• IDP Buy or Sell 2023: Philadelphia Eagles

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    The Philadelphia Eagles are your defending NFC champions, and their team defense played a significant role. Who are the IDP Buy/Sell candidates who will help them take the next step and become Super Bowl champions?


    Terrell Edmunds, Safety

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    The two starting safeties from the 2022 Philadelphia Eagles defense have bolted in free agency to greener pastures. Marcus Epps and C.J. Gardner-Johnson believe they are joining better situations. Epps moves on to the Las Vegas Raiders, and Gardner-Johnson joins the Detroit Lions.

    They leave two very sizeable holes that need to be filled. That is 161 tackles over 29 games between the two players in 2022. Epps and Gerdner-Johnson also combined for 14 passes defended, 9 tackles for a loss, a sack, 6 interceptions, and a forced fumble.

    Who should be the starting safety for the 2023 Eagles?

    Terrell Edmunds is the first of the IDP buy/sell candidates in the buy category. He just completed his fifth year as the starting safety with the Pittsburgh Steelers and signed a one-year "prove-it" deal with the Eagles to ensure he is a good fit for their new defensive coordinator.

    In his five years with the Steelers, Edmunds averaged 82 tackles (55 solos), with a best year of 105 tackles (71 solos). He also averaged one sack per year, five passes defended, and an interception. I see Edmunds taking on more of the Epps position for the 23' Eagles.

    The opportunities will be plentiful, and Edmunds will be there to take advantage of his role. Edmunds should see a nice little raise and a multi-year contract in 2024. Price check soon. Wait a little bit, as he just signed with the Eagles, and the hype is up a little bit.


    Reed Blankenship, Safety

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    If Edmunds takes the Epps role on the Eagles' defense, who will take the Gardner-Johnson role for the 23' Eagles? Reed Blankenship will become the quarterback of the Eagles' defensive backfield and produce all over the field.

    Gardner-Johnson missed five games in 2022 with a lacerated kidney. Blankenship started four of those five games, Weeks 13-17. He suffered a low-grade knee sprain in the Week 14 game and missed Week 15. He played basically three and one-quarter games during Gardner-Johnson's absence.

    Blankenship Showed He Belongs

    For his four starts, Blankenship posted 21 tackles (14 solos) and a pass defended. When you add in Weeks 12 and 18, he played 71% of the defensive snaps. Blankenship delivered another 10 tackles (5 solos) and an interception in those two additional games.

    The undrafted 6' 1" 203 lb rookie out of Middle Tennessee State is ready for the big lights. Check his price now. With the Eagles also bringing in Justin Evans from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, all eyes might be off of Blankenship. Time to roster him on the cheap.


    Fletcher Cox, DT

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    Fletcher Cox was a first-round pick out of Mississippi State by the Eagles and has played his entire career in Philadelphia. Cox has started 167 games at the defensive tackle position out of a possible 178 games in his 11-year career to date. The captain of the Eagles' defense has only missed five games in his career.

    In his career to date, he has accumulated an incredible 486 tackles (336 solos), 85 tackles for a loss, 156 QB hits, 65 sacks, 14 passes defended, 15 forced fumbles, 13 fumble recoveries, and 3 TDs. He started off in his rookie year of 2012, playing more than 50% of the defensive snaps in eight of his games.

    The defensive snap counts grew to over 70% or more in 13 games in just his second year. In his fourth year of 2015, Cox increased his defensive snap count to 80% or more in 10 games.

    2020 started to see the decline of defensive snaps for Cox

    In 2020, Cox played over 75% of the defensive snaps in just eight games. In 2021, Cox played over 75% of the defensive snaps in just six games. Then he broke 70% of the defensive snaps last year just four times. He actually had five games of under 60% of the snaps.

    The iron man was starting to show some cracks in his armor. Last year was also his lowest solo tackle effort since 2017 and was the second lowest of his career.

    Cox is not done yet and just signed a $10 million one-year contract to stay with the Eagles. Will his snaps still stay in the 60% or better category? I think they drop slightly more as Jordan Davis is looking to take the next step.

    Better to sell Cox sooner than later. He still has considerable value in IDP circles, and it is always better to sell one year early rather than one year late. Don't rush to sell Cox, be patient, and sell him.

    Thank you for checking out my 23′ Impending IDP Free Agents article! You can read all of my articles on my IDP Guys author page. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @OldMan_FF and @IDPGuys (we have offense, too), and please consider becoming a subscriber!

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