Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Eagles release veteran safety Jaquiski Tartt, raising even more questions about uncertain position

The Philadelphia Eagles thought they found a veteran presence to solidify the safety position this summer in Jaquiski Tartt. Instead, they wound up moving on from him. 

Per Inside The Birds’ Adam Caplan, the Eagles have released Tartt prior to Tuesday’s 53-man roster deadline. Tartt was on the roster bubble throughout training camp and the preseason, struggling to get off the second and third team throughout the summer. He would have made $500,000 guaranteed if he made the roster. 

While Tartt was struggling, Marcus Epps — who was supposed to be challenged by Tartt for a starting job at safety — seized one of the starting safety jobs. Anthony Harris assumed the other starting job, leaving Tartt battling undrafted rookie Reed Blankenship, Andre Chachere, and K’Von Wallace battling for the other safety spots. The Eagles even moved cornerback Josiah Scott to safety due to the uncertainty of the position. 

Tartt struggled to get acclimated to defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s scheme and was spotty in coverage throughout the preseason. He missed several days in training camp due to personal reasons, causing him to fall on the depth chart — and never recovered. He started 64 of 80 games in his seven seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, finishing with 367 tackles, four sacks, and four interceptions. 

With Tartt off the roster, the Eagles will have to make a decision regarding the fates of Wallace, Chachere, and Blankenship. Outside of Blankenship, none of the roster bubble candidates have done enough to convince the Eagles they’re worth a roster spot. Chachere has been strong on special teams in the past, so he may get the nod for one of the available spots. 

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Gannon hasn’t appeared confident in any of his safeties outside of Epps, which may play a role in the Eagles being active on the waiver wire or trade market over the coming days. Positional versatility in the secondary may be enough to win a job, which is what Scott and Chachere provide. 

“There are different ways to do it depending on the player, so that’s a case-by-case basis,” Gannon said last week. “Typically, you’ve seen you’ve have corners that slide inside or you have safeties that can slide inside. It’s really their skill set for those two guys kind of fit, within our scheme, what we are asking those guys to do. They have both done a good job with it.

“We’re going to keep the best football players and they are all going to have multiple roles.”

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