With Rodney McLeod going on injured reserve, the Philadelphia Eagles need help at safety. But we now know for sure that Earl Thomas won’t be their answer.
It’s really a shame for Thomas, who wanted the Seahawks to either give him a new deal or trade him to a team that would. Thomas showed good faith by playing instead of holding out of games like Le’Veon Bell. Thomas’s frustration was evident as he flipped off the Seahawks sideline while he was being carted off the field (as pictured above this article).
It was never necessarily “likely” that the Eagles were going to land Thomas (hence “pipe dream”), but he certainly made a lot of sense for Philadelphia with McLeod out.
The Eagles are currently in a spot where they’re relying on 33-year-old Corey Graham, previously a sub-package contributor, to play 100% of their defensive snaps. As evidenced in the Eagles’ Week 4 loss to the Titans, that’s just not ideal. Graham played in a role in the big plays allowed by Philadelphia’s secondary. His biggest mistake was when he lost track of a wide open Taywan Taylor on 4th-and-15. I mean, how does a seasoned vet allow that to happen? Unconscionable.
Another result of McLeod’s absence is that rookie corner Avonte Maddox is now taking snaps at safety despite the fact he’s never done in a game before. The Eagles were already putting a lot on Maddox’s plate by asking him to learn nickel corner after he barely played the position at Pitt. Now he has to learn another new position.
Acquiring Thomas wouldn’t have been cheap, but it couldn’t made a big difference. It certainly would’ve been preferable to the current alternatives.
But just because Thomas is hurt doesn’t mean the Eagles shouldn’t stop looking at external solutions. Last week we profiled a number of free agent safeties the Eagles can sign to help them out.
If there’s a silver lining to the Thomas injury, it could be that the Cowboys can no longer acquire him this season. Thomas may very well sign with Dallas in the offseason, though, given how he’s begged that team to come after him.