LANDOVER, MARYLAND - OCTOBER 09: Kevin Byard #31 of the Tennessee Titans celebrates after his team's 21-17 win over the Washington Commanders at FedExField on October 09, 2022 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

The hope all offseason was that CJ Gardner Johnson would return to the Eagles. We now know that is not happening. Gardner-Johnson is signing a 1-Year, $8 million deal. And now the focus turns to how they replace him. There is the draft, but the Eagles are not exactly known for investing high draft assets into Safeties. They could turn to in-house options. But those are… well they aren’t great. Reed Blankenship filled in admirably. But if you are going into a season with an undrafted player in his second season as your best safety, there will be a lot of nerves. And there is no one after him you could even consider trusting as a starter.

More than likely, they will be bringing in another veteran to play alongside Blankenship. The good news is, given what CJ Gardner Johnson and other top Safties in this season’s free-agent class are getting, it shouldn’t cost too much. The Safety market has not struck gold this offseason. Bad if you are a Safety looking to get a new deal. But it is great if you are a team looking to add a quality Safety to your squad.

And there are still some good options out there. Either via free agency or a trade. Here are some Safeties they can bring in.

[Source: Spotrac]

  • Kevin Byard

    This would probably be the option Eagles fans would get most excited about. Byard is a two-time All-Pro, and he has at least 4 interceptions in 5 of his 7 seasons. He is currently under contract with the Titans. But he is also currently not on the best of terms with the Titans. They asked him to take a pay cut, and he was not on board with doing that. A trade would probably be out of the question for him. His cap hit is too large for the cap-hampered Eagles to take on. But if he is cut, they could be in on him. Even then though, he may be out of the Eagles’ price range. But if CJ Gardner Johnson got just $8 million, Byard could potentially come cheap too. It is probably not a realistic option, unfortunately.

    Kevin Byard

    (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

  • Taylor Rapp

    Rapp is a quality option, that will probably be much cheaper than Byard. Plus he is just 25. He is coming off a solid year with the Rams where he hauled in two interceptions and broke up 6 passes. He would be a step down from CJ Gardner Johnson but still would make for a dependable starter. The Eagles would have to move quickly because the Patriots are rumored to be in serious talks with him. But if the Eagles landed him, it would be a solid move.

    Taylor Rapp

    (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Adrian Amos

    A usually dependable player, coming off a down-year coverage-wise, may be exactly Howie Roseman’s cup of tea. Amos should be very affordable. And as a bonus, he has played for Sean Desai before. Amos played for the Bears when Desai was their safety coach. Amos is a solid dependable player. He got beat up in coverage a little last year. Was that just a down year, thanks in part to playing on a struggling team? Or is he starting to lose it? He is turning 30, so he probably still has something in the tank. And whatever deal he would sign wouldn’t be too risky. So he is probably worth a look.

    Adrian Amos

    (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

  • Jalen Mills

    This is not a move that would inspire confidence. And I am probably on the side of the fans against the move. If you bring him in to be a 3rd safety, sure. But if Jalen Mills is your replacement for CJ Gardner-Johnson, people are not going to be comfortable. But it is a very realistic option for the Eagles at Safety, so it is worth mentioning here.

    Jalen Mills

    (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)


  • Rodney McLeod

    Here is a former Eagles that I would not mind seeing return. McLeod was always dependable when in Midnight Green. Is he a star? No. But he is a solid player. Is he a bit old? Yes, he is going the be 33. But if they brought him in it would likely be a one-year deal. It would not be a huge move. There are probably better options. But it would not be the worst thing in the world if their CJ Gardner Johnson replacement ended up being McLeod.

    Rodney McLeod

    (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

  • Eric Rowe

    And now we have yet another former Eagle. Except this one didn’t spend much time here. They drafted him in the second round in 2015, hoping he could be their next great Corner. It never worked out. After one season they gave up on him and traded him for a 4th round pick. And with the Patriots he developed into a solid safety. He has spent the last 4 seasons in Miami. Rowe is no CJ Gardner Johnson. He has just 5 interceptions over his career. A bar CJ cleared just last season. But he is dependable and better than K’von. It would not be a sexy addition. But the Eagles can do a lot worse.

    Eric Rowe

    (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

  • John Johnson III

    John Johnson, like many other names on this list, is not exactly an exciting name But he is dependable. Johnson is a reliable veteran, who will be where he needs to be on the field. The type of Safety whose name you won’t hear much during the game because he is just doing his job. He is not the playmaker CJ is. But unless you pull off a deal for Kevin Byard, you aren’t getting a playmaker like CJ. The Eagles probably need to be in the market for Safeties that won’t hurt them. And John Johnson III won’t hurt them. he started his career with the Rams and spent the last couple of years with the Browns. He is a free agent now, and likely won’t break the bank. Johnson is probably one of the Eagles’ best realistic options short of an out-of-nowhere trade for a player no one had on the radar.

    John Johnson

    (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)


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