Or do they believe that it wasn't his return from a knee injury that led to a preseason benching and that Allen is always susceptible to shaky performances like the one he delivered against the Patriots in late November?
If so, the combination of Allen, the average-at-best Coleman and the slow-developing Jarrett will not suffice, and the Eagles will need to add an impact free agent.
As with linebacker, the Eagles don't place a premium on the safety position. Their three best safeties since Andy Reid became head coach in 1999 - Brian Dawkins, Michael Lewis and Quintin Mikell - have all left via free agency.
They have signed only one unrestricted free agent to a contract longer than one year - Blaine Bishop for three years in 2002 - but that was a one-year rental until Lewis was ready. Dawkins, for the most part, afforded the Eagles the luxury of not having to chase free agent safeties or select one high in the draft.
But when Dawkins walked in 2009 and the Eagles failed to hit on a series of mid-round picks - Quintin Demps, C.J. Gaddis, Sean Considine and J.R. Reed - the team expended back-to-back second round picks in 2010 and 2011 on Allen and Jarrett, respectively.
Neither has solidified himself as a slam-dunk starter, although both have legitimate excuses. Allen tore the patellar tendon in his knee in December of his rookie season, and Jarrett was obviously stunted by the lockout last year.
In Allen's case, it's difficult to determine how much the bad knee hampered his play. He did not openly gripe about his injury but maintained that it was never 100 percent. Still, by the fifth game of the season he looked completely healthy, recording a team-high 13 tackles against the Bills.
A month later, though, he had regressed and by the New England game was embarrassingly poor in pass coverage. Allen was actually much better in run support than he was against the pass during the season, which is contrary to how he was evaluated coming out of college.
If Allen is indeed better suited to play closer to the line, the Eagles lack a true centerfield safety because Coleman and Jarrett also aren't cover men.
While it isn't likely to happen, the Eagles could solve their third wheel problem at cornerback if they moved Nnamdi Asomugha back to his long-ago original position of safety. They wouldn't have to unload Asante Samuel, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie could move outside into his comfort zone.
Realistically, the Eagles will probably do very little at safety. Allen and Jarrett, because of their draft positions, will get first dibs at starting. And Coleman will return because, despite his physical limitations, he has a better understanding of the position.
If anyone is brought in to compete, it will probably be through free agency or via trade rather than through a high draft pick. While the Eagles will likely target a second- or third-tier safety with a one-year contract, there are several attractive free agents if they decide Allen and company won't suffice.
The pool diluted some when the Raiders and 49ers placed their franchise tags on Tyvon Branch and Dashon Goldson, respectively. But here are some appealing safeties expected to be on the market, with analysis provided by a veteran NFL scout who requested anonymity because his evaluations are exclusive to his team:
Michael Griffin, Titans. Griffin, a two-time Pro Bowl safety, often gets labeled enigmatic. In other words, he's inconsistent. Tennessee could franchise Griffin since they decided not to tag cornerback Cortland Finnegan. But the 27-year-old looks bound for free agency. "I think he's a solid B," the scout said. "But he sometimes gives up big plays and doesn't always make them."
LaRon Landry, Redskins. Washington franchised tight end Fred Davis, so Landry should be available when free agency opens on March 13. He's only played in 17 games over the last two seasons and still has an Achilles tendon problem. But he's as feared as any safety in the league. "He's been working out like he's He-Man recently," the scout said. "I'm not sure if it'll help the foot."
Thomas DeCoud, Falcons. A three-year starter, he isn't likely to command Atlanta's attention with cornerback Brent Grimes and linebacker Curtis Lofton unsigned (Grimes was franchised Friday). So DeCoud will probably walk. "He's adequate," the scout said. "Has good instincts against the run."
Reggie Nelson, Bengals. Nelson had his finest season, but he faded some down the stretch and could be a risk to sign. He blitzed a decent amount and came up with a number of "plus-plays" (four interceptions, two sacks and two forced fumbles) last season. "He made the Bengals go," the scout said. "It's not like that franchise doesn't have money to spend."
Free-Agent Safety Market
The Eagles, in need of safety help, are entering a market that is deep at the position. Here are the likely unrestricted free-agent options (The restricted free-agent crop is weak):
Player team Ht. Wt. Age
Michael Griffin Titans 6-0 203 27
Former first rounder is inconsistent.
LaRon Landry Redskins 6-0 220 27
Still a big hitter, but injury prone.
Thomas DeCoud Falcons 6-2 192 26
Above average run stopper.
Reggie Nelson Bengals 5-11 206 28
Wants to stay in Cincinnati.
Brodney Pool Jets 6-2 214 27
Already has 7 seasons under belt.
Dwight Lowery Jaguars 5-11 198 26
Has only 29 career starts in 4 seasons.
Jim Leonhard Jets 5-8 188 29
Tore his patellar tendon in December.
Mike Adams Browns 5-11 200 30
He's getting long in the tooth.
Craig Steltz Bears 6-1 210 25
An unknown, but shined late.
- Jeff McLane
Contact Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745 or email@example.com or follow on Twitter @Jeff_McLane.