Six Safeties the Eagles Could Target

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers

It’s time to ramp up the free agency coverage. In the coming days, we’ll take a look at some key positions of need, starting with (what else?) safety.

Below are six players who could be options, starting with the highest-profile and ending with the sleepers.


* Note: Ages account for how old each will be at the start of the 2014 season.

Jairus Byrd, Bills (27) - As you might have noticed, we've written quite a bit about Byrd in recent weeks. He figures to command the highest paycheck among the free-agent safeties. Byrd (5-10, 203) is a pure ball-hawk who can play as the single-high safety in the middle of the field, read the quarterback and make plays on the football. His 22 interceptions since 2009 are tops among safeties, and Byrd's 11 forced fumbles during that span are second-most.

So why not break the bank for the 27-year-old? There are a few reasons. For starters, Byrd's measurables don't jump off the page. He has average size and ran a 4.68 coming out of college. If you're the Eagles, are you prepared to offer a huge contract to a guy who isn't particularly special from an athleticism standpoint? The other concern is he had plantar fasciitis in both of his feet last year and missed five games.

Big-money free agents can cause resentment in the locker room, leading players to wonder why they're not the ones getting paid. So fit with someone like Byrd is important. Chip Kelly should have a leg up considering his Oregon ties. Kelly was the offensive coordinator for two of the years Byrd played for the Ducks.

My gut feeling? The Eagles will keep an eye on Byrd, but they have a "walk-away number" for each free agent. Ultimately, I think the bidding gets too high, and they bow out.

[Click here for our in-depth All-22 breakdown of Byrd]

T.J. Ward, Browns (27) - He and Byrd are the consensus top two guys on the market, but their games are quite different.

Ward is at his best playing up in the box. He's a master at making plays near the line of scrimmage and can really bolster a team's run defense. Ward is probably underrated in coverage. He's not the deep-middle safety that Byrd is, but Ward can match up with opposing tight ends and brings a physicality to the table.

At 5-10, 200, Ward isn't the biggest guy either, but he's solid and possesses a versatile skill set.

If you asked me which of the top-two guys the Eagles are more likely to add, I'd say Ward. He won't be as expensive as Byrd and played two years for Kelly (as a head coach) at Oregon.

[Click here for an in-depth All-22 breakdown of Ward]

Malcolm Jenkins, Saints (26) - If you like Jenkins, you'll tout his versatility. The former cornerback has good man-to-man cover skills and can play opposite slot receivers.

If you don't like Jenkins, you'll call him a tweener. He can fill a variety of roles, but the 2009 first-round pick has yet to show that he stands out in any one area. The Eagles aren't looking for a nickel. They are looking for a safety. And Jenkins has not proven to be much of a ball-hawk in the deep part of the field.

We know this coaching staff values versatility. Jenkins is young and has good measurables (6-0/204, ran a 4.54 coming out of college). He's also said to rank highly in the intangibles/chemistry department, having served as a captain in each of the past two seasons.

Jenkins is not a perfect fit and is no guarantee to solve the Eagles' safety problems, but as far as mid-tier options go, he checks many of the boxes and will likely be one of the guys the team looks at.

[Click here for our in-depth All-22 breakdown of Jenkins]

Mike Mitchell, Panthers (27) - He might be my favorite under-the-radar option for the Eagles. He was reportedly an Al Davis pick for the Raiders back in 2009 and came off the board in the second round, earlier than many anticipated. Mitchell never got things going in Oakland, and the Panthers signed him to a one-year deal last offseason.

Mitchell (6-0, 210) reportedly ran a 4.39 at his Pro Day coming out of college. In Sean McDermott's defense, he played a variety of roles - rushing the passer (four sacks), playing deep, etc. Mitchell has been described as a box safety, but PFF's numbers suggest that notion is off-base.

The difficult part in evaluating Mitchell is that he played with such a talented front seven. I didn't see him line up in man coverage all that much, and his tackling needs to improve. But he's got good measurables, doesn't have a lot of mileage on his tires and can be a big hitter.

Mitchell would be a nice mid-tier option with some upside for the Eagles.

[Click here for our in-depth All-22 breakdown of Mitchell]

Stevie Brown, Giants (27) - The Eagles went after a former Giants safety last offseason, and we all know the Kenny Phillips addition didn't pan out. But they could take a look at another one this year.

