Eagles and Sendejo Seem Like a Good Fit
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - In many ways, the tenure of Howie Roseman 2.0 has been defined by cost-effective, prudent moves in the second phase of free agency and the Eagles executive vice president of football operations may have done it again with the signing of veteran safety Andrew Sendejo to a one-year contract on Monday.
The long-time Vikings starter will be penciled into the Corey Graham third safety role behind Malcolm Jenkins and Rodent McLeod that has been so important for Jim Schwartz.
When Schwartz feels comfortable with a third safety it gives him the confidence to move the versatile Jenkins around in various sub-packages that gives opposing offenses headaches.
Sendejo, who will turn 32 in September, will also provide insurance for McLeod, who is returning from a serious knee injury.
A Rice University product, Sendejo is one of the more physical safeties in the game but is used to playing plenty of center field as well due to his time in Minnesota where All-Pro Harrison Smith, like Jenkins in Philly, moved all over the defense.
A nine-year NFL veteran, Sendejo has played in 99 career games (including playoffs) and has totaled 432 tackles, seven interceptions and 31 passes defensed. He broke into the league as an undrafted free agent in 2010 with Dallas before landing with the Vikings the next season.
He rose to prominence as a special teams star before taking over as a starting safety in 2015. Dating back to that season, Sendejo has started every game in which he has played and has recorded 308 tackles, six interceptions, 26 passes defensed and three fumble recoveries.
His 2018 season was cut short after just five games with a groin injury and Anthony Harris stepped in and played at a high level for Minnesota making Sendejo expendable. On March 11 the salary cap-strapped Vikings declined their team option on Sendejo making him a free agent.
One negative aspect to the deal could be Sendejo's reputation. A bit of a throwback, the veteran has been penalized and suspended in the past for a number of hard hits, a trait which would have made him a tailor-made fit for Philadelphia in a different era.
In the modern NFL, however, Sendejo has a bit of a reputation and has embraced it at times even making a specialized hat encouraging the NFL "to make football violent again."
Fair or not players who put themselves under the microscope like that have been known to be singled out and a trademark Sendejo hit that would have been played on a loop during Philadelphia in the 1980s could cost you 15 yards in 2019.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen