The Philadelphia Eagles have officially confirmed the re-signing of safety Nate Allen. It's a one-year deal worth $2 million with another $1 million in play-time incentives, giving Allen the chance to earn up to $3 million.
Allen, 26, has been a free agent since the new league year began on Tuesday last week. The Eagles seemingly made no strong effort to re-sign Allen prior to that date. The team felt comfortable letting Allen test his value out on the open market. Now, he's back in Philadelphia on a short-term deal.
Allen was originally drafted by the Eagles in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft. The draft pick the Eagles used to select Allen came from Washington via the infamous Donovan McNabb trade. Allen showed some potential in his rookie year before suffering a season-ending knee injury. The next two years of Allen's careers weren't so encouraging. Allen really seemed to struggle behind the Eagles wide-nine defensive line front. With a new coaching staff in place, the Eagles switched to a 3-4 defense in 2013. Despite a rough start to the season, Allen seemed to struggle less than he had in the past. He was actually a solid starter.
This re-signing has the makings of a good move. The Eagles boost their safety depth by bringing back a player who already has experience in their system on an inexpensive, short-term deal. With Allen under contract, the Eagles have a total of five safeties on their roster: Malcolm Jenkins, Earl Wolff, Chris Maragos, Keelan Johnson, and Allen himself.
Re-signing Allen doesn't preclude the Eagles from taking a safety in the draft if the right player is available. It looks like Allen was brought back to be a quality depth player with a chance to compete for a starting job.