With the main period of free agency and the draft behind us and offseason programs underway, we’ve got a pretty good look at what the Eagles will look like when they take the field for week 1 in September. Offensively, they certainly look a lot more dangerous with the addition of A.J. Brown on the outside. Paired with arguably the best offensive line in the league, a good group of running backs, and a top-ten tight end, the Eagles are set to score a lot this year if Jalen Hurts can continue to prove himself as a franchise quarterback.
On the other side, while much can be said about the draft selections of Georgia teammates Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean, and additions of Kyzir White and Haason Reddick, it is still debatable if the Eagles’ defense is going to be any better than it was last season and it’s because of the huge holes in their secondary.
Letting Rodney McLeod and Steven Nelson walk in free agency leaves two starting spots open in the secondary next to Pro Bowl corner Darius Slay and safety Anthony Harris. After not addressing the need in the draft and missing out on Tyrann Mathieu, for now, it looks like they will rely on Zech McPhearson, Tay Gowan, and K’Von Wallace along with hyped UDFAs in Josh Jobe and Mario Goodrich to fill the void. But the Eagles must look to add more depth in the secondary if that plan fails them. So what options are out there?
James Bradberry, CB
The best option the Eagles have is bringing in former pro-bowler James Bradberry who is set to be released by the New York Giants. Just two years after inking a $45 million deal in free agency, the Eagles could really use a player of his caliber across from Darius Slay. The 28-year-old cornerback registered 7 interceptions over the past two seasons with the Giants and could be an upgrade from Steven Nelson on the outside and help an Eagles defense that ranked tied for 21st in interceptions with 12.
With great size at 6-1, 212 lbs with long arms, Jonathan Gannon would love to have Bradberry in his press-heavy scheme.
Kyle Fuller, CB
Outside of Bradberry, Kyle Fuller is another interesting name out on the market. After an underwhelming season in Denver, the 30-year-old corner could be a serviceable stopgap at CB2 for the Eagles. While he may not be the Pro Bowl corner who recorded seven interceptions in 2018, he still started 10 games and played in 16 last season. With two good options in Darius Slay and Avonte Maddox at CB1 and slot corner, we just need a serviceable option. Kyle Fuller could be a fit.
Landon Collins, Safety
With Tyrann Mathieu heading to New Orleans, the free agency options at safety are limited outside of Landon Collins. The 28-year-old could be a decent option for the Eagles to play at free safety. The former Giant and Commander played 675 snaps in 2021, tallying 58 tackles, two interceptions, and two sacks before a foot injury knocked him out for the year in week 15. Unfortunately, the drawback on Collins is his availability. Over the past two seasons, he has missed 13 games with various injuries, but his versatility and ability to play in the box and in coverage could be enough to interest the Eagles.
Xavier Rhodes, CB
Another long, veteran cornerback that could fit in Jonathan Gannon’s system, Rhodes had a decent two-year stint in Indianapolis. Playing in 29 out of 33 games, the three-time pro bowler recorded three interceptions and 19 pass breakups. At 6-1, 218 lbs, the 32 could be another option who can be physical at the line of scrimmage and hang with wide receivers long enough to allow for the Eagles’ pass rush to get home.
With just three spots in the secondary locked up (Darius Slay, Avonte Maddox, and Anthony Harris), the Eagles are going to have quite the competition to fill the other two spots. Currently, they already have Tay Gowan, Kary Vincent Jr., Zech McPhearson, Mac McCain III, Josiah Scott, K’Von Wallace, and Marcus Epps all fighting for spots but adding a veteran to that group certainly couldn’t hurt.
We’re not quite at Michael Jacquet starting at corner against the Cowboys level of concern yet, but the Eagles’ secondary situation is something to keep an eye on moving forward.