Best free agent safeties for Eagles to target

Eliot Shorr-Parks
February 17, 2020 - 8:20 am
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The Eagles are currently projected to enter the 2020 offseason with around $44 million in salary cap space, the most general manager Howie Roseman has had to work with in years. 

Here is a look at some of the safeties they could target in free agency if they were to lose either Malcolm Jenkins or Rodney McLeod: 

Anthony Harris, Minnesota Vikings: If the Eagles don’t bring back Malcolm Jenkins, Harris is a player they should have very high up on their list of replacements. Harris is in many ways a younger version of Jenkins, as he has experience playing free safety, but has also spent time in the box in a linebacker role and as a nickel cornerback. What stands out about Harris, outside of his versatility, is his ability to make plays. Harris has nine interceptions seventeen pass deflections over the last two seasons. Add in that Harris is five-years younger than Jenkins, and the Eagles might be forced to pay top-dollar for him if they can’t come to a deal with Jenkins and have to find his replacement. 

Justin Simmons, Denver Broncos: Simmons brings a lot of the same qualities as Harris — can play either safety spot, quality tackler, solid in coverage. He would be an upgrade over Rodney McLeod and could still play next to Jenkins if the Eagles to re-sign the veteran safety. The risk with Simmons is he has a short-track record of success, as he has really only had one elite season. That isn’t going to stop teams from paying him top dollar, however, which means if the Eagles want him they are going to need to place a large bet on him being the player he was in 2019 going forward, as opposed to the one he was the previous three seasons. 

Damarious Randall, Cleveland Browns: Randall’s career has been up-and-down, but one constant is his ability to make plays when given the chance. Randall has and impressive 14 interceptions in 65 games played, to go along with 47 pass deflections and 11 tackles for a loss. Randall can line up all over the field, and his ability to play man coverage would be key in the Eagles’ defensive scheme. Randall would be a contract-level below most of the top-tier safeties, but isn’t a huge drop off in talent. 

Eric Murray, Cleveland Browns: Murray did not get much playing time in Cleveland, but when he did, he played at a pretty high level during his one season with the Browns. Murray allowed just 11 receptions in 185 coverage snaps last season, not allowing a single touchdown in the process. What makes Murray intriguing is that he can play both cornerback and safety, something the Eagles very much value in their defensive backs. At just 26-years old, Murray is a player worth bringing in to compete for a starting job, and could be a valuable backup at two spots in the secondary. 

Will Parks, Denver Broncos: A Philadelphia native, Parks has been a career backup during his time in Denver, with only 15 starts in 62 games. Parks has the ability to play near the line of scrimmage if needed. If the Eagles did lose Jenkins, Parks could fill in for some of the linebacker-type roles Jenkins takes on in the Eagles’ defense. 

You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at esp@94wip.com!

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