I've got some good news and some bad news. We'll start with the latter.
The bad news is that the Eagles were not able to sign star free agent safety Jarius Byrd. It was rumored earlier in the day that the Eagles were a finalist for him. Byrd visited with the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday night and ended up signing with them instead. The talent in the free agent safety market continues to thin out and the Eagles still probably need to add another starter.
And now for the good news: the Eagles didn't sign Jairus Byrd to the ridiculous contract that the Saints just did. Look at these numbers: 6-year, $54 million, $28 million guaranteed. That's about $9 million a year, which makes Byrd the highest paid safety in the NFL. That's just ridiculous money. The Eagles could have afforded that price, but why would they want to do that? They still have depth to add in other areas on the team. Committing that much money to Byrd seems... irresponsible. Not to mention that there are numerous concerns regarding Byrd's health:
Got this from an NFL executive not in the Jairus Byrd sweepstakes: "Good player, but not clean health. I would not give him a ton of money."— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) March 11, 2014
As I wrote earlier after speaking with an NFL exec, there is some concern about Jairus Byrd's health. He's had recurring plantar fasciitis.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) March 11, 2014
Yeah, no thanks. Byrd is a great player and all but that price tag is huge. Malcolm Jenkins, who the Eagles signed on Tuesday afternoon, isn't nearly as talented as Byrd, but his contract ending up being a lot more reasonable: 3 years, $16.25 million, with $8.5 million guaranteed. Jenkins also doesn't have the same kind of injury concerns that come with Byrd.
The Eagles weren't extremely noisy on the first day of free agency, but they operated with care and did not spend unwisely. There's still a number of players available on the market for them to sign. It'll be interesting to see how the next couple of days shape up.