It isn't like the Eagles have ignored the deep secondary for all of these years. They've used high draft picks. They've added pieces in free agency. They've mixed and matched and paired player combinations.
And yet the safety spots have largely been patchwork, although to be fair it's worth noting that
Quintin Mikell. Sean Jones. Macho Harris. Kurt Coleman. Patrick Chung. All here and starters for parts or all of seasons, and now all gone.
Allen remains, having signed a one-year contract during free agency following his 2013 season, arguably the best and most consistent for Allen in the NFL. But there are no givens for Allen as the Eagles continue to add competition and find some long-term answers at safety.
What do we know about safety at this point? We know that
Truly, the buzzword is "competition" at safety. Jenkins may be the alpha among the group, but there are a lot of hungry young players chomping at the idea of playing time. Allen isn't about to give up his place as a starter, and to maintain his status, Allen will have to outplay a handful of contenders.
Leading that group is second-year man
Wolff is a wild card here, a young player who has an open forum. Rapid progress would provide a tremendous boost for the secondary and perhaps even unseat the anticipated (from those not making the football decisions, of course) starting duo of Jenkins and Allen. Can Wolff make that huge leap forward in Year 2?
There are others to consider here. Rookie
Maybe, just maybe, some long-term pieces are in place. It's been so many seasons since the Eagles had dominant play at one of the most challenging NFL positions to fill, but by adding Jenkins and Maragos in free agency, by retaining Allen, by using draft picks the last couple of years to bring Wolff and Reynolds on board, the Eagles have some candidates to perform for the long haul.
It's something to watch in Training Camp and in the preseason, for sure. A big step forward at safety would be huge for a defense that hopes most of the pieces are here for a surge right off the bat this season.