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Rodney McLeod helps Eagles rebuild secondary

PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Eagles’ secondary has been a problem area for the past six years. They are determined to solve that problem.

The Eagles agreed to terms with free agent safety Rodney McLeod on a five-year, $37 million contract. The deal was first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and won't become official until 4 p.m. ET Wednesday when the new league year begins.

A day before landing McLeod, the Eagles signed former Buffalo Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin to a two-year contract.

McLeod, 25, gives the Eagles a safety to pair with Pro Bowl selection Malcolm Jenkins. New defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is expected to use his safeties in traditional strong and free safety roles. Last year, coordinator Bill Davis preferred to deploy Jenkins and Walter Thurmond as interchangeable safeties.

The 5-foot-10, 190-pound McLeod was ranked as the 20th-best free agent by Pro Football Focus. PFF rated him the 10th-best safety in the NFL last season.

In three seasons with the St. Louis Rams, McLeod started all 48 games. He was credited with 184 tackles, five interceptions, seven forced fumbles and six recovered fumbles.

Even with Jenkins playing at a Pro Bowl level, the Eagles allowed 36 passing touchdowns, second-most in the NFL. Their pass defense was ranked 28th overall in yardage allowed.

So far this offseason, the Eagles have allowed Thurmond and cornerback Nolan Carroll to reach free agency. They traded starting cornerback Byron Maxwell to the Miami Dolphins.

Maxwell was the Eagles’ biggest free agent signing last year, receiving a six-year, $63 million contract. The team is hoping to do better on the market this year.