CJGJ turned down a three-year offer from the Eagles that was backloaded in year 3. While the exact specifications have yet to be confirmed, it was a reported $24 million deal for 3 years. 

Now the Eagles are in the market for some very needed Safety help. 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 Safeties?

 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. 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.  

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.

Eric Rowe, Free Agent

The return of Rowe would be an incredible story. He’s blossomed into a decent starting safety in the league. He’s not the big playmaker that CJGJ was but he could be serviceable behind Slay and Bradberry. It would still be a risky move for a team that’s trying to make it back to the Super Bowl.

Jalen Mills, Free Agent

Return of the finger wag? Nothing against Mills at all. It’s truly business never personal but this is a major red flag. He’s still the same player that he was in Philadelphia when fans were frustrated with him. Even after playing for the Patriots, it would not be wise for Philly to go back in time for this reunion. They need production and leadership, Mills does not fit that requirement.

Rodney McLeod, Free Agent

Another former Eagle but the only one that would make sense. Bringing McLeod back is a good move as they can use him to be the bridge player that they may need. Allow him to produce for you while you redshirt a rookie that you draft in the early rounds. McLeod isn’t the answer but he’s a good player that can still produce for a championship team.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire