There were a lot of holes exposed on the Philadelphia Eagles over the last two months. They lost five out of their last six games in the regular season and then put forth an embarrassing effort on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during Super Wild Card Weekend.
The Eagles went to Raymond James Stadium and didn’t put up much of a fight, losing 32-9. They were carved up by Baker Mayfield, who threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns, picking apart a secondary that crumbled over the second half of the season.
While the secondary wasn’t the only area of the defense that struggled, it was arguably the biggest weakness. Poor tackling compounded their inability to stick with receivers, as players were running open down the field all night long.
General manager Howie Roseman has his work cut out for him when it comes to fixing things on this side of the ball. The Eagles did lose a lot of talent on defense during the 2023 offseason and it is time for them to restock.
One player they could look to pursue is L’Jarius Sneed of the Kansas City Chiefs. Gordon McGuinness of Pro Football Focus believes Sneed is the one free agent the Eagles have to target this offseason.
“No Eagles cornerback earned a PFF coverage grade of 70.0 or better in 2023. If the team wants to get back to contending after a disappointing final stretch to the 2023 season, they will have to invest in the position again. Sneed would be a big splash in that regard. He is a capable, physical cornerback from either the inside or the outside, earning PFF coverage grades of 70.0 or better in three of his four NFL seasons,” wrote McGuinness.
Sneed has performed at a high level for the Chiefs since being selected in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He has been a starter basically since Day 1 for the team and will be looking to cash in as a free agent in a few weeks.
There will be some challenges to Kansas City retaining him, especially if they use the franchise tag on star defensive tackle Chris Jones. That would take up virtually all of their available cap space, leaving Sneed open to be poached by a team such as the Eagles.
Philadelphia’s secondary was a strength during the 2023 season with Darius Slay and James Bradberry locking down the perimeter and C.J. Gardner-Johnson in the slot. Gardner-Johnson left for the Detroit Lions in free agency while Slay and Bradberry both took a step back with their production.
That spelled disaster for the Eagles, who struggled to slow down their opponents through the air. On the season, Philadelphia ranked 31st in passing yards and touchdowns allowed, making that an area the front office will target for upgrades this offseason.