The Philadelphia Eagles are in the market for a starting safety and a familiar face is lurking out in the wilderness. Maybe it’s time to bring the Green Goblin back home.
Jalen Mills was released by the New England Patriots on March 17 in a surprising move. He was only two years into the four-year, $24 million contract he signed in 2021. Interestingly, the 28-year-old has been active on Twitter in recent days, reminding everyone that he is a “hybrid” player who can play either cornerback or safety.
The latter is a position of need in Philly. They lost starter Marcus Epps in free agency and C.J. Gardner-Johnson remains unsigned despite rampant rumors of him returning to the Eagles on a long-term deal.
For now, the penciled-in starters there are Reed Blankenship and K’Von Wallace. Maybe Josiah Scott gets a shot. Either way, the team could use a trusted veteran like Mills.
He started 49 regular-season games for the Eagles from 2016-2020 plus a slew of playoff games including Super Bowl LII. A fan and locker room favorite, Mills racked up 5 interceptions and 40 pass breakups in five seasons wearing midnight green. And one Super Bowl ring.
In fact, Mills played through a painful finger injury in the championship win over New England. He came out of the game in the second quarter, then returned and finished with 9 tackles and 2 pass breakups. He wasn’t going to let an injury crush his dreams.
“It didn’t matter if that thing was broken,” Mills said, via The Advocate. “I was coming back in. I’m numb right now. I have no feeling in my body. It’s amazing.”
Broncos Showing ‘Interest’ in Gardner-Johnson
The Eagles are working on getting a deal done with Gardner-Johnson, according to multiple reports. The financials are the supposed hiccup in contract negotiations. He seems to feel as if the Eagles are low-balling him.
The hybrid defensive back has at least one other suitor in free agency, too. The Denver Broncos have “interest” in Gardner-Johnson as reported by Aaron Wilson and Geoff Mosher. The issue is his price tag.
How much is he worth? The Eagles declined to slap the $14 million franchise tag on him, so they feel his value is less than that.
The going rate for a stud safety starts at $16 million (see: Jessie Bates) but goes as low as $6 million (see: Marcus Epps). Gardner-Johnson could be somewhere in the $9 million to $12 million range, according to Mosher.
“I do know that the Broncos are in the mix so I’m sure that they’ve made a competitive offer — at least competitive as far as trying to get him,” Mosher said, via Philly Sports Network. “And I don’t know what the numbers are on either offer but I do know that the Eagles have been working and do want him back.”
Eagles Announce James Bradberry Signing
The Eagles officially signed All-Pro cornerback James Bradberry on March 17. They posted a welcome video on Twitter where Bradberry addressed the fans while flashing his brand new contract.
“Glad to be back,” Bradberry said. “Let’s run it back. Fly, Eagles, Fly!”
Bradberry inked a three-year deal worth $38 million (via NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero), which includes $20 million fully guaranteed and could be worth up to $44 million with incentives.