Brown tore his ACL in August and missed all of the 2013 season. But in 2012, he started 11 games and had eight interceptions (11 passes defended) to go along with two forced fumbles.

Brown (5-11, 221) reportedly ran a 4.52 out of college.

Again, he's far from the perfect candidate, and the Eagles would have to see where he is from a medical standpoint. But Brown has decent measurables and experience. He could be another mid-tier option.

Darian Stewart, Rams (26) - Credit where credit is due. Stewart wasn't on my radar until KC Joyner of ESPN.com mentioned him as a possible fit earlier this week.

If you're looking for a deep sleeper who could compete for playing time, Stewart could make sense. He started six games last year and appeared in 13. In the games I watched, Stewart played in the box quite a bit, but also spent a fair amount of time on opposing tight ends.

An undrafted free agent out of South Carolina, Stewart (5-11, 214) has decent size and ran a 4.53 coming out of college.

There will be no rush to Modell's for jerseys if the Eagles sign Stewart, but he could be someone they take an inexpensive flier on.

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  • morgan c

    Good piece, and thanks. The thing is, the “take a flyer on this guy on a 1 year cheap deal” isn’t working out for us. See: Chung, Patrick. So though I understand Howie is hesitant to pull the trigger after our Dream Team fiasco, I think it makes sense to break the bank for Byrd. Again, signing ONE high priced guy doesn’t debilitate you if it doesn’t work out. Signing two or three does. Get Byrd and otherwise stick with the mid-tier FA stuff and draft well.
    But ya, they probably won’t pay him what he wants. I understand. Just wish 2011 never happened.

    • Sum

      I honestly think Malcolm Jenkins is the guy we want. Byrd and Ward come from losing teams, and Byrd specifically hasn’t really been a team guy having been a hold out, as well as having injury issues. Ward doesn’t have a special skill set.

      Jenkins can play reliably, is young, and actually projects solid upside to me. Reminds me of a Hugh Douglas/Troy Vincent type of signing back in the day. First and foremost, he’s a winner having played at both Ohio State, and winning a Super Bowl in NO. I also don’t think we’ve seen the best of him as a Safety yet. Started as a CB as a rookie, then moves to FS for two seasons, switches Defensive Coordinators in his third, and then also his fourth year as a Safety. Was also a Captain the past two seasons.

      I think given some stability in scheme he could potentially give us a very solid, smart player akin to a Connor Barwin at a position where we’ve been dogged by ineptitude.

      • GEAGLE

        I can almost guarentee Jenkins is who we go after aggressively if the two BIGTIME safeties price there way out

        • Kushan Patel

          I know you’re leading the charge on the Byrd train, but I actually don’t want Byrd because of the price tag and foot issues. Would be happy with TJ Ward if he comes at the right price and we can re-sign Nate to play FS. I know you’re not a fan, but I’m really hoping we sign Jenkins and Mitchell.

          • GEAGLE

            If you know so much about me, you should know that I’m actually starting to think Ward would be a better fit for our scheme

        • Guest

          “If we don’t go after the first two on this list, I can almost guarantee that we will go after the third!”

      • Kushan Patel

        100% agree. I feel like I’m one of the few who really likes Jenkins. People on this board really underrate him. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a decent market for him and he doesn’t come as cheap as expected. Good measurables, winner, experienced but still young, and strong character sounds like a good formula to me. From the what little games of the Saints that I’ve watched, he’s made a few eye-popping plays (imo). He passes my eye test and I seriously think he’ll be legit in Philly. I’m excited and hope we sign him. And Mitchell from the Panthers. That sets us up for BPA in the draft.

      • BleedGreenJames

        I’d be happy with Jenkins and adding a guy in the draft like Jimmie Ward or Bucannon. Malcolm has had a lot of success in NO since he was drafted and is a vastly superior talent to anyone on our roster at S.

      • Nfl All Day

        The “comes from a winning organization” argument is one I disagree with. Thinking back to the early 2000′s the Patriots would freguently sign solid veterans who came from teams that hadn’t won a Lombardi. The thought being that they were more driven by finally having the opportunity to reach the promised land. Being a star on a bad team, in a small market, is like being the President of Latvia vs. being Obama. The average fan has no idea how good these two are except that their names are being floated out there now as FA nears.

