STAY OR GO: The Safeties
With free agency fast approaching, the Eagles have some big decisions to make at the safety position. With just two safeties of note contracted to the roster ahead of 2021, there will be some uncertainty. Jalen Mills has just agreed a deal with the New England Patriots, so the Eagles have some big decisions to make with the safeties they have left.
McLeod had his 2020 season ended following a torn ACL. It will be interesting to see how he bounces back from it, but his 2020 before the injury was pretty good. He had the team's first interception of the season, scored a touchdown vs Dallas and had seven pass deflections.
Verdict: STAY. Easy decision. McLeod is one of the locker room leaders and has been a consistent performer from the second he stepped foot in Philadelphia. The Eagles would be stupid to let a leader inside the organisation and in the city of Philadelphia go.
Wallace was hit by the Jim Schwartz anti-rookie bug and only played more than 50% of the defensive snaps once. That was the Week 17 'Tank' game against the Washington Football Team, where he played every defensive snap. The Wallace pick was the one that excited me most coming out of last years draft, and he should have a greater involvement next season.
Verdict: STAY. The former fourth-round pick was the consensus selection amongst many Eagles fans, and it was disappointing to see his game time-limited. He has the talent to become a starter, and with Jonathan Gannon being a former defensive backs coach, he should be able to set Wallace up for a big step up in 2021.
Epps was a player that Schwartz liked a lot, and he was the third safety on the team ahead of Wallace. He started five games in 2020 and even had a couple of interceptions across the final three games.
Verdict: GO. The Eagles will look to add to the safety position in the draft and potentially free agency. It feels like Epps was a Schwartz player because of the consistent chances he was given, even ahead of a player with more potential in Wallace. He is someone that can easily be replaced. He will be given a shot in training camp to make the team.
Arnold was a highly rated practice squad prospect heading into the season and featured in a few games this past year.
Verdict: STAY. Arnold seems to be a practice squad player that the Eagles like and can rely on if there is an injury crisis. He was on the practice squad for the majority of the season and was signed to the active roster at the start of December. He will have to earn his place but would be shocked if he does not make it.
Riley was active for five games this season with the majority of his snaps coming on special teams.
Verdict: GO. The undrafted rookie was on the Eagles practice squad for most of last season until mid-December, when he was activated to the main roster. However, Riley's place on the team is unstable because there are undrafted rookies from this year's class that may fit the system better. He will have to work hard to stay with the team.