Roster Outlook: 4 free agents (and one trade target) the Eagles should explore at safety
While the Eagles came away with a tremendous draft class, they failed to address the secondary save for a few undrafted free agents.
Fans were holding out hope for Tyrann Mathieu as there was mutual interest before the draft, but he’s reportedly expected to sign with New Orleans.
This leaves the Eagles with a glaring hole at the position:
Current depth chart at safety:
- Anthony Harris
- Marcus Epps
- K’Von Wallace
- Jared Mayden
- Andre Chachere (I think he can play safety?)
Following Day 2 of the draft, GM Howie Roseman was asked about his plans regarding the secondary, “We’ve got between now and September.”
The DB market is pretty thin at this point of the offseason, but there are a few options the Eagles could look into.
Jaquiski Tartt, UFA
The former second-round pick spent his first seven seasons with San Francisco. He’s had some injury woes throughout his career but is a versatile deep safety when healthy.
Tartt has only given up nine TDs across his career and allowed just 57.6% of passes to be completed when targeted last season. Unfortunately, he’ll be remembered most for dropping the crucial interception in last year’s NFC Championship Game vs. the Rams.
The 30-year-old would fit Jonathan Gannon’s scheme, although he’d be a stop-gap option at best.
Jaquiski Tartt just RIPPED this from Metcalf 🤭— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 12, 2019
Landon Collins, UFA — Post-June 1st Cut
Once Washington acquired Carson Wentz, safety Landon Collins became a cap casualty and was released as a post-June 1st cut.
Collins transitioned to more of a safety/linebacker role last season due to injuries, finishing with 81 tackles, two interceptions and three sacks. He struggled in coverage a bit, allowing a career-worst 121.4 passer rating when targeted, but he’s a proven difference-maker.
The Eagles’ interest level would largely depend on if they view Collins as a true box safety or a hybrid.
OKAY @TheHumble_21— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) September 20, 2020
📺: #WASvsAZ FOX pic.twitter.com/30HswHw8cO
Tashaun Gipson, UFA
Gipson is a solid veteran safety who’s had a productive career. His best years are behind him, but the 31-year-old was decent in coverage last season. Gipson has totaled 81 tackles, four interceptions, and ten passes defended in Chicago over the last two years.
HOW DID HE CATCH THAT?!? 🤯— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) November 21, 2021
Tashaun Gipson Sr. comes away with it!#BALvsCHI | #DaBears pic.twitter.com/UDxv7WPBZI
Chuck Clark, Trade via Baltimore Ravens
After Baltimore gave the bag to Marcus Williams in free agency and drafted Notre Dame standout Kyle Hamilton, Clark appears to be expendable. The Eagles could continue their homecoming offseason tour and engage in trade talks for the Philadelphia native.
Clark, 26, has played every defensive snap for Baltimore over the last two seasons as their on-field signal-caller. He has two years remaining on a team-friendly deal, and the Ravens could be an ideal landing spot for WR Jalen Reagor after trading Hollywood Brown during the draft.
Clark has totaled 283 tackles, five interceptions and 28 passes defended over his first five seasons with Baltimore.
Matthew Stafford’s favorite target today is Chuck Clark— PFF (@PFF) January 2, 2022
Brian Dawkins, Retired (Please Help)
If all else fails, the Eagles should beg Dawkins to come out of retirement. He’s only 48-years-old and probably still in phenomenal shape. The Hall of Famer could step into the defense immediately and, at the very least, make opposing teams respect him enough not to throw his way.
We’re out of options here. I’d be down to watch Weapon X lay the wood (pause) one more time.
Brian Dawkins was on a WHOLE 'nother level. The do not build em like Weapon X anymore. @BrianDawkins— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) April 23, 2021
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