The Philadelphia Eagles could move on from a former first-round draft pick before the start of the regular season.
As suggested by CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin, the Eagles could move on from veteran safety Terrell Edmunds while finalizing 53-man rosters. While Edmunds could very well emerge as a starting safety for Philadelphia in Week 1, he could also be on the outside looking in.
“A five-year Steelers starter, Edmunds may open the season as a first-teamer for the Eagles, but he’s also not a lock to make the club, which speaks to the uncertainty in Philly’s crowded safety competition, which includes Justin Evans and rookie Sydney Brown,” writes Benjamin.
Eagles’ Starting Safety Spot up for Grabs
One of the biggest position battles in Philadelphia during training camp has been at both safety positions. Reed Blankenship has locked in the starting free safety position, but the starting strong safety spot is up for grabs. Edmunds is projected as the favorite to win the job considering his experience as a 75-game starter for the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, it’s not set in stone that Edmunds will start in Week 1.
As Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia wrote prior to the team’s preseason finale against the Indianapolis Colts, Justin Evans — a fellow veteran safety who previously started for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — has garnered a bulk of the first-team reps at the position.
“The safety position is still about as big a question as any this summer,” wrote Zangaro on Thursday, August 24. “We know that Reed Blankenship is one of the starters but the other spot is still up for grabs. Most recently, Justin Evans has gotten a bulk of those first-team reps with Terrell Edmunds and Sydney Brown rotating in.”
It’s worth noting that Edmunds signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Eagles in the offseason. His dead cap hit is just $600,000, which means Philadelphia could easily walk away from him with very little financial commitment.
Prior to landing in Philadelphia, Edmunds carved out a solid career as a starter in Pittsburgh over the past five seasons. Edmunds has missed just three games in his career while playing at least 89% of the team’s defensive snaps in every season of his career.
According to Pro Football Focus, Edmunds posted a solid 63.7 defensive grade and 65.2 grade in coverage last season. In fact, Edmunds has never posted any lower than a 60.1 defensive grade in any season of his career.
Why the Eagles Could Release Terrell Edmunds
By comparison, Edmunds’ chief competition (Evans), is a former second-round draft pick who started 21 games over the first two years of his career. However, an Achilles’ injury ended up derailing Evans’ career to the point where he missed three consecutive seasons. Evans made his return to the NFL while playing four games for the New Orleans Saints last season.
When Evans was healthy, he was also a solid safety, posting a 61.0 defensive grade during the 2017 season and a 67.6 grade during the 2018 season. Like Edmunds, the Eagles have little financial commitment to Evans. He’s signed to a one-year, $1.6 million deal with a $600,000 dead cap hit.
As the Eagles prepare to finalize their 53-man roster before the deadline on Tuesday, expect either Edmunds or Evans to be victims on cut day.