The Eagles may have lost Malcolm Jenkins but they are bringing back two other Super Bowl starters. They are going to need them.
Many Philadelphia fans were crying in their beers on Tuesday when news broke that the team was letting Jenkins walk in free agency. Not to worry, reinforcements are on the way. The Eagles will bring back starting strong safety Rodney McLeod and cornerback Jalen Mills in 2020, per multiple sources.
McLeod signs a two-year deal with the Eagles. There is a twist, too. Mills is expected to serve in more of a hybrid role, platooning between safety and cornerback, and leaving the starters on the outside very much in question.
Remember, Mills and Ronald Darby were the starting cornerbacks last year for the Eagles. Mills will reportedly return on a one-year deal worth $5 million in a new hybrid role while Darby isn’t expected to be part of the team’s long-term plans. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz could turn the keys over to third-year cornerback Avonte Maddox or Cre’Von LeBlanc on the outside, or continue the so-far failed experiment with Sidney Jones. Everything is on the table.
“I’m part of this defense. It doesn’t matter what my role is,” Mills told reporters last year. “I’ll do whatever the coaches ask me to do.”
Jordan Howard Exits Philly for South Beach
Perhaps lost in the shuffle of all the rumors and innuendos was a pretty big loss. Jordan Howard reached agreement on a two-year deal with the Dolphins worth more than $10 million, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The 25-year-old rushed for 525 yards and six touchdowns in nine games last season for the Eagles.
Howard, who accumulated 3,370 rushing yards over his first three NFL seasons, was the perfect compliment to Miles Sanders in Philadelphia where they formed a new-school version of “Thunder & Lightning,” a throwback nod to former Eagles rushers Charlie Garner and Ricky Watters. But Howard couldn’t stay healthy and younger guys, like Boston Scott, ate up his snaps. Sanders will be the primary ball-carrier in 2020 and maybe they still add another back in free agency. It won’t be Howard.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins have cobbled together an impressive collection of talent through two days of free agency. Miami has now picked up Howard, Byron Jones, Kyle Van Noy, Emmanuel Ogbah, Shaq Lawson, Ereck Flowers, Clayton Fejedelem, Kamu Grugier-Hill. There are also rumors circulating they could be in the mix to land the crown jewel of free agency — Tom Brady. The team still had $55.8 million in cap space, per OverTheCap.
Kamu Grugier-Hill Thanks Eagles Fans for Support
Speaking of Kamu Grugier-Hill, the former Eagles linebacker and special-teams ace took to social media to bid Philadelphia a fond farewell. The 25-year-old thanked Eagles fans for their support and called the City of Brotherly Love an “amazing sports city.”
Grugier-Hill wrote: “PHILLY!!!! Can’t describe what my life has been like the last FOUR years being in the trenches and being on top of the mountain!!! TRULY blessed to be a part of such an amazing sports city!!! Thank you to the city of Philadelphia for supporting me these last couples years!! Can’t argue, wildest fans in the world and I love it!! Don’t change”
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