After a full week of speculation on who would be the #2 corner, the Eagles were able to sign Pro-Bowler, James Bradberry. The singing of the former Giant solidified the corner and made it one of the best in football. In typical Eagles fashion though, the questions have turned to their last final position of need: Safety.
The Eagles have a solid combo of starters in Anthony Harris and Marcus Epps. In terms of depth though, the team lacks legitimate options behind either both. That doesn’t mean there aren’t solutions available.
One of the biggest names potentially available is Bengals Safety, Jessie Bates. Bates has reportedly refused to go to Bengals camp without a new contract. Over the last few weeks, Bates and former Panther, Tre Boston have been liking more and more posts surrounding the Eagles latest off-season moves.
Jessie Bates, who won't show up for Bengals training camp due to contract issues, seems to "like" the Eagles offense
It means nothing, it means nothing, it means nothing…#Eagles (h/t @eric_DREAMS) pic.twitter.com/OGjrIsrj8e
— Thomas R. Petersen (@thomasrp93) May 19, 2022
Tre Boston to the #Eagles #FlyEaglesFly Let’s get it Howie! pic.twitter.com/SgOvchMsDG
— Mathew Ruiz (@OvOMercThang) May 20, 2022
The question that now needs answering is whether Boston and Bates are better than the Eagles current safeties. Bates had a terrific postseason after an average regular season and could provide the Eagles with excellent depth. Tre Boston hasn’t played in the NFL since 2020 after multiple years of solid football in Carolina. He was unsigned last season after being cut before the season started.
Marcus Epps and Anthony Harris may be two cheap starters for the Eagles, but they offer complimentary skillsetsl. Harris signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal this offseason and Epps is in the final year of his deal with Philadelphia. The need for long-term depth is evident.
While Epps was one of the highest-ranked safeties in terms of run defense last year, and it’s difficult to see the Eagles forcing him back into a rotational role in favor of Bates or Boston. As for Harris who doesn’t have as much leverage outside of a history with Jonathan Gannon, who knows?
Both Tre Boston and Jessie Bates graded out as average safeties during their last years as starters. Is it really worth paying a significant amount of money for a player like Bates, and losing draft capital that could be spent on a safety in next year’s class anyway?
When it comes down to it, it’s clear the Eagles should be giving Epps as much of a chance to start this season. While depth is certainly needed at safety, the Eagles have probably left it too late to spend that kind of capital on a player that won’t really provide a significant upgrade.
Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire