The rich get richer as the early candidates for off-season winners have made another key signing.
Friday evening the Philadelphia Eagles announced that they had come to terms on a one year deal with safety Jaquiski Tartt.
Tartt, 30, was a second round pick back in 2015. Formally of the San Francisco 49ers, Tartt has been one of the key contributors of the defense through his first seven seasons. Injuries, however, have limited him to 50 out of a possible 81 games played dating back to 2017.
Despite injuries playing a major factor in keeping him off the field, when available the 49ers saw a significant leap in production with Tartt in the lineup than without him.
49ers Defense when Jaquiski Tartt played more than 50% of the defensive snaps since 2019
|Points per Game||19.6|
|Total Yards Allowed Per Game||290.2|
|Passing Yards Allowed Per Game||178.9|
49ers Defense When Tartt was not on the field for more than 50% of the defensive snaps since 2019
|Points per game||26.4|
|Total Yards Allowed per game||331.5|
|Passing yards per game||222.3|
Playing under both Robert Saleh and DeMeco Ryans, Tartt is very comfortable being utilized in a two high shell, which is exactly what Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon has been shown to want to do.
At 6’1 and 215 pounds, Tartt is an instinctive player who has allowed the third lowest completion rate among safeties since 2019 (57.5% grade — per PFF).
What jumps off the screen when you watch Tartt is his versatility.
Despite primarily being used as the split safety, Tartt has displayed the ability to cover tight ends in coverage as he’s only allowed nine career touchdowns and is just under the league average in terms of yards allowed per catch (7.3).
There’s also the quote following the promotion of then linebackers coach DeMeco Ryans to defensive coordinator where Tartt famously said ‘Hopefully I can blitz 12 times a game’.
In terms of how he was deployed this past season Tartt was utilized in a multitude of different ways:
- Free safety: 59.3%
- Box: 26.3%
- Slot: 9.8%
- Edge: 3.9%
- Outside CB: 0.8%
His versatility and willingness to be a moving piece for the defense should allow Jonathan Gannon the opportunity to run his preferred defensive alignments.
This means you can expect the second year defensive coordinator to ramp up the variations of the Nickel 3-3-5, as well as numerous different Dime packages sets.
"We’re always looking to add really good football players that are versatile. And there are a lot of reasons behind that, one being scheme. One being it’s a matchup-driven league, so we’re looking to accentuate some of our matchups. Then it’s our job to kind of piece it together over the next four, five, six weeks, and then we get into training camp, hit the ground running, and put them in the right position to be successful. Everything that I look for in a safety, all those guys in that room have those qualities. Really have to put the work in and then see where it goes." - Jonathan Gannon
The Eagles were able to bolster a secondary unit that has already seen the likes of former Pro-Bowl cornerback James Bradberry join the group. Now Bradberry will be joined by his former college teammate at Samford University, in Tartt.
It’s safe to expect that Tartt will head into camp competing for the starting role with Marcus Epps who the team is said to be quite high on.
With the camp battles beginning to heat up it will be very interesting to see how this one plays out.
Cover Image Credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images