Examining Eagles Options at Cornerback

There are still several free agents available that could fit the bill as well as some trade possibilities, three of which are in the article
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PHILADELPHIA – It’s time to see now exactly how many ways there are to skin a cat.

That was the old cliche Eagles GM Howie Roseman used when asked during last weekend’s draft why no cornerbacks were taken after the first two days.

Roseman and his staff finally drafted one on Day 3, landing Zech McPhearson with their first pick on Saturday at No. 123 overall.

Later that night, Roseman was asked again about the CB spot, and he pointed to a trade he made in August 2017, one that delivered Ronald Darby from the Bills. Darby ended up being a starter on the Eagles’ Super Bowl championship team.

"We don't start the season until September," Roseman duly noted.

So, what could he have up his sleeve this time around?

He could go the trade route, and it’s anybody’s guess as to who may be offering who, but here are some possible teams he could call:

Jacksonville. The Jaguars could use a tight end, a security blanket if you will, for their rookie QB Trevor Lawrence, so maybe Roseman engineers a deal to land one of the Jags’ corners by offering Zach Ertz. 

Jacksonville drafted Tyson Campbell with the first pick of the second round, added D.J. Daniels later in the draft, and signed free agent Shaquill Griffin to go along with last year’s ninth overall pick, C.J. Henderson, and Eagles castoff Sidney Jones.

The “spare” CBs in Jacksonville include Josiah Scott and Tre Herndon.

Miami. The Dolphins have reportedly shopped Xavien Howard in the past. He’s in the final year of his contract and comes with a big salary number but also some big production after a 2020 season in which he intercepted 10 passes, more than the entire Eagles defense had all year.

Cleveland. The Browns added Greg Newsome in the first round and signed FA slot Troy Hill to pair with Denzel Ward, so maybe it wