NFL Free Agency 2020: Jalen Mills returns to Eagles on one-year deal and will move to safety, per report

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, per ESPN’s Josina Anderson.

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. 

With Mills moving over to safety and Jenkins moving on, the Eagles have just Rudy Ford and Marcus Epps as the safeties on their roster along with Mills. Rodney McLeod is a free agent, but could return with Jenkins leaving. 

The Eagles secondary will look a lot different in 2020, with Mills part of that equation at safety. 

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