        The coaching stability argument tho is a good one. Having to switch schemes every year as coaches get fired can have a hell of a detrimental effect on a young players developement. I think this has to be considered when you evaluate many of the young defenders on our roster, Nate Allen in particular, who I’d rather resign, & let compete with Earl Wolfe than spend on Malcom Jenkins.

  • oreofestar

    After Byrd ad Ward I lost interest

    • peteike

      Mitchell seems ok to take a chance on at a decent price. No clue what that would be? Is it even remotely possible to sign Byrd or Ward and Mitchell? Id guess no, I really hope they splash with Byrd. Like others have said, hes asking a lot so its either go to a winner or let the Raiders over pay you. Browns could also over pay but I wouldnt even call it that. Good safety play is now crucial in this pass happy big points league and the choices are slim.

      • GEAGLE

        Mitchell is Nate Allen…sucked his entire career, played well in his contract year…no thanks

  • Oli Richford

    Any thoughts on Whitner?

    • MediaMike

      overrated, can’t cover that well, and draws too many flags. I’d love him if were the 1994 free agent class.

  • Dilwala_G

    Confused by the love for Ward if he’s mainly an in-the-box run guy. We need safety help because of our pass defense, so why target SS types? Personally, I’d love two mid-tier guys who can be good, plus hopefully draft someone or add back Nate Allen at reasonable price and Wolff then let them all compete and pick best 2. If we take Byrd, we are still going to be very thin at the position and he can get hurt (see last season). They need depth AND upgrade, not sure they can afford that if they go marquee

    • GEAGLE

      Don’t listen to the nonsense…Ward can cover his ass off. He is just a man to man cover guy instead of the centerfielder that Byrd is…simple minded media looks at him, sees that he hits everything that moves, and assumes he isn’t a cover guy, he is a really quality man to man defender

      • oreofestar

        Thank you people are acting like Ward can not cover, he covers better than most safeties and while he is no Byrd in coverage he is a beast against the run

        • GEAGLE

          People are to simple minded to realize it, but Ward may even be a better fit then Byrd, and everyone knows how highly I think of byrd

          • oreofestar

            He might be and he has more connections to the Eagles than Byrd I would be pleased with either though

          • GEAGLE

            He got to see Chip as a HC, Byrd didn’t. It’s only logical that Ward would be more attracted to us then Byrd

  • jabostick

    I’d be interested in how Sheil views these guys (aside from Byrd and Ward obviously) compare to Nate Allen. It’s possible that everyone (Nate included) wants a fresh start but I wonder if the devil you know is better than the one you don’t if you’re not getting one of the top two.

    *In either scenario, I’m assuming Safety is still a high priority in the draft

    • reb

      Maybe the summaries weren’t in-depth enough, but the feel I’ve gotten from the coverage is that all of the above guys are at least competent at their position: being in the right spot, taking good angles, making tackles, etc… Allen, though she showed some improvement, still suffered in all of those areas.

    • GEAGLE

      Yeah I’d like to hear Sheils thoughts,,I could do without tims tho. Great reporter, not so much in terms of analysis and predicting

  • Clamdigger

    Better safety:
    Patrick Chung or Sean Taylor’s corpse strapped to a Segway?

    • jabostick

      Chung. But only because Segways are overpriced

      • NickS1

        At 3.25mil, I’d say chung may be more overpriced than the Segway.

        • OldDocRoss

          At $3, 25c Chung would still be more overpriced.

    • dnabrice

      Sean Taylor was awesome. Sorry to see him go. Saved us a lot of headache as Bird’s fans.

  • FMWarner

    I really like Mitchell for the Eagles, but he’s been very upfront about the fact that he wants to stay in Carolina. They have cap problems though, so they might have to let him walk away even if he wants to stay. Byrd’s health and likely paycheck scare the bejeezus out of me. Never say never, but my guess is that whoever backs the truck up to Byrd is going to be trying to trade an untradeable contract in two years.

