Nate Allen Signs With Raiders
The Eagles have lost unrestricted free agent as the Raiders announced Thursday afternoon that they have agreed to terms with safety Nate Allen.
The move ends Allen's rocky, disappointing, five-year stint with the Eagles and cut ties with one of the players acquired in the Donovan McNabb trade back in 2010. Allen was selected with the 37th overall pick in the second round, the pick the Eagles acquired for McNabb in the trade with Washington.
In that deal, the Eagles got the 2010 second-round pick they used on Allen and the 2011 fourth-round pick they traded to Tampa Bay for two fourth-round picks. Philadelphia used the Buccaneers' 2011 fourth-round pick on linebacker Casey Matthews and sent the 2012 fourth-rounder to Houston in a deal for linebacker DeMeco Ryans.
Matthews and Ryans still remain with the Eagles.
When Allen was drafted out of the University of South Florida, he was billed as a smart and skilled cover safety who could also tackle. At 6-1 and 220 lbs., he looked like he was going to be a steal in the second round, after the team was criticized for trading up to take Brandon Graham and passing on safety Earl Thomas.
And now Allen, will play free safety alongside veteran Charles Woodson. Allen, you may recall, was recently cleared by Florida authorities following a Feb. 16 incident. Allen was brought in by police after a 16-year-old girl accused him of indecent exposure.
It was a raw deal for a player whose career had already experienced some serious hardships. He was coming around late in his rookie season in 2010 when he ruptured his patellar tendon that December, he recorded 48 tackles, two sacks and three interceptions in 13 starts during his rookie season. Allen was not healthy for most of the 2011 season after struggling to rehab a knee injury during the lockout.
After his initial rookie deal expired, Allen returned to Philadelphia on a one-year, $2 million deal and made 62 tackles with a team-leading four interceptions as a member of the Eagles' much maligned secondary. In his new deal with the Raiders he'll presumably battle Brandian Ross for the starting role next to Woodson.
Even before Allen left, adding secondary help was already going to be among Philadelphia's offseason priorities with several members of that rotation last season – Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher and now Allen – either free agents, or released by the team.
In addition to Allen, Philadelphia has lost cornerback Cary Williams, linebacker Trent Cole wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and left guard Todd Herremans have all signed with other teams in free agency.