NFL free agency 2022: Eagles let Rodney McLeod go to Colts on cheap contract

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Eagles moved on from McLeod despite minimal contract originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Eagles let Rodney McLeod walk in free agency this offseason and it doesn’t appear that money was a factor.

McLeod, 31, joined the Colts earlier this month and now we have the contract details.

His one-year deal with the Colts is worth just $1.77 million with a matching cap hit in 2022, according to a league source. Here are all the details:

Base salary: $1.12 million

Signing bonus: $650K

Cap hit: $1.77 million

While McLeod’s contract is guaranteed, his base salary of $1.12 million is the veteran minimum for a player with his level of service. McLeod is entering his 11th season in 2022.

If the Eagles wanted to bring McLeod back for his seventh season in Philadelphia, they clearly could have afforded it. But it appears that they were ready to move on from McLeod and chose Anthony Harris instead. And it isn’t like Harris got paid mega money either.

But Harris, 30, is slightly younger than McLeod and has a longer history with defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. The two spent several years together in Minnesota from 2015-2017. But Gannon was already gone in 2019, when Harris had the best season of his career with six interceptions in 14 games.

Last season, Harris played through injuries to start 14 games and was OK. He had 72 tackles, 1 interception and 3 pass breakups.

The contract Harris signed with the Eagles in 2022 is worth more than McLeod’s deal with the Colts. The one-year deal for Harris is worth $2.5 million, which includes a $2 million base salary and up to $500,000 in per-game roster bonuses, although just $1 million is guaranteed. It’s also cheaper than the one-year deal that brought him to Philly before last season.

The Eagles structured Harris’s new contract in a way to minimize his cap hit in 2022 by using a salary advance that prorates over five year. His cap hit in 2022 will be around $1.414 million.

But the Eagles also don’t appear finished at the position quite yet. Go ahead and pencil in Harris at one of the starting spots but the top returning safeties on the roster are Marcus Epps, K’Von Wallace, Andre Chachere and Jared Mayden.

“And that's even before the draft, and obviously we have a long time until we play a game,” Eagles GM Howie Roseman said on Wednesday. “But we like those guys.”

Still, they probably need to add more.

They’ve been linked with Pro Bowler Tyrann Mathieu, who would definitely count as an upgrade even though he’s nearly 30 and might be starting his decline. And then there’s the draft next week. The Eagles have never taken a safety in the first round but have 10 total picks and eight of them come on Days 2 and 3.

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