Watkins was originally set to be a restricted free agent this offseason but the Eagles decided not to tender him, thus making Watkins an unrestricted free agent. (Note that this means Watkins does NOT count towards the Eagles’ compesnatory pick formula.)
Watkins played 16.3% of Philadelphia’s defensive snaps and 36.1% of their special teams snaps in 2017. He served as a backup at both cornerback and safety.
With Watkins gone, the Eagles will likely turn to the 2018 NFL Draft to add more depth at safety. Between Watkins leaving and Corey Graham currently still a free agent, the Eagles don’t have a proven backup behind starters Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod. [I wrote more about the Eagles’ safety position outlook earlier on Friday.]
The Eagles selected Watkins with a fourth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. He made five starts in 36 games played with Philadelphia.