The NFL free agency period is winding down, but that doesn’t mean every notable free agent is off the board just yet. Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham, Stephon Gilmore, and Tyrann Mathieu, to name a few, are all still looking for a new home.
The Eagles have certainly been linked to several top tier targets this offseason, but Howie Roseman hasn’t landed many of them. Haason Reddick is his most notable signing thus far, inking a three-year deal worth up to $45 million on the first day of free agency. Since then, the Eagles have acquired wideout Zach Pascal along with linebacker Kyzir White, both of whom should fill needs for the team in 2022. Howie also agreed to terms on a blockbuster draft trade with New Orleans.
With the NFL Draft less than a month away, the Eagles could still look to fill out their roster a bit with veteran free agents. Here are five more free agents that Roseman and Co. should keep tabs on.
S Kareem Jackson
The Eagles already brought back one of their veteran safeties in Anthony Harris, but they’ve yet to fill the starting spot opposite of him. Rodney McLeod remains available, so Howie could always run it back with Harris and McLeod as his safety duo.
If Howie wants to get some fresh blood in his secondary, former Broncos corner/safety Kareem Jackson could make some sense. He’s on the older side — he’ll be 34 years old heading into next year — but his skill set would fit well in Jonathan Gannon’s scheme. He had a down year in 2021, posting a Pro Football Focus grade of 52.0. But in the two years prior, Jackson graded out as a top-10 safety.
The cover 1 scheme Jackson played in under Vic Fangio is pretty unforgiving, especially for an aging safety who’s clearly lost a step from his prime. In Gannon’s two-high looks, Jackson could recapture his former self with a less taxing role.
He’s certainly not the player he once was, but if Howie just wants to add a veteran stop-gap at the position and doesn’t want to bring McLeod back, Jackson would be a good fit.
CB Janoris “Jackrabbit” Jenkins
Though Stephon Gilmore would be a better option to place opposite of Darius Slay at cornerback, Jackrabbit Jenkins would be a fine consolation prize. Over the course of his 10-year NFL career, Jenkins has proven to be scheme versatile and has provided solid outside cornerback play every step of the way.
Jenkins is the type of stop-gap option that Steven Nelson was last season essentially. He won’t move the needle a whole lot, but he’ll be competent enough to carry his load on the outside. In a scheme that doesn’t rely heavily on man coverage, Jenkins could still add some playmaking ability to the Eagles defense at this stage of his career.
If the team strikes out on Gilmore, Jenkins would be a nice fall back plan to help mentor some of the young corners in the Eagles secondary.
S DeShon Elliott
If Gannon has faith in Marcus Epps taking on a bigger role in 2022, bringing in a guy who can play in that rotational role would make sense. Former Ravens safety DeShon Elliott has been a spot starter in Baltimore for most of his three-year career. At just 24 years old, Elliot has some upside to his game as well.
In six starts last year, Elliott recorded 23 combined tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sacks and 1 interception. he was the glue for the Ravens secondary once they sustained numerous injuries on the backend. Gannon rotated his safeties quite a bit down the stretch last season and Elliott could provide some stellar play in that role, while also giving the team some long-term potential given his age.
RB Justin Jackson
If the Eagles don’t want to spend another draft pick on a running back, signing 25-year-old Justin Jackson to a one-year deal could be in the cards. He’s dealt with durability issues throughout his career, so his best fit is in a backfield that just needs rotational pieces. The Eagles already have Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, and Kenneth Gainwell at their disposal. Adding someone like Jackson would just provide the run-heavy Eagles with more depth and give Nick Sirianni another change of pace at the position.
Even though Howie spent a draft pick on Gainwell last season, drafting another back may still be the best route to take here. But if that doesn’t pan out, Jackson should still be available for the taking.
S Terrell Edmunds
Buying low on safeties has always been Roseman’s mantra, and former Steelers safety Terrell Edmunds fits into that criteria. Although the Steelers have reportedly offered Edmunds a contract, the team still has hopes of signing Mathieu.
In his four seasons with Pittsburgh, Edmunds started 60 out of a possible 64 games. He’s accumulated 5 interceptions, 21 pass defensed, 340 combined tackles, and 3 sacks. Edmunds took a big step forward in coverage this past season, an area of his game that’s been somewhat inconsistent during his career. On the year, Edmunds allowed a completion percentage of 56.6% and a passer rating of 63.7 when targeted.
At just 25 years old, Edmunds could prove to be a long-term solution at the safety position for the Eagles, while coming in at an affordable price.