Assessing the Philadelphia Eagles Safety Position

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Eagles safeties Patrick Chung (23) and Nate Allen (29) celebrate in the game agains the Bears. Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s start with the equation’s given point.

Only Wolff will definitely be back with the Eagles. Allen, Coleman and Anderson are free agents. Chung is under contract, but given his poor performance and his $3.25 million salary, he could very well be cut.

The Eagles will be looking for at least two new safeties. Depending on who comes back, this number can go up to four.

None of the soon-to-be free agent safeties will be greatly missed if he signs elsewhere. However, at least one of them will be retained. Why? Because keeping Wolff and Chung and bringing two or three new safeties in involves a lot of risk. You don’t let your best safety and two good special-teams guys walk and keep the two with the most injuries in the previous season.

The Eagles should try to upgrade their roster with the minimum possible risk.

I’d like to see Chung sent packing and Allen given a new contract. Additionally, I would keep Coleman over Anderson, because he is more passionate and a better option as a safety – Anderson is good at special teams, but that’s it.

With Allen, Wolff and Coleman coming back, the Birds could then focus on upgrading.

Free agency does not provide many options. Jairus Byrd, T.J. Ward, Chris Clemons and Donte Whitner are the only free agents that Philadelphia should give a look. There is also the draft, where a handful of prospects (Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix, Calvin Pryor, Ahmad Dixon, Jimmie Ward, Deone Bucannon) could start from day one in the NFL.

One way or the other, the Eagles will add someone with enough talent to be a playmaker in their backfield. They might add two such players, if they find value in the draft. But they will also need to improve their special teams.

Chris Maragos is a safety that has been a big factor for the Seattle Seahawks’ special teams. He in an impending free agent. The Eagles should give him a call, because he would be an instant upgrade over Anderson (or Coleman).

Ideally, the Philadelphia Eagles safety corps after the 2014 NFL Draft should include a highly regarded free agent and/or one of the top rookies (like Clinton-Dix or Dixon) together with Allen, Wolff, Coleman and Maragos. That would give Kelly and Davis three to four legitimate options for the two starting spots and a couple of solid special-teams players.

It would also give the Eagles fans a reason to smile and be more optimistic for the next season.

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