New And … Improved?
The Eagles enacted a small, but telling transaction Monday when they announced that reserve safety Andre Chachere was waived.
Chachere, after two seasons with the Eagles, has been primarily a special-teamer for the Eagles over the past two, playing 77% of special teams snaps last year, 76% in his first season.
Chachere benefitted from his role as a special teams standout and hybrid defensive back for an ultra-thin team at safety, which enabled the San Jose State product to also play 128 defensive snaps in his two-year Eagles career.
But the Eagles, whose coverage issues on special teams haunted them in the Super Bowl, have replenished the position this offseason to the point where they were comfortable moving on from Chachere.
They signed veteran starter Terrell Edmunds in free agency, along with Justin Evans, an oft-injured but tremendously athletic safety. They used a third-round pick on former Illinois safety Sydney Brown, making Brown their highest-drafted safety since 2011.
They also welcome back last year’s undrafted rookie surprise Reed Blankenship, who’s emergence in training camp last year helped pushed veteran free-agent signing Jaquiski Tartt out the door.
Blankenship, out of Middle Tennessee State, even started four games and picked off Aaron Rodgers for his first career interception.
Chachere was probably set to battle fourth-year backup K’Von Wallace, a disappointing 2020 fourth-round pick, for the fifth safety spot, assuming the Eagles keep five, which isn’t a sure shot.
Last year, the Eagles kept four going into the season – C.J. Gardner Johnson, Marcus Epps, Wallace and Blankenship – but carried hybrid defensive back Josiah Scott as insurance.
The Eagles must believe they’ve upgraded their depth at safety and on special teams with the additions of Evans, Brown and others to say goodbye to Chachere.
– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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