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.
6 comments on “Eagles To Sign S Justin Evans”
Green Goblin ?
Meh, unless he’s interested in coming back cheap. I’d prefer just drafting Branch.
I agree with DarkSide830. I would love Jalen Mills to return to Philly for season, but unless Lane Johnson (maybe even someone else) we don’t have the $$$$$ to get another potentially impact defensive player let alone a safety that this team doesn’t value on a regular basis.
My guess is another safety will be added via free agency, and one will be drafted.
seems like a waste of money right now. unless it’s the vet min I don’t see the point. He didn’t play for 3yrs and was rated below 60th for safeties. I’m thinking they are gonna give greedy Williams a chance to take over for CJGJ. They will probably draft a CB with the 10th pick still IMO. We don’t value the safety position highly. We let Dawk walk, we let Jenkins walk, and now CJGJ for next to nothing for his caliber of DB.
I will say it again, but the last 2 off-season’s Howie absolutely crushed it. So while I’m extremely sad/mad that CJGJ walked out the door ( especially on such a cheap deal that we will only get a 6th or 7th rd comp pick in 2024 draft cause he signed for such a small contract) but I have to give Howie time and the benefit of the doubt that he will get something done at S & LB in the draft and then wave #3 of FA after the draft and post June 1st cuts.
I think CB will be the second pick, after trading down. The first pick I’m guessing OT bc of, like the QB theory that you can’t pass up a franchise qb if you have one in front of you when your current franchise QB is over 30, I think that should be applied to OT also.
However I think, unfortunately, the LB spots will be filled with the 3rd wave of free agency as opposed to high in the draft.