February 01, 2019
The Philadelphia Eagles and safety Rodney McLeod have agreed to a restructured contract, which will keep McLeod on the roster at least through the 2019 season. McLeod missed the final 13 games of the regular season with a serious knee injury.
It was originally thought that McLeod "only" tore his MCL Week 3 against the Colts, but it was later revealed that he also tore his ACL. McLeod's injury occurred in September, so it's possible that he could be ready for the start of the 2019 season.
McLeod was scheduled to count for $9,906,250 against the salary cap in 2019, $5,093,750 of which the Eagles would have saved if they traded or released him. McLeod showed how valuable he was to the team after he was gone, as the Eagles' safety play dipped significantly after he was lost for the 2018 season.
Had the Eagles released McLeod, they would have had a glaring hole at safety opposite Malcolm Jenkins. In theory, they could have also moved Avonte Maddox to safety, as he played capably there in 2018 in an emergency role, but the team would have depleted ever-important cornerback depth.
The Eagles are now in good shape at safety, at least on paper. Jenkins and McLeod are the starters, with Tre Sullivan likely to return to the team after seeing his role increase down the stretch. There's also Deiondre Hall, who the team acquired from the Bears with a seventh-round pick, who will have an opportunity to make the team in training camp. Free agents Corey Graham and Chris Maragos may have played their last snaps in the NFL.
As we noted in our "stay or go" series, the most ideal scenario for the Eagles would be for the two sides to find some middle ground, in the form of a contract restructure that lowered McLeod's 2019 cap number. While contract numbers are not yet available, there's little doubt that McLeod took a pay cut.
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