Eagles To Sign S Justin Evans

After seeing his first game action since 2018, Justin Evans will parlay his 2022 Saints work into a deal with the Eagles. Philadelphia will add the veteran safety, Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL.com report (on Twitter).

The Saints gave Evans, a former Buccaneers second-round pick back in 2017, another chance after injuries sidetracked his career. Evans logged 392 defensive snaps with New Orleans last season and, despite the lengthy stay off the field, made four starts for a top-10 defense.

Philly will bring Evans into the fold after losing both its 2022 safety starters. The Raiders added Marcus Epps early in free agency, and the Lions agreed to terms with C.J. Gardner-Johnson on Sunday night. The Eagles will be starting over on their back line, though bringing back James Bradberry and keeping Darius Slay at cornerback will help the defending NFC champions’ cause here.

New Orleans took a league-minimum flier on Evans last year, adding the Texas A&M product nearly 18 months after the Bucs cut ties with him. While Evans was still with Tampa Bay during the 2019 and 2020 seasons, a foot injury sustained during the 2018 season led to his on-field Bucs run ending. An Achilles injury sent Evans back to IR in September 2019, and the Bucs cut the cord late in the 2020 season. Evans, 27, was out of football in 2021.

The first in a wave of DBs the Bucs drafted on Day 2 from 2017-20, Evans did not pan out on the level Carlton Davis, Jamel Dean, Sean Murphy-Bunting, Mike Edwards and Antoine Winfield Jr. have. Rather than a big free agency deal, Evans played for $1MM in New Orleans. Pro Football Focus graded Evans outside the top 60 during his comeback season, but he showed renewed health after injuries threatened his career. Evans made 29 tackles, forced a fumble and logged a 39% defensive snap rate with the Saints.

The Eagles should not be expected to carry Evans into the season as a starter, but Howie Roseman‘s team has some work to do after passing on re-signing Epps or Gardner-Johnson. The latter decision proved surprising given a pre-Super Bowl LVII report indicating Philly wanted CJGJ back, but as the versatile defender surveyed his options last week, the team allocated money to Bradberry and Slay.

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