The Philadelphia Eagles need an upgrade at the safety position, and there are a few options available for the Eagles in this free agent period. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Zach Berman took a look at the Eagles safety situation and believes that the team needs stability in the back-end of the secondary; a sentiment I couldn’t agree with more.
Berman highlighted three safeties in particular who would help this squad in AFC East standout Jairus Byrd, San Francisco 49ers safety Dashon Goldson, and New England Patriots injury-prone strong safety Patrick Chung. As the piece notes, both Byrd and Chung are former stars for the Oregon Ducks, so that could definitely influence Chip Kelly. Berman also writes that the Eagles could target a safety in the second-round (or later on in the draft).
The Eagles could use help at either free or strong safety, so it really doesn’t matter who they sign as long as that player is an upgrade. All three of them would be upgrades for either Nate Allen (I still think he has plenty to prove) and Kurt Coleman (he’s not bad, but he’s more of a third safety guy like the Patriots Steve Gregory).
Chung isn’t much of a coverage player, but his hard-hitting actually helps the team out in coverage. But in deep coverage, Chung is clearly subpar in that regard. His run defense and leadership are two qualities that can help out any team, but all of his good traits that make him a quality starting SS in this league are cut down a size due to his propensity for getting injured. The Eagles best option is obviously Byrd, but he’s also going to be the hardest guy for the Eagles to get.
The Patriots don’t have a need for Byrd since they already have a great free safety in Devin McCourty, but Dashon Goldson is a guy to watch for in free agency. He can also play at strong safety and was once offered a contract by the Patriots. However, it was a very cheap contract that he declined in order to stay with the 49ers. Goldson will most likely not sign with the Patriots and isn’t a “perfect” fit, but he would be an upgrade and is someone to at least keep the occasional tabs on this offseason.
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