Eagles Make Bold Move at Safety, Sign McLeod to Big-Money Deal
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — Howie Roseman put yet another Chip Kelly acquisition in the rear-view mirror Wednesday when the Eagles agreed to a big-money deal with former St. Louis Rams safety Rodney McLeod.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, McLeod got a five-year deal worth $37 million with $17M of that guaranteed from Philadelphia.
His arrival means the end of the road for Walter Thurmond, one of the few Kelly pickups that actually worked out well in the 2015 season.
McLeod, 25, is regarded as a more natural safety, particularly when lined up in coverage, which he did about 90 percent of the time with the Rams.
A three-year starter with the St. Louis, the 5-foot-11, 190-pund University of Virginia product was regarded as one of the better "deep safeties' in football last season and was rated by ProFootballFocus.com as the 10th-highest-graded player at the position.
McLeod is durable, having never missed a game in his four NFL seasons, and is coming off a year which he amassed 82 tackles, three forced fumbles, and one interception. Overall, he has eight career forced fumbles and five career interceptions.
In Philadelphia, he'll get to line up next to the versatile Malcolm Jenkins, who was rated No. 2 by PFF so safety is shaping up as one of the Eagles' best positions.
Veteran special teams stalwart Chris Maragos, Ed Reynolds and Jerome Couplin also remain on the offseason roster as depth.
Here's one scout's assessment of McLeod obtained by the Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane:
The Eagles confirmed the deal Wednesday evening.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973ESPN.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen