The Philadelphia Eagles do not plan to offer a tender to impending restricted free agent Jaylen Watkins, according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport. This means that Watkins will now be an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins in March.
As you’ve heard 1,000 times by now, the Eagles are very limited on cap space this offseason. They’re currently $9.7 million over the cap, according to Over The Cap.
Therefore, the Eagles have to be smart about how they spend. Giving a tender to Watkins would’ve have been insanely costly, but $1.9 million is not nothing.
It’s possible the Eagles are hoping Watkins tests the market and doesn’t get any offers. In that event, Philly could bring him back and sign him to the veteran minimum. But all it takes is one team to take a chance on him to foil that plan.
Watkins played 333 total snaps for the Eagles in 2017: 168 on defense and 165 on special teams. The 26-year-old held some value as a backup defensive back who could play both cornerback and safety.
The Eagles already have a lot of corner options, but Philadelphia is light on safety depth. Corey Graham, who turns 33 in July, is set to be a free agent in addition to Watkins now. The Eagles really need to find some players to back up Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod.
Full list of the Eagles’ 2018 free agents below:
- Darren Sproles
- Nigel Bradham
- Trey Burton
- Corey Graham
- LeGarrette Blount
- Dannell Ellerbe
- Will Beatty
- Caleb Sturgis
- Najee Goode
- Bryan Braman
- Patrick Robinson
- Kenjon Barner
- Jaylen Watkins
- Beau Allen