    • Michael

      I think he’s plenty durable, in his prime, and will fit our D perfectly. Hard to blame him for not really rushing to get back to play in Buffalo this year knowing this offseason is probably his only major payday. Howie can get it done where it won’t kill us in the long run.
      2009 – 14 GP
      2010 – 16 GP
      2011 – 16 GP
      2012 – 16 GP
      2013 – 11 GP

      • GEAGLE

        He wasn’t even injured. He was holding out while still getting paid, the “injury” way

        • oreofestar

          probably what did he have to lose, they were going to lose games regardless and he actually wanted to get out

          • GEAGLE

            Kind of smart actually…instead of holding out and losing money…blame it on an injury that is undetectable and not really serious enough to scare anyone away

          • travis papa

            I watched the Byrd injury thing closely bc my wife is a bills fan & she had him in an idp fantasy league and that is exactly what he did is milk it because of the franchise tag injury deal. The way I seen it he was more or less cleared wk1 to play but he didn’t til wk6 and every wk was the same story that they thought he was going to play every wk up til gm time.

        • Michael

          Exactly. Even if he was slightly injured or sore, he wasn’t playing hurt for Buffalo or busting his hump to get back to that mess. If he’s on a playoff team, I bet he plays 16 games last year. I don’t understand all this injury hysteria.

  • Token

    At this point its getting tiring to talk about. Luckily its only a little more than a week away. Its simple, Byrd is the perfect fit for what they need. The options after him aren’t that enticing. One B player in Ward and bunch of C and D players that will get paid like B players.

    I do think the Byrd number wont be this crazy high number. Maybe im out of my damn mind. But the more I hear it said how nuts the bidding will get the more I keep thinking its probably not gonna be the case. Does it often end up being the case? Theres been players that do end up getting ridiculous FA contracts, but for the most part the hype tends to be more than the actual payout. I anticipate a contract in the low 10′s per year. And I feel like im a bit high with that. I think in the 9′s is more realistic. But I could just be wacked out because im the only one who seems to think he goes for that.

    • Adam

      Realistically out of that list of 4 I think we might have the best shot at Ford. I don’t see the other guys making it past the top 18 but like you said it’s a ways away so it can change. Barr is interesting. Would love to see him here, I wonder if the teams big boards will match up with mocks we’ve been seeing.

      • oreofestar

        I do not love Ford at OLB but that may just be me I think Pryor and Dennard should be though about too, at least considered

        • MediaMike

          I agree complexly about Ford due to his height. If he was 6’5, I’d love the guy at ROLB.

      • GEAGLE

        Did you get the recent quotes I posted for you yesterday adam?

    • oreofestar

      Hopefully Byrd will take a little less to go to a competitor I think(hope) he would rather take a 5 year $46 mil deal from Philly than a lets say 5 year $52mil deal from WAS, or OAK

      • MediaMike

        You could get him @ your price.

        • oreofestar

          Yeah right now I am thinking the Eagles could get him in the low 9 range granted he will get higher offers but that will be from the WAS, ATL, OAK and MINs of the world

          • MediaMike

            $9.2 / year for Byrd is plausible. I still don’t totally believe that there won’t be one team that gives him a 6th year and $10 / year. Cleveland cleared a ton of space and could easily throw 6 / $60 mil at him. The Skins might as well. We’ll see.

          • oreofestar

            Skins would be stupid too with barely $20mil and Riley to resign and holes all over the roster but you ever know with the Skins they do stupid things, Cleveland and Oakland have a ridiculous amount of money but my assumption has to be Byrd wants to go somewhere where he can win according to his comments yesterday, trust me he will get $10mil offers but I think he would spare a few hundred thousand a year to play on a competitor

          • MediaMike

            And if the Skins get Orakpo to agree to a long term tem, his cap number for this year can drop by a good deal. They might have more money than we think in another week.

          • oreofestar

            He refuses to even sign the 11.4mil tag and even if they sign to a long term deal he will still be making close to 10mil per year, Skins still have holes on the both lines, the whole secondary, ILB, WR

          • MediaMike

            If you Jerry Jones your contracts with a lot of years and big signing bonuses, you can actually sign quite a few guys to big contracts at the same time.

          • GEAGLE

            They will throw a brinks truck at Aqib talib

      • Eagles1018

        The NFL is a business. If we think any of these guys is leaving money on the table we’re kidding ourselves. I mean put yourself in a star free agents position. Is this team gonna give me an extra few million cuz they want me and in turn I can take care of my family? Or pay me less because they are competitive and not give me anything if I blow my knee out etc. Harsh reality of it all. I want Ward in Philly as much as the next fan. But he’s going to the highest bidder. Period

        • anon

          I’d agree unless we were seattle, denver, sf, ne, etc. we aren’t quite that level. offensive players would take a short term deal here for the stats, but i think it’s a tougher sell on d.

