The Philadelphia Eagles are re-signing impending free agent safety Rodney McLeod, according to a report from NFL insider Ian Rapoport. The two-year contract is reportedly worth $12 million. UPDATE: The team is officially confirming this signing
This news comes on the heels of the Eagles’ announcement that they won’t be bringing Malcolm Jenkins back.
The thinking here was that the Eagles were only going to retain one of Jenkins or McLeod and the former was the more likely bet. Welp, so much for that. The Eagles are keeping McLeod instead.
Here’s what we previously wrote about McLeod in our Eagles safety outlook from Janaury:
Review: McLeod barely missed any playing time in 2019 despite suffering season-ending MCL/ACL injuries in 2018. That was good to see. As far as his impact went, well, it’s tough to say his season was very memorable. He did finish the year ranked 60th out of 101 safeties graded by Pro Football Focus, for what it’s worth.
Outlook: McLeod is going to be a free agent. Jim Schwartz really values him, so it wouldn’t be a shocker to see him back. Maybe he’ll be better in 2020 after being two years removed from significant injury. But Roseman talked about getting younger and McLeod turns 30 in June. The Eagles could upgrade on him if they can land one of the top free agent safeties. But what if the Eagles don’t keep him and then miss out on their targets? Tough to get a good read on what’s going to happen here.
On the plus side, McLeod obviously has experience in the Eagles’ scheme. He’s logged 49 starts since signing with Philly back in 2016. He’s had some good moments in that stretch.
On the downside, McLeod sure seemed culpable on a number of big passing plays the Eagles gave up last year. His range as a free safety didn’t appear to be as great as it once was. Maybe McLeod will be better in 2020 since he’s further removed from his 2018 injury ... but that’s no sure thing.
In any case, McLeod figures to return as one of the Eagles’ two starting safeties this season. It sounds like the Eagles will also utilize former starting cornerback Jalen Mills as a hybrid safety ... perhaps in the old Jenkins role.
With McLeod and Mills potentially set to start, the Eagles are still in need of depth behind them. Rudy Ford and Marcus Epps are the only two other safeties under contract and they’re both far from locks to make the 2020 roster.
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