Jalen Mills wants to return – should the Philadelphia Eagles feel the same?

Dec 20, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Philadelphia Eagles safety Jalen Mills (21) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 20, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Philadelphia Eagles safety Jalen Mills (21) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

In an interview that he did with CBS Sports earlier this week, longtime Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Jalen Mills revealed that he would like to remain in Philly for the foreseeable future. Mills is coming off a one-year contract that he signed last offseason, a contract that he signed with the intention to switch from cornerback to safety.

For what it’s worth, the switch actually worked out quite favorably for both Mills and the Eagles defense.

Mills wasn’t *great* by any stretch of the imagination, but he was definitely serviceable. He finished the 2020 season with a career-best 82.0 passer rating allowed when targeted, and posted career-highs in all sorts of other box score statistics – as he racked up the tackles, sacks, and TFLs operating as an in-the-box safety for the first time in his career.

Should the Philadelphia Eagles re-sign Jalen Mills once more?

Here’s what Mills had to say to CBS in regards to his future:

"“When you got fans that passionate, why not want to play here…I’m the green goblin! I love it in Philadelphia. I won a Super Bowl with them.”"

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Mills also mentioned the fact that if he were to return to Philadelphia this offseason (he’s an unrestricted free agent), that’d he’d like to do so as a safety once more. Obviously the numbers point to safety being a better natural fit for Mills, and the former LSU product appears to agree.

So, we’ve established that Jalen Mill wants to remain an Eagle for the foreseeable future, but should the Philadelphia Eagles feel the same way?

A few weeks ago, prior to Jim Schwartz announcing his departure from the Eagles coaching staff, I would’ve said 100% yes. Mills definitely looked like a starting-caliber safety in 2020, and his energy/leadership isn’t something that is easily replaced. Throw in the fact that he’d likely be taking a hometown discount of sorts (as the Eagles front office continues to navigate a tricky cap situation), and it made plenty of sense.

However, with Jonathan Gannon now in the fold, and the Eagles – as an organization – collectively trying to get younger, I’m less sold on the idea of re-signing Mills for a consecutive offseason. I think there’s some merit to simply letting Gannon rebuild this secondary from the ground up, whether that’s with guys like K’Von Wallace and Grayland Arnold, or DBs that’ll potentially be acquired come draft night.

Would I necessarily be “mad” if the Eagles opted to bring back Mills for 2021, as the team’s starting strong safety? No, definitely not. Like I mentioned previously, he flashed some potential last season, and working with someone like Gannon would only improve his game further.

On the flip side, would I be mad if the Eagles opted to let Mills walk this offseason? The answer is also no.

If the price is right (emphasis on this part!), bringing back Mills is a perfectly acceptable move. Letting him walk to free up money for other positions is also a perfectly acceptable move.

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It’s a super lame and boring conclusion to come to, but ultimately it’s the one that the Eagles front office will come to as well. They’ll definitely check in with Jalen once or twice this offseason to see what his asking price is. If it’s low, they’ll happily bring back the “Green Goblin” for another season or two. If it’s too high, then they’ll thank him for his services and let him test the open market.