Versatile Watkins Signs with Chargers
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - With the Eagles showing little interest in bringing him back veteran defensive back Jaylen Watkins has found a new football home, signing a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Chargers.
A versatile player, Watkins has played both corner and safety at times during parts of four seasons in Philadelphia. He was briefly released in 2015 and spent some time on Buffalo's practice squad where he was a teammate with his half-brother, now Kansas City receiver Sammy Watkins, before returning to the Eagles.
Last season Watkins played in 12 games, starting two and making 19 tackles, including two for loss in 168 defensive snaps (16 percent of the team's total). In 2016, he played a career-high 388 snaps (38 percent).
Currently the Eagles are very deep at CB with Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby, Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas and the recently-acquired Daryl Worley but could use help at safety behind Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod because veteran Corey Graham is a free agent and at least pondering retirement, according to an NFL source, while veteran Chris Maragos is coming off knee surgery and more of a special teams player.
Young players in the mix on Philadelphia's offseason roster are DJ Killings, De'Vante Bausby and Elie Bouka at CB and Tre Sullivan and Randall Goforth at safety.
Watkins was originally set to be a restricted free agenct but Philadelphia did not tender him, giving up the right of first refusal.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen