According to a report from Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk, the Philadelphia Eagles are interested in trading for a new starter at safety to pair with offseason acquisition Malcolm Jenkins. Per the report:
With the trade deadline two days away, the Eagles are looking to add a starting-caliber safety, according to a league source.
The Eagles are happy with free safety Malcolm Jenkins, but they’d like to upgrade at the strong safety position, where Nate Allen (pictured) is currently the starter.
Potential targets aren’t currently known. The first place to look would be the rosters of teams that are, as a practical matter, out of the postseason hunt.
NFL insider Ian Rapoport has suggested a few names that the Eagles might be interested in.
This report comes as the 2014 NFL trade deadline is fast approaching. At 4:00 PM EST on Tuesday, October 28, NFL teams will no longer be allowed to make trades for the rest of the season.
The Eagles have already been rumored to be interested in trading for Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson, so this might not be a quiet trade deadline for Philadelphia.
Why this makes sense
The Eagles clearly aren't very high on starting safety Nate Allen. The team decided to let him test free agency before finally bringing him back on a very inexpensive one-year deal. Outside of Malcolm Jenkins, who has played very well, Philadelphia's secondary has struggled in pass coverage and Allen is certainly responsible for some of those issues.
The Eagles interest in a veteran safety also comes as an indictment of second year defensive back Earl Wolff. Wolff was given the opportunity to compete with Allen for a starting job but the athletic North Carolina State product couldn't beat out the veteran. Wolff, a fifth round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, now mostly contributes on special teams.
Why this doesn't make sense
Anyone the Eagles trade for will have to come in and learn the playbook in a very short amount of time. As discussed earlier, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly seems to like roster continuity.
While Allen has struggled, it doesn't make sense for the Eagles to trade a draft pick away unless it's a clear upgrade.
Chances of it happening
I would not be surprised if the Eagles acquired a veteran safety. I'm not sure who it would be, but it wouldn't be a shock. I would put the odds at around 50%. The Eagles might not be able to find a starter at a price they're comfortable with.