In 2011, the safety situation for the Philadelphia Eagles may be a weakness.
Quintin Mikell, the longest tenured defensive player on the Eagles, is a free agent and has already stated that he does not expect to return to the team in 2011. He is one of the more underrated players in the league and has been a Pro Bowler or an All-Pro for each of the past three seasons. In fact, he was named the sixth best defensive player in 2010 by Pro Football Focus.
With Mikell gone, the Eagles will likely look to second round draft Jaiquawn Jarrett as a starter in 2011 with 2010 seventh round draft pick Kurt Coleman as his backup. Jarrett is rumored to be a very hard hitting player, and Coleman had the most tackles out of any defensive back last season without missing a tackle.
Second year player Nate Allen will also start. He should be fully recovered from his patellar tendon injury suffered last December.
But the Eagles have absolutely no age or experience at the safety position. Jarrett will be a rookie, and Coleman and Allen are entering their second year.
I think an intelligent move would be for the Eagles to trade for Brian Dawkins from the Denver Broncos.
Dawkins will be 38 years old in October and to be fair, he doesn’t have much left in his career. He started just 11 games last season, missing five due to injury.
If he rejoined the Eagles next season, it would not be as a starter. It would be as a veteran who can provide some leadership to the Eagles’ young safeties. And it certainly wouldn’t help to have a guy who can be a tremendous influence in the locker room. Oh, and it’ll also be nice to have a guy who can tackle (Asante Samuel).
It would be a very surprising move but it could happen. Jeremiah Trotter returned to the Eagles (twice). So did Hugh Douglas. Maybe Dawkins could too.