    • anon

      Agents know cap space is exploding in next 3 years, almost irresponsible not to get paid.

  • Jerry Pomroy

    From NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling:

    “If Dallas loses Ware and defensive tackle Jason Hatcher, they are essentially starting from scratch on defense while the Philadelphia Eagles put a stranglehold on the NFC East.”

    Nice to be back on top of the division. Would Birds have any interest in Ware with the FA OLB well being dry? My guess is no, but it would be nice to snatch him up if even just to take him away from the Cowgirls.

    • MediaMike

      For the record I would like to make this official by seeing players in midnight green celebrating over the bashed, battered, and out for the season body of Eli Manning.

      • GEAGLE

        My man Mike…poetic as always

    • cliff henny

      Dallas told Ware it’s paycut or cut. I still don’t see why Ware takes a cut. he’s seen inferior and injured players get restructured, which is basically a raise, and he has to take a cut-get bent, i’m not bailing you out. plus, what incentive does he have? Dallas will owe him money and he wont be out of a job for long.

      • GEAGLE

        I would friggin beg them to cut me, and go play for a team that has a clue with what little time he has left

        • cliff henny

          trying to get him on something like Suggs, but Suggs had no dead money, Ware has 8m. i’d play hardball. JJ will mess it up, then toss Dez Murray and Smith insane contract.

          • GEAGLE

            Pretty much…I’m not taking a friggin pay cut in what few years I have left to play for a team that has no shot at the division. WTF n the world would lead Ware to think this year would be different…jerry keeps saying that because he put up 140mil, he has the right to all final personel decisions…how ytiggin dysfunctional is that? And the Interviewers like Mortenson just look at him like WTF is wrong with this dude

    • GEAGLE

      Unfortunately, Wessling is the same idiot who writes that a team with Goldson,Barron!Revis is going to sign Byrd because his dad is some position coach. Like how does that idiot deserve a paycheck this week?

  • MediaMike

    If Mitchell was playing in McDermott’s D, he must be a master at allowing Red Zone TDs.

    • Maggie

      McDermott was in a lose/lose situation in Philly. Others seem to value him more highly: “Sean McDermott is in his third season as the Panthers’ defensive coordinator in 2013. The Panthers were 28th in team defense in 2011. They improved to 10th in 2012 and were second in 2013.” Both Washington and Cleveland considered him a possibility for Head Coach, although they both went in another direction eventually. I would speculate that he turned down both of them.

      • MediaMike

        Any accomplishments of the D in Carolina was due to Rivera’s scheme. McDermott, and his ALL TIME BAD AND NFL WORST RED ZONE D in 2010, is stain upon humanity.

        • GEAGLE

          And 16 defensive first round draft pics

        • Maggie

          Odd. In Philly, it’s Davis’ defensive schemes getting the credit yet the Panthers’ improvement on defense you credit to the HC? Hmm. such personal hatred. And there is no such thing as 16 first round draft picks.

          • GEAGLE

            Why are you such a worthless idiot…like the concept of a defensive head coach isn’t some foreign novelty act, yet you worthlessy compare it to an offensive HC Chip, Known to delegate to his DC? Do you even think before you talk? Guess Wikpedia couldn’t help you

  • MediaMike

    I’m really interested to see what the final contract numbers are for Byrd and Ward. Considering hype boy Eric Weddle is $8 / year and suspension maven Goldson is $8.25 / year……………… Ward has to start at $8.5 / year and Byrd is beyond even that.

    • oreofestar

      Ward will not start at 8.5 Goldson last year and Ward this year are close in kill and I think Ward will get a Goldsonish contract and Byrd is tougher to figure out because we do not know if he is going to take less to go to a contender or if he wants to cash out if it is the ladder I expect a deal around 10mil

      • MediaMike

        Can you honestly say that Ward is not better than Goldson?

        • oreofestar

          He is now but last year coming in to FA Goldson was a prow bowler who was good against the run and was around Ward’s current level in hindsight the deal was not good but at the time that was his price tag and Ward will receieve a similar price tag, plus Bucs overpaid for Goldson

          • MediaMike

            From what I’m reading about Ward here vs. Goldson at the same time last year, Ward is being rated better vs. the pass. He’s a decent cover guy, just not a ballhawk. Goldson is neither.

