Know the 2014 NFL free agents: Eagles S Nate Allen

Rich Schultz

With the free agent season looming, our own Matt Verderame has been profiling various 2014 NFL free agents and their potential fit with the Kansas City Chiefs. To follow up, we're asking various experts from around the SB Nation network about these specific players to gain more insight as possible additions for the Chiefs.

Here's a closer look at Eagles safety Nate Allen in a Q&A with Brandon Lee Gowton from Bleeding Green Nation.

Do the Eagles want to keep Nate Allen?

Bleeding Green Nation: Yes, there's a decent chance the Eagles want to keep Nate Allen. As it stands now, the Eagles will only have three safeties on the roster when free agency starts: Patrick Chung, Earl Wolff, and Keelan Johnson. Chung is a candidate to be cut, Wolff is rookie who showed potential but far from a sure thing, and Johnson is a rookie who spent the majority of the 2013 season on the Eagles' practice squad. So you can see that safety is a huge position of need for Philadelphia.

I wouldn't say they will drastically miss him, but if they can't find two starting safeties who are at least adequate, then yes, they will defintely miss him. Allen was below average in coverage but was one of the league's most efficient tacklers.

Why would the Eagles let him go?

BGN :The Eagles wouldn't keep Nate Allen because they have a strict "walk away" number in place. If the open market determines Allen is worth more than that number, he won't be back in Philadelphia. While they will have some interest in his return, the Eagles won't rush to break the bank for Allen.

Do you have any idea what that number could be that Allen is looking for?

BGN: I'll preface this by saying I don't have a great sense. Here's what we know: Allen showed potential in his rookie year before suffering an injury. He came back and played behind a Wide-9 scheme that made life difficult for the Eagles' safeties. Allen predictably struggled for two seasons in that situation. The Eagles switched to a 2-gap 3-4 defense in 2013 and asked less responsibility of Allen. He improved enough to be considered an adequate starter. I can't see how he would be in store for a major payday, but then again a lot of teams lack ideal safety options.

What would be the best fit for Allen at this stage?

BGN: As I mentioned above, Allen's success came when he was simply asked to do his job. Given his low rate of interceptions, you can see he's not the guy you bring in to be a playmaker. He's an overall solid but unspectacular starter at safety. His best fit is a team that keeps responsibilities simple for him, such as the Eagles did last year.

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