Whatever your feelings on Nate Allen may be, bringing the 26-year old safety back on a one-year, $2 million deal was a no-brainer.
I get that Allen isn’t the most popular Eagle. Frankly, I wouldn’t have complained if Allen never put on the Midnight Green ever again.
But there are just too many reasons why the deal makes sense:
1. Allen was probably the best safety left on the market.
The other options? Chris Clemons, James Ihegdibo, Rafael Bush, Major Wright, Thomas DeCoud and the corpse of Ryan Clark. I’ll take the 26-year old former 2nd-rounder who knows the system.
But why not go after Jairus Byrd or T.J. Ward???
Would you prefer 54 million reasons over six years or 23 reasons over four years?
Those contracts are ridiculous. The Eagles are getting about 80% of the production of those guys for 4% of the price and 10% of the ego. I’ll take that any day. The Broncos and Saints have aging quarterbacks and veteran rosters. It makes some sense to spend big on guys to fill the remaining holes on your roster. But the Eagles are a young team that likely has a lot of contract extensions coming up. They need the flexibility and cap space to keep guys like Nick Foles, Fletcher Cox, Mychal Kendricks, Brandon Boykin and Zach Ertz in house.
2. Allen’s contract is essentially risk-free.
There’s virtually no money attached to it and it’s only a one-year deal. If your ideal player isn’t there, it makes sense to fill the gap with a known commodity and look towards the draft.
3. Allen won’t automatically be the starter.
Earl Wolff and (likely) a rookie will compete with Allen for the starting safety spot opposite Malcolm Jenkins. You give the young guys a chance to break out, but know that you have Allen in your back pocket in case they’re not ready yet.
4. Allen was an improved player in 2013.
As bad as Allen was in 2011 and 2012, getting away from the Wide-9 did bring out a much better Nate Allen in 2013. He’s simply not a great tackler, so asking him to provide the run support that the Wide-9 requires of its safeties wasn’t a good match. Billy Davis’ defense instead allowed him to play much more to his strengths, and Allen regained some of the confidence lost in the “dream-team” era. There’s still a slim chance that Allen becomes the player many thought he could be after a strong rookie year in 2010.
I was thinking today what argument could possibly be made against the move. The only thing I can think of is: “Nate Allen suckzzz he’s sawwft and can’t takkell!”, which is why I think drunk Trevor Turner won’t be happy about seeing #29 back in action this fall.
But for now, sober Trevor prevails and I think it’s hard to argue that this isn’t a good move.