The Philadelphia Eagles are re-signing impending free agent cornerback Jalen Mills to a one-year contract ... and moving him to safety, according to a report from ESPN’s Josina Anderson. The deal is reportedly worth up to $5 million. UPDATE: Eagles officially confirm this news and refer to Mills as a “DB” (instead of “CB”).
NFL insider Mike Garafolo, meanwhile, says Mills will “be a hybrid player - corner and safety.” So, maybe not a full-time position change for the Green Goblin?
In any case, it’s not a shocker to see that the Eagles are retaining Mills. There was some buzz that the Detroit Lions were interested in him but no one loves Mills more than Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.
Mills played safety at LSU before the Eagles selected him with a seventh-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and then moved him to cornerback. He’s exceeded expectations for his draft slot by making 34 starts in 48 games played over the past four years. He’s logged 209 total tackles, 37 passes defensed, and four interceptions in that span.
Mills was good enough to be a full-time starter for an Eagles team that won the Super Bowl in 2017. But he’s also been bad enough to draw ire for repeatedly getting burned for big completions. Mills has graded out poorly in coverage by Pro Football Focus’s standards.
Perhaps a move back to safety will help Mills be less of a liability. Or maybe it won’t make a huge difference for him considering he’s not the fleetest of foot and runs a 4.61 40-yard dash.
With the Eagles not retaining Malcolm Jenkins, perhaps the team envisions Mills inheriting the former defensive captain’s old role. If that’s the case, the Eagles still need to add two starting cornerbacks for the 2020 season.
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