Free agency is always a good time. We wait and wait for the gun to sound, and then they’re off. The 2014 free agency period came with no lack of excitement. When the whistle sounded, the deals started coming in rapidly. John Clayton of ESPN was following the free agency market closely and tweeted out a fun statistic.
So far 26 unrestricted free agents have moved to different teams in the first 90 minutes of free agency
— John Clayton (@ClaytonESPN) March 11, 2014
That’s a lot of action in a short period time. There was plenty speculation of who the Eagles may or may not be interested in. Quite frankly, it seemed to get to a point where they were rumored to have interest in just about every free agent on the market at one point or another. Of course, rumors are rumors and when push came to shove the Eagles made their move.
There were a number of safeties on the market. The two big names were clearly Jarius Byrd and T.J. Ward, but it looks like the Eagles were able to grab their guy when push came to shove. As free agency opened, we saw the Eagles re-sign Donnie Jones, a move that we more or less knew was going to happen. They then cut Patrick Chung and soon after added Malcolm Jenkins on a three year deal for $16.25 million.
At 6-0 and 204 pounds, Jenkins entered the league in 2009 as the 14th overall pick out of Ohio State. As a draft pick of the New Orleans Saints, he came out as a cornerback but made the transition to safety in 2010.
The 26 year old safety is yet to play a full 16 games in a season. However, he has played no less than 13 games in any given season. In 2013, Jenkins played in 14 games with 68 tackles with two interceptions and two forced fumbles.
After the first day of free agency, the Eagles didn’t go and make a big splash in free agency. This isn’t something I expected them to do. They went this route in 2011 and it didn’t pan out. Last year, we saw them take a more conservative approach and go from a team with four wins to a conference champion with 10 wins.
It looks like they’re taking a similar approach this season. The overall excitement level wasn’t high in the first day, but they were able to add a solid player who will be able to jump in and contribute right away.
As free agency continues, I look for the Eagles to continue to be conservative and add players for a reasonable price that will have very specific roles as contributors for the team.