Safety First: Eagles agree to 3-year deal with Malcolm Jenkins

Safety First: Eagles agree to 3-year deal with Malcolm Jenkins

Just one hour into the start of free agency, the Philadelphia Eagles made the move everybody was anticipating. Whether it's the player everybody wanted remains to be seen.

No, it's not Jairus Byrd or T.J. Ward, but it is a safety. The Eagles have agreed to terms with Malcolm Jenkins on a three-year contract worth $16.25 million as first reported by Adam Schefter for ESPN. Jeff McLane for the Inquirer adds that $8.5 million is guaranteed.

Earlier today, we ranked Jenkins as the fourth-best safety available in free agency.

Jenkins makes sense on a number of different fronts. First of all, the Eagles are unwilling to break the bank in free agency. The top safeties like Byrd and Ward are expected to earn between $7-9 million per year, where Jenkins' deal pays him closer to $5 annually.

The Eagles were also looking for safeties in Jenkins' size and age-range. The New Jersey native comes in at 6'0", 204 pounds and is only 26-years-old.

Versatility was one of the keys as well. The Eagles defense utilized safeties in a lot of man-to-man coverage last year. Jenkins, a 2009 first-round pick out of Ohio State, is a converted cornerback and is perfectly comfortable in that role.

Jenkins recorded 2.5 sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles in 14 starts for the Saints in 2013. However, he ranked dead last among all safeties in "coverage snaps per reception," 56th out of 63 safeties in run-stop percentage and 62 out of 67 in tackling efficiency according to metrics site Pro Football Focus.

A change of scenery could help Jenkins though. While his career in New Orleans was a roller coaster for sure, he was also part of some pretty horrid defenses in his time there. And despite what PFF's signature stats suggest, Jenkins was good enough to start and contribute in the league's No. 2 pass defense in 2013.

Personally, I like the signing. Jenkins has raw ability that this coaching staff can mold. With the right tutelage, the Eagles could get more out of him than the Saints ever did. He's young and has all the tools, so the upside is still there. He also doesn't create turmoil with the Birds' budget.

No, it's not Byrd or Ward, but those players weren't going to instantly turn around a secondary that ranked dead last versus the pass in '13 like some people seem to think. Neither will Jenkins, but for the price, he's only expected to be one piece of the puzzle, not the answer to every problem.

Buccaneers promote former Eagles WR Josh Huff to active roster

Buccaneers promote former Eagles WR Josh Huff to active roster

Josh Huff is back on an NFL active roster.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are calling the wide receiver up from their practice squad to their 53-man roster. The Eagles released Huff just over a month ago following his arrest for unlawful possession of a firearm. 

The 25-year-old Huff was originally a third round pick by the Eagles in 2014. He made 48 receptions for 482 yards and four touchdowns over three seasons. He excelled on special teams, returning two kicks for touchdowns. One of those kick returns came in his penultimate game with the Eagles, a 21-10 win over the Vikings on Oct. 23. 

Huff replaces Cecil Shorts III for the Buccaneers after Shorts suffered a season-ending knee injury on Sunday in San Diego.

Meanwhile, the Eagles have filled Huff's role in the offense with rookie receivers Bryce Treggs and Paul Turner. 

MLB Notes: Red Sox acquire ace LHP Chris Sale from White Sox

MLB Notes: Red Sox acquire ace LHP Chris Sale from White Sox

OXON HILL, Md. -- All-Star ace Chris Sale is joining the reloading Boston Red Sox, leaving behind his shredded reputation with the Chicago White Sox.

Boston acquired Sale on Tuesday for a package of four prospects, including high-priced Yoan Moncada.

Sale was a top trade target at the winter meetings and the AL East champion Red Sox were getting him instead of Washington, which also pursued.

A few hours earlier, Boston got prime setup man Tyler Thornburg from Milwaukee. After that deal was announced, without tipping his hand, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said: "We're trying to win now, as you can see."

Boston acquired Sale for minor league pitchers Michael Kopech and Victor Diaz, outfielder Luis Basabe and Moncada, a third baseman (see full story).

Red Sox get setup man Thornburg from Brewers for INF Shaw
OXON HILL, Md. -- The Boston Red Sox have gotten the setup man they wanted, acquiring right-hander Tyler Thornburg from the Milwaukee Brewers in a package that included infielder Travis Shaw.

The deal was announced Tuesday and was the first trade at baseball's winter meetings.

Milwaukee also got minor league infielder Mauricio Dubon, minor league right-hander Josh Pennington and a player to be named or $100.

The 28-year-old Thornburg will become Boston's eighth-inning guy, setting up closer Craig Kimbrel for the AL East champions. Thornburg was 8-5 with 13 saves and a 2.15 ERA in 67 games for the Brewers, striking out 90 in 67 innings.

The 26-year-old Shaw hit .242 with 16 home runs and 71 RBIs last season. He mostly played third base, and also saw time at first.

The 22-year-old Dubon hit a combined .323 and scored 101 runs between the Single-A and Double-A levels. The 21-year-old Pennington was 5-3 with a 2.86 ERA in Class A (see full story).

Yankees to retire Jeter's No 2 on May 14, last single digit
NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter's No. 2 is being retired, the last of the New York Yankees' single digits.

The Yankees said Tuesday the number will be retired on May 14 before a Mother's Day game against Houston, and a plaque in his honor will be unveiled in Monument Park during the ceremony.

Jeter's number is the 21st retired by the team. He won five World Series titles and was a 14-time All-Star during a 20-season career that ended in 2014 and he is sixth in career hits with 3,465.

Jeter set Yankees records for hits, games (2,747), at-bats (11,195), doubles (544) and stolen bases (358) (see full story).