Safety Analysis and Options for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2020

Safety Analysis and Options for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2020

NFL

Safety Analysis and Options for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2020

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The 2020 NFL offseason has officially started for the Philadelphia Eagles. Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson have a lot of decisions to make as they try to get this team back to Super Bowl contention. Specifically at the running back position considering no one ran away with the job this past season.

MALCOLM JENKINS. Regular season stats: 1015 defensive snaps, 116 special teams, 80 tackles, 8 passes defensed, 4 forced fumbles, 2.5 sacks, 1 blocked field goal. | Playoff stats: 64 defensive snaps, 7 special teams snaps, 9 tackles, 1.0 sack

Jenkins was liable for some big gains allowed but he also made a number of crucial plays. Jenkins blocked a field goal in Week 3 that should’ve allowed the Eagles to steal a win from the Detroit Lions had the offense not dropped the ball. Jenkins stripped Daniel Jones at a crucial moment in Week 17 to help the Eagles clinch the NFC East.

Jenkins said that he won’t be returning to the Eagles in 2020 on his current deal, which was one season remaining. Giving more money to a player who turns 33 this year doesn’t seem to fit Howie Roseman’s “we need to get younger” edict but the team might need to make an exception for an exceptional player. The feeling here all along has been that the Eagles need to do what it takes to make Jenkins happy. And, really, what’s the alternative? The team doesn’t have young safeties in the pipeline to replace Jenkins. He’s been incredibly valuable to this team — not just as a player but also as a leader off the field — and I think they’d very quickly realize just how much they miss him. It feels like the Eagles should be able to come to an agreement where Jenkins gets a raise without committing too many more years to him.

RODNEY MCLEOD. Regular season stats: 1012 defensive snaps, 131 special teams, 74 tackles, 6 passes defensed, 2 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, 1.0 sack. | Playoff stats: 64 defensive snaps, 8 special teams snaps, 2 tackles

McLeod barely missed any playing time in 2019 despite suffering season-ending MCL/ACL injuries in 2018. He finish the year ranked 60th out of 101 safeties graded by Pro Football Focus, for what it’s worth.

McLeod is going to be a free agent.  The Eagles could upgrade on him if they can land one of the top free agent safeties. But what if the Eagles don’t keep him and then miss out on their targets? Tough to get a good read on what’s going to happen here.

ANDREW SENDEJO. Regular season stats: 234 defensive snaps, 166 special teams snaps, 26 tackles, 2 passes defensed, 1 interception, 1.0 sack

Sendejo notably blew a coverage to allow a touchdown in the Eagles’ Week 2 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Then he knocked out Avonte Maddox, who had to be stretchered off the field, with a reckless hit in Week 4. The Eagles correctly waived Sendejo prior to Week 10 in order to make sure they didn’t lose a 2020 fourth-round compensatory pick by keeping him on the roster. That draft selection is more valuable than he was to the team. The Vikings added Sendejo back to their roster and he finished the season as a rotational player in Minnesota’s defense.

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