The Rams asked safety Blake Countess to take a pay cut from his $2 million tender after they drafted two safeties last weekend. He declined.
Following his unwillingness to take less, the Rams released Countess.
NBC Sports Philadelphia's Reuben Frank reports that the Eagles have claimed the player they drafted just three years ago after regretting having to make the cut.
Eagles have been awarded safety Blake Countess on waivers. Rams released him when he wouldn't take a pay cut.— Reuben Frank (@RoobNBCS) May 3, 2019
Howie Roseman always regretted having to release Countess after 2016 camp. Was Eagles' 6th-round pick that year.
Countess played in all 32 games last two years.
Countess could find himself a roster spot on this Eagles roster. He will compete with Tre Sullivan, Andrew Sendejo, and a few undrafted free agents for the two safety spots behind Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod.
His chances could be improved by the compensatory pick formula, as Sendejo no longer qualifying following his release could get the Eagles a fourth round pick in the 2020 draft.
2019 Eagles Compensatory Pick Chart
|QB Nick Foles||Jacksonville Jaguars||$22,000,000||3|
|WR Golden Tate||New York Giants||$9,350,000||4|
As Frank notes, Countess played in all 32 games over the past two seasons. In that time, he has intercepted two passes and defended three passes, but he has just 25 tackles as he is not typically involved in the run game. He also appeared in all four of the Rams' playoff games over the last two seasons, including Super Bowl LIII.
Countess was not a starter in LA and he would not be expected to start in Philly. He could provide an excellent fourth option for the team as a free safety in the back field. He can also play special teams.
The Eagles originally drafted Countess as a cornerback in the sixth-round of the 2016 draft, but Jalen Mills earned the roster spot over him. While he primarily played safety in LA, his ability to play corner could come in handy. Much like Avonte Maddox was able to patch the safety position last season, Countess could help out at corner, should the need arise, without the need to move Malcolm Jenkins from the positions he is best at.
Countess is far from guaranteed a spot on the 53-man roster, but he is not just another camp body. He will compete for a roster spot.