          • oreofestar

            Goldson was overpaid and I just said that Goldson last year and Ward this year are pretty close and Ward will get a deal in that range withing 200000 per year either way

          • MediaMike

            Except Goldson really wasn’t overpaid if you look at the $8 mil / year going to Weddle. Every contract is in play for discussion of the next contract, it’s all relative.

          • oreofestar

            I agree still I think Ward will get a deal very close to what Goldson got like a 5 year deal worth $40-$42m seem appropriate and likely unless there is a bidding war

          • MediaMike

            Considering how many teams have cap space and a need a safety; a bidding war is assured.

  • Uncle Wonder

    If the murmurings are true that Decoud will be a cap casualty in ATL, I would add him to the list. He had a rough 2013 but so did that entire team. He has good size and has generally been a quality player throughout his career.

    • GEAGLE

      Rough doesn’t begin to describe his struggles this year. Want absolutely nothing to do with:
      Decoud
      Mitchell 1yr wonder
      Stevie brown? Meh

      Get me Ward and Jenkins and let’s field a TOP defense to go along with our historically potent offense

      • oreofestar

        If we get Ward and Jenkins that would be nasty! but I want Byrd and he continually hints at the Eagles with his comments, I am also interested in Alex Carrington and Brandon Browner

        • GEAGLE

          Ahhhh you looked into my boy Carrington I see. Smart man, I think he could end up in midnight green. He was hurt last year, but he was a really efficient interior pass rusher in 2012

          • oreofestar

            You sparked my interest, I checked him out, looked into him I like him

          • GEAGLE

            There is NO pressure like pressure up the middle in a QBs face…Carrington can be a really nice addition rotating with Curry and Cox as our DTs when we go to our four man line in nickle

          • oreofestar

            indeed that would be nice and with Logan, Curry, Cox, Carrington and Thorton rotating people can shut up about drafting a DT in the first

        • GEAGLE

          If we get Ward and Jenkins, the teams in our division should consider sitting there best players all year. They won’t have the fire power to play with us, so they might as well not risk what few good players they have,,,talk about a strangle hold on the division…we could do so much with Ward and Jenkins! we could add a dime package, 3 safety looks. Really hope Howie is ATleast considering signing both

          • oreofestar

            When you think about it we could get both for about 12mish a year which is like 2.5m more than we would spend Byrd

          • GEAGLE

            Yes sir. If we slash Chung’s salary to 2m..we would be investing 15m in 4 safeties which isn’t crazy

          • oreofestar

            I still think we should just cut Chung

          • GEAGLE

            I won’t be singing don’t cry for me Argentina if they cut him that’s for sure…but with him, we need 3 safeties..get me 3 safeties and then I’d gladly talk about replacing him…and if we are stuck with him for one more year to make Ward or Byrd happy, how many teams actually have a better 4th safety then Chung? Cut him, keep him..I ain’t losing sleep over either decision

          • oreofestar

            I would rather cut him and replace him with a rookie whether it is Pryor in the first or Bailey in the 3rd or anyone else it is hard to get worse than Chung, but if he takes a substantial pay cut then so be it

          • GEAGLE

            Fine with me..but I could also see the merits in having Two safeties on your roster who were here last year, get new safeties, me then replace Chung next year…however they want to do it is fine by me

          • oreofestar

            As long as he is not getting 3.5mil to warm up the bench

          • GEAGLE

            He can forget ever making any 3.5 a year again

          • oreofestar

            and lets say we do get Byrd then I doubt we sign any other safeties in FA so it would be Byrd and then Wolff/Rookie starting and then Chung I guess

          • GEAGLE

            Yup…if you get Byrd! we practically have to go with a rookie contract! and a cheap 4th safety…but there is ATleast a smidget of hope that we can get Ward and another FA safety, but I would call it a long shot

          • oreofestar

            So you would prefer Ward and Jenkins to Byrd and Wolff or Pryor or something like that because I would

          • GEAGLE

            I’d lose my mind if we had:
            Ward
            Jenkins
            Wolff
            Buhannon
            Chung/or Corey Graham(not really a safety, more DB/slot) to replace Colt as ST leader

      • Uncle Wonder

        Well as you know its easy for things to spiral out of control when youre on a bad team and you lose confidence…but Decoud has been a pro bowler…and has good range and will be cheap

  • Rick H

    Honestly the more I have watched T.J. Ward the more I like him. He is an All Pro! I really like the idea of a guy that can anticipate in the run game and tackle well. He is also good in coverage. To me at a much more fair but reasonable price I think I am leaning towards him.
    Does it matter? The Eagles already know their priority players. Like someone else said it is getting old talking about it. Let’s get things rolling and find out!!!

