Eagles re-sign Rodney McLeod, Jalen Mills to team up at safety after parting ways with Malcolm Jenkins


The Philadelphia Eagles are moving pieces of their secondary around in 2020, with the Malcolm Jenkins divorce the biggest change for the revamped unit. Philadelphia decided not to exercise the 2020 contract option for Jenkins and signed Jalen Mills to a one-year contract Tuesday. In addition, the Eagles will re-sign Rodney McLeod to a two-year contract. McLeod has been the starting safety for the Eagles in each of the past four seasons. 

McLeod started all 16 games he played for the Eagles in 2019, bouncing back after he tore his ACL in the 2018 season (that limited him to just three games). He had 76 tackles, one sack, two interceptions, six passes defensed and two forced fumbles. Opposing quarterbacks had an 81.6 passer rating when targeting him last season, as McLeod allowed just two passing touchdowns.

In four seasons with Philadelphia, McLeod started all 49 games he played and recorded 223 tackles, eight interceptions, and 23 passes defensed. His first two seasons were borderline Pro Bowl level, as McLeod played 2,062 snaps and compiled 130 tackles and six interceptions in 30 games, with 13 passes defensed. McLeod was one of the best coverage safeties in football in 2016, as opposing quarterbacks had a 55.0 passer rating when targeting him.

Mills will move to safety under the new deal, but whether he will replace Jenkins directly will be determined. 

A seventh-round draft pick of the Eagles in 2016, Mills has been a starting cornerback on the Eagles in each of the past four seasons. He racked up 209 tackles and four interceptions in 48 games (34 starts). His best season was in 2017, as the Eagles cornerback allowed 1.07 yards per coverage snap, a full yard lower than his rookie year. Against deep passes in 2017 (20 yards or more), Mills allowed 18.2 percent of his targets to be caught, a much better mark than 44.8 percent from his rookie season.

Mills finished with 15 coverage stops on the season, which was 13th most among cornerbacks. He started 15 games at cornerback for the Eagles in 2017, finishing with 64 tackles, three interceptions (one returned for touchdown) and 14 pass deflections, and was selected as a Pro Bowl alternate.

Mills struggled throughout the 2018 season, watching his season end with a foot injury in Week 8. Mills allowed 32 catches for 516 yards and one touchdown in eight games, 

The foot injury dragged into the start of last season, but Mills ended up starting nine games, finishing with 41 tackles and an interception. Opposing quarterbacks posted a 107.8 passer rating while targeting Mills, who allowed 57.4% of passes thrown his way to be caught with four passing touchdowns. 

The Eagles secondary will look a lot different in 2020, with Mills and McLeod part of that equation at safety. Philadelphia does have some work to do with its revamped secondary, but took care of their own with Mills and McLeod returning. 





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