The Eagles will look to add some safety talent this season through both free agency and the draft. With three long-time Eagles safeties set to hit free agency and Pat Chung probably on his way out, Philadelphia may need to add several players at the position. The Eagles biggest priority for free agency may be bolstering the safety unit.
Dolphins free agent safety Chris Clemons is set to hit the market and could be of interest to the Eagles. He is likely to be part of the second wave of safety talent, which means he will come cheaper than the likes of T.J. Ward and Jairus Byrd. An affordable and experienced option, Clemons could be a prime target for the Eagles.
A fifth round pick out of Clemson, Clemons was taken with the 165th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Dolphins. Clemons served as a backup strong safety as a rookie and appeared in 11 games (two starts). He had 13 tackles in his first year.
Clemons saw heavy snaps in his second season, as he started in 14-of-15 games that he appeared in that year. He collected 61 tackles, 1.5 sacks, five pass breakups and two forced fumbles. However, he was demoted to special teams and backup status in 14 games during the 2011 season. He had just 13 tackles in this third season.
Clemons became a full-time starter in 2012, as he started all 16 games on the season. He produced 98 tackles, four pass breakups and two interceptions at strong safety. This past season, he also started 16 games across from free safety Rashad Jones. He had 92 tackles, eight pass breakups and an interception in 2013.
Appeal to the Eagles
At 6-foot-1 and 214 pounds, Clemons is a big safety. He is 28 but spent two seasons in limited action, so he has little mileage on his tires. He is not likely to ask for a heavy price or a significantly long-term deal, so if the Eagles are looking for a Cary Williams-like signing, Clemons would make sense. He also went to Clemson and the Eagles have had luck with safeties from Clemson.
Appeal to Clemons
Clemons is a native of Florida, so getting him to leave may be tough. However, he has been on a winning team in a while and the Eagles are a young group that can give him a shot at long-term success. After two seasons as a full-time starter, he is going to want to be paid as a starter and the Eagles can afford a deal like that. Clemons could see a huge role in the defense, which would appealing to any player.
If the Eagles are willing to go second-tier on safety, Clemons could be an ideal addition.
If Clemons is open to leaving Miami and his starting gig there, than the Eagles would be a pretty appealing suitor.
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