Philadelphia Eagles News

Rumor Mill: McCourty A Top Priority

Last year, Malcolm Jenkins was the top target in free agency for the Eagles. Could another safety to complement Jenkins be on the way to Philly in this year's free agency?

Per Charles Robinson of Yahoo!, the Eagles have made New England's Devin McCourty, a two-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time team defensive captain, "a top priority" in free agency.

The 27-year-old's career is very similar to that of Jenkins. They were both former first-round picks - Jenkins in 2009 and McCourty in 2010. Both have won a Super Bowl. Both are leaders, having been voted as defensive captains. Both were selected as cornerbacks before making a successful transition to safety.

It was that versatility that attracted the Eagles to Jenkins a year ago. The Eagles don't look at the safety position as needing a "cover" safety and a "box" safety. They want safeties who can do it all - defend the deep middle, help in run support and stick receivers and tight ends in coverage.

McCourty started all 16 games his rookie season at cornerback and nabbed seven interceptions to earn Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors. He made the transition from cornerback to safety as a hybrid player in 2012 due to injuries while also being used as a kick returner. He became a full-time safety in 2013 and had 75 tackles, nine pass breakups, two forced fumbles and an interception as he was named second-team All-Pro becoming just the third player in NFL history (Hall of Famers Rod Woodson and Ronnie Lott) to earn All-Pro accolades at both cornerback and safety. This past season, McCourty earned Pro Bowl honors at safety for the Super Bowl-champion Patriots.

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