    • GEAGLE

      Ward might even be a better fit for our scheme then my beloved Byrd man

      • Rick H

        How many hours until free agency begins??? I need to get pumped up even more!

        • oreofestar

          138hrs 15 minutes

          • Rick H

            Too funny! Now I know I am not the only Eagles nut here…

  • Scott J

    Everyone keeps comparing the different style of play between Byrd and Ward but are forgetting we have another safety too. I would try to sign Byrd and have him play single-high safety and have Earl Wolff play in the box, since he’s a big hitter. Unfortunately, I think Byrd is going to sign with his old DC that’s now the HC of the Browns. That’s probably why the Brown’s didn’t tag Ward.

  • Goombachiphi

    Does anyone know how to get the RSS feed for this site working?

  • Tom W

    I’m done talking about safeties after this until we sign someone.

    1) why the hell do we care at all about college 40 times for guys who came out 6 yrs ago and why would that be a determining factor … Who the hell cares … And for Byrd he obviously proved he overcame his 4.6 time bc he is a freaking all pro!!! Pointless argument. Jerry rice ran a 4.7. Haden too … And they are all timers ad all pro. After u have already proven yourself no one cares about the goddamn combine for pros. Stop focusing on that it’s weird. Look at ingame play and ratings. Byrd is a monster

    2). Ward isn’t going to be much cheaper. Atleast 8 for 40 so I dunno how he is a bargain. And ward and Jenkins will cost is 13.5 mil … About 4.5 mil more than Byrd. And at that point we probaly would be in top 3 spending at safety in the entire league. Ain’t happening

    3. All the options after the top 2 all pretty much suck and we didn’t even mention Whitner. Let’s not sugarcoat. It’s a big droppoff.

    4. Anything is better than Chung though.

    5. The foot injuries are bs. He stayed out bc he didn’t wanna get hurt as long as possible under the franchise tag Week 6

    • anon

      Speed matters for a box safety that’s rushing the passer. Byrd’s speed doesnt matter b/c he’s playing 20 yards from the los.

      Stevie Brown is on par with the other guys, look at his stats before the injury. Byrd and Ward aren’t the only two guys out there — if Brown hits FA we better sign him.

      • Tom W

        Brown had one yr w a lot of ints and that’s it. One yr. really did nothing the rest of his career. Then he had a major acl and missed all of last yr. so he is a question w only one yr of production coming off major injury. He doesn’t compare at all w Byrd or wards career And we don’t know about his recovery

  • anon

    Cant believe giants havent signed brown. if he hits fa i expect were going to make him an offer, honestly prob best value. giants are dumb, but they have other guys.

  • Sean

    Last time Eagles signed a Giant coming off an torn ACL, it didn’t go so well. Got stuck with the shitty Steve Smith

    • travis papa

      He had microfracture surgery as well which is a big difference. Ask graham. Smith never recovered and a lot of ppl don’t fully. Graham has overcome a tremendous amount honestly and the guy deserves a real shot at starting

  • PDXDuck

    Byrd would be perfect for the Birds IMHO. He would be the ideal center fielder the team so desperately needs. He plays much faster than his forty time because of his high football IQ and instincts. He played corner at Oregon and was 2nd all-time in INTs before leaving school as a junior. His dad played corner for San Diego. He’s the real deal. Interestingly enough, he played in a secondary in college that also featured Patrick Chung, TJ Ward and Walter Thurmond (corner for Seattle). Chung was the best overall player of the four but he’s been banged up in the NFL. My only concern with Byrd would be his feet, but he played at a high level last season once he was healthy. He would solve so many problems on the back end and would instantly become the QB of the secondary. Sign Byrd and CB Brandon Browner, trade-up and draft LB Anthony Barr in the first round, snag LB Shane Skov in the later rounds and the D would be set.

  • rich kotite

    how come whitner’s name never comes up as a possibility?