EJ Smith 👍

The Eagles showed plenty of confidence in Marcus Epps when he projected as one of their starting safeties, but actions speak louder than words.

Signing Jaquiski Tartt, a 31-year-old who’s logged 64 starts in a recently exemplary San Francisco 49ers defense, helps solidify the weakest spot in the Eagles’ new-look defense. It’s almost always important to temper expectations for a player signed this late in the offseason — they’re typically available for a reason — but Tartt started 14 games for the seventh-best defense in the league last year, according to Football Outsiders. He spent about 60% of his time as a post safety, the job the Eagles will ask him to do most, but also has some versatility to play in the box. He played 27% of his snaps as a box safety with the Niners and even logged some time as a slot corner.

Tartt’s turnover production isn’t significant; he has just four interceptions over his seven-year career. He logged 66 tackles last season, a career-high, but just one pass breakup.

The Eagles would likely welcome Epps, a younger player who has an extra year of experience in the defense, to challenge Tartt for the starting spot opposite Anthony Harris. If he does, Tartt would still bring some value as a well-seasoned third safety who can step in if Harris or Epps gets hurt. If Epps struggles during camp, though, the Eagles have improved their backup plan.

» READ MORE: Eagles sign former 49ers safety Jaquiski Tartt

Josh Tolentino 👍

It might’ve not been the splashy free-agent signing or blockbuster trade some might’ve hoped for, but the Eagles finally made a move that addressed the back end of the defense.

Tartt is a quality safety with a ton of experience. He has been healthy throughout the majority of his career, and figures to compete for the starter role alongside Harris. While Tartt hasn’t forced many turnovers, he possesses versatility with reps at deep safety, box safety, and nickel cornerback. That skill set is one defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon relishes.

Tartt’s signing likely serves as the bow to general manager Howie Roseman’s offseason additions. Across the defense, the Eagles signed pass rusher Haason Reddick, cornerback James Bradberry, linebacker Kyzir White and Tartt in free agency. They re-signed Harris and defensive end Derek Barnett to one- and two-year deals, respectively. And they drafted defensive tackle Jordan Davis and linebackers Nakobe Dean and Kyron Johnson.

No matter how you look at it, Gannon’s defense is now better equipped to battle with the league’s top passing offenses.