Eagles debate table: How secure is Philadelphia’s future at safety?


It may be time that the Eagles start investing in the future when it comes to the safety position.

Despite the fact that there were serious questions heading into the off-season at this same time last year, the Philadelphia Eagles appeared to be set at two position groups. On offense, it appeared that everyone was pretty pleased with what Philly had at tight end with Zach Ertz, Trey Burton and Brent Celek. On defense, many had thought for a while that they had one of the best starting tandems in the NFL with Rodney McLeod and Malcolm Jenkins.

One of the funny things about the NFL is, as long as there’s free agency and a salary cap, there will always be an atmosphere where every team always seems to need something. One of the byproducts of that is being great in an area one season never means you’ll be great in that area a season later. During the 2017-18 campaign, tight end was one of the strengths of Philly’s offense. We’re now approaching the 2018 NFL Draft, and tight end is one of the problem areas.

That brings us to the safety position.

The time to address the Eagles’ last line of defense is now.

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Though it may not seem like it, the Eagles don’t have much behind Jenkins and McLeod. Actually, there are only two other safeties on Philly’s roster, period. One is a special teams mainstay, Chris Maragos. He’s also coming off of injury. The other is unproven and has one year of NFL experience on his resume. His name is Tre Sullivan. Let’s look at the starters.

Jenkins is one of the leaders on defense and one of the best in the business, but he’s also turning 31 in December. According to Spotrac, McLeod is set to make $21.5 million over the next three seasons, and though the Eagles have the potential to get out of that deal after the 2018 season, there’s no guarantee that McLeod will leave or stay.

Next: 4 CBs the Eagles have targeted for the 2018 NFL Draft

Philly will need to either explore some bargain options in free agency or invest one of their league-low six draft picks in a safety come the end of April. Injuries happen often in the NFL. Philly learned that a season ago. They’ll need some insurance for the 2018 season, especially if they want to make another run at a Lombardi Trophy.