Eagles Re-sign Watkins, Barbre on the Block?
(973espn.com) - The Eagles have re-signed safety Jaylen Watkins to a one-year deal.
An exclusive right free agent Watkins, 25, has signed for $690,000, the same number he would have gotten under an ERFA tender.
A versatile player who has played cornerback in the past Watkins settled in as the third safety behind Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod last season and played in all 16 games for the team.
Once nickel back Ron Brooks went down with a season-ending injury, Jim Schwartz used Jenkins in the slot on passing downs and Watkins would enter at safety next to McLeod, playing in 38 percent of the team’s defensive snaps.
He was graded as the 68th best safety in football (out of 89) by ProFootballFocus.com.
Originally a fourth-round pick by the Eagles in the 2014 draft out of Florida, Watkins was released by Philadelphia before the 2015 season and spent some time on the Buffalo practice squad, where he got to play with his brother Sammy, before returning to the Eagles late that season.
BARBE ON THE BLOCK?
The Eagles have reportedly given starting left guard Allen Barbre the permission to seek a trade, according to Bleacher Report.
A very versatile and valuable player Barbre excelled at LG and held down the fort at right tackle when asked to swing about after the suspension to Lane Johnson and subsequent injury to Halapoulivaati Vaitai.
In what was probably the most effective season of his career, Barbre started 12 games and was rated by ProFootballFocus.com as the 23rd best guard in football but he will turn 33 in June and is set to enter the final year of his current deal.
In need of salary-cap space the Eagles would gain about $2.1 million by moving on from Barbre.
An NFL source tells 973espn.com that Philadelphia also has interest in free agent guard Chance Warmack, the 10th overall pick in the 2013 draft who never lived up to the hype in Tennessee.
Warmack, though, is only 25 and has tremendous physical gifts.
If the Eagles stay in-house for a potential Barbre replacement that could mean Isaac Seumalo, who was projected to battle for the LG spot as a rookie third-round pick last season until a pec injury set him back.
Any potential trade could not be completed until the new league year starts on March 9.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen