Jaquiski Tartt, Eagles agree to one-year contract

The Philadelphia Eagles are kicking off this mid-June weekend with a new signing! And one at a great position of need.

The Birds agreed to terms with veteran free agent Jaquiski Tartt on a one-year deal, according to an official team announcement.

Kind of weird timing since a Friday evening is typically reserved for dumping bad news. And this development doesn’t really fit in that category.

Well, maybe it does if you want to really harp on how he dropped a gift-wrapped interception from Matthew Stafford during the fourth quarter of this year’s NFC Championship Game. That was pretty bad.

But Tartt shouldn’t be solely defined by that one bad play. Even some 49ers fans would say as much. Check out this write-up from Niners Nation titled Why Jaquiski Tartt is the most irreplaceable pending free agent for the 49ers.”

“One thing that cannot be disputed is the statistical splits for the 49ers’ defense with Tartt on the field vs. Tartt off of it over the last couple of seasons.

Here are some numbers from the 49ers’ defense when Tartt plays over 50% of the defensive snaps since 2019

Points per game – 18.8

Total yards allowed per game – 289.5

Passing yards allowed per game – 185.3

Now, let’s compare that to when Tartt is not on the field for more than 50% of the defensive snaps.

Points per Game – 26.4

Total Yards per Game – 331.5

Passing Yards per Game – 222.3

That’s over a touchdown difference with him out there compared to when he’s not, which is a massive point swing in the NFL. Tartt might not give you the flashy highlight reel that so many fans seem to desire. But what he will give you is a level of dependability that is extremely difficult to replace at the highest level of professional football.

He is a proven commodity that has the physical traits, possesses an incredible amount of cerebral ability, and is someone who is going to come in and give you 100% every time he shows up. A consummate professional with an expansive skillset is something teams scour for every season, and the 49ers have had the pleasure of having one like Tartt be a part of their organization for the last seven seasons.”

Tartt is hardly anything special. The 30-year-old ranked 55th out of 62 safeties graded by Pro Football Focus last season. He allowed a 95.0 passer rating when targeted and logged a career-high 13.2% missed tackle rate.

Still, Tartt gives the Eagles another option at a position where they lack both 1) inspiring starters and 2) any semblance of proven depth. Now the Eagles can have Anthony Harris, Marcus Epps, and Tartt battle it out for two starting safety spots. The likes of Andre Chachere, K’Von Wallace, Jared Mayden, and Reed Blankenship are more likely fighting for backup jobs.

The Eagles have rightfully earned a lot of praise for having a strong offseason. Howie Roseman has done a lot of good things to improve the roster. (On paper, at least.)

One valid criticism, however, is that Philadelphia didn’t do enough to address the safety position.

The Birds reportedly tried to sign top free agent Marcus Williams … but he went to the Baltimore Ravens instead. There was some thought they were interested in Justin Reid. The possibility of a Chuck Clark trade was mentioned.

When previously asked about the Eagles’ safety position, Roseman said that the team is higher on that room than outsiders are. But clearly not to the point where he was ready to stop looking for help.

While not a home run signing by any means, it makes sense for the Eagles to add more competition at an unsettled position. Tartt brings experience to the table with 64 starts in 80 games played for the 49ers after being the No. 46 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. He hasn’t exactly been a play-maker with just 18 passes defended, four interceptions, and two forced fumbles to his name. Durability has also been an issue considering he’s never played a full season and he’s been available for just 50 of San Fran’s last 81 regular season games.

But, hey, there’s a reason he was still on the market at this time of year.

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