Eagles Adding Johnathan Cyprien
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Eagles worked out Johnathan Cyprien back in June and will be adding the veteran safety to the roster pending a physical, according to a league source.
Cyprien, 29, missed all of last season in Tennessee after tearing his ACL during training camp. He had signed a significant four-year, $25 million deal with the Titans in 2017 but was ultimately released earlier this offseason after playing 10 of a possible 32 games in Nashville.
Prior to joining the Titans, Cyprien was a full-time starter for another AFC South team, Jacksonville, amassing 341 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions, and four forced fumbles in his first four NFL seasons after being a second-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Where Cyprien fits in Philadelphia is the interesting part.
At 6-foot and 223 pounds, the Miami Beach native is regarded as more of a box safety and coverage is not his strength. The Eagles typically use Rodney McLeod, himself coming off a torn ACL, in single-high looks with Malcolm Jenkins down near the line of scrimmage. Jenkins, however, is far better than Cyprien in coverage giving Jim Schwartz more versatility and interchangeable parts when on the field.
McLeod is getting closer, working in individual drills and some group install, but Andrew Sendejo has been with the first-team in team drills and the coaches seems happy with him. Tre Sullivan has been handling first-team reps with Sendejo and Jenkins in the big nickel package with Blake Countess, Deiondre' Hall and Godwin Igwebuike rotating in from there.
Many caught up in compensatory-pick madness look at Sendejo and assume the Eagles want someone to beat him out in an effort to gain back a fourth-round pick in the 2020 draft but Sendejo has the capability to play single-high, which he often did in Minnesota while Harrison Smith moved all over the defense, and in the box.
Cyprien could be more of an indication that the Eagles want to improve the mix behind Jenkins and add to the hybrid safety-LB role where players like Kamu Grugier-Hill and Nate Gerry are in the mix to play next to Nigel Bradham at linebacker in the nickel.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen