Eagles ‘Natural Fit’ for Recently-Released All-Pro DB

Eddie Jackson

Getty Eddie Jackson may want to play for a contender like the Eagles.

The Chicago Bears released veteran safety Eddie Jackson on February 15.

Considering Jackson’s history with new Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, Philly feels like a good place for Jackson, who surely wouldn’t mind playing for a contender.

Jackson’s release was primarily a cap-saving move, as it adds $12.56 million to Chicago’s salary cap, per Over the Cap.

Eagles insider John McMullen called Jackson a “natural fit” in Philly.

“Philly seems like a logical landing spot for the two-time Pro Bowler,” Brandon Lee Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation wrote on February 15, adding: “The Eagles potentially have a need at safety with Kevin Byard widely expected to be a salary cap casualty. Cutting him clears over $13 million in cap space.”

Eddie Jackson’s Best Year Came Under New Philadelphia Eagles DC Vic Fangio

Jackson played free safety under Fangio, which is where he feels most comfortable. The two worked together for two years, in 2017 when the Bears drafted Jackson in the fourth round out of Alabama, and in 2018, when Jackson was a first-team All-Pro selection.

The veteran safety finished with 51 total tackles (two for loss), a quarterback hit, 1.0 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 15 pass breakups, 6 interceptions and three defensive touchdowns in 14 games in 2018. It remains the best statistical season of his career.

A two-time Pro Bowl selection (in 2018 and 2019), Jackson had a solid season in 2022, amassing 80 total tackles (one for loss), 2 forced fumbles, 6 PBUs and 4 interceptions in 12 games. His 2023 campaign was a disappointing one, though.

Injuries Have Limited Eddie Jackson in Recent Seasons

Jackson had never missed more than three games over his first five seasons in the NFL, but injuries have limited him in recent years. He has missed five games in each of the last two years due to foot injuries.

His 2023 campaign was particularly rough. He suffered a foot injury Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and it wound up being a nagging issue all year.

Opposing quarterbacks had a passer rating of 121.1 when targeting Jackson in coverage last year and he gave up 16.9 yards per reception, according to PFF. He allowed 12 catches and three touchdowns on 18 targets.

By the end of the season, he finished with a career-low 37 total tackles, 5 pass breakups and a lone interception.

He may have had a rough year in 2023, but when healthy, he’s still a good contributor in the secondary. Over his seven years in the Windy City, Jackson started 100 games for Chicago. He’s a ball-hawk who brings strong veteran leadership to the locker room. If the Eagles part ways with Byard, Jackson would be a solid — and likely more affordable — replacement.

Tackling Has Also Been an Issue for Jackson

The veteran safety had a 15.6 missed tackle percentage last season and has had 74 missed tackles in his seven seasons. It’s part of his game, but he also has a knack for finding the ball in Fangio’s system, so it may be a trade-off Eagles fans can learn to live with.

Jackson would very likely find Philadelphia an appealing destination, as well. In addition to a reunion with Fangio, he’d be playing for a legitimate contender for the first time in his career.

The Bears made the playoffs just two times in Jackson’s seven years with the team. The Eagles have missed the postseason just once in the last five years. He could land elsewhere, of course, but don’t be surprised if Jackson winds up in Philly.