NEW EAGLES SAFETY RODNEY MCLEOD HAS SPEED TO BURN

By Annie Ross

The Eagles have made a big move to upgrade their secondary.

Rodney McLeod was part of a relatively anonymous Rams secondary, which is suddenly blowing up to become the most expensive unit in league history (albeit scattered to the wind). The lesser of St. Louis’ two safeties alongside playmaker T.J. McDonald, McLeod was the beneficiary of a great pass rush, spending less time in coverage than the vast majority of his counterparts.

The Eagles hope to continue that with Jim Schwartz around.

McLeod has the speed for cover for mistakes at cornerback — you may remember him laying out Emmanuel Sanders with a legal hit in 2014 — and given that the Eagles are currently booked to start Eric Rowe and Leodis McKelvin, there are going to be mistakes at cornerback.

At five years and $37.5 million, it’s a lot to spend on a safety, especially given the fact that Philly already gave Malcolm Jenkins a four-year, $35 million deal this offseason. The Eagles are set to spend as much on safeties as anybody else in the league over the next three years, and they’re doing it without a transcendent star like Earl Thomas. It remains to be seen whether that’s a smart idea. At the very least, it’s a better plan than hoarding resources on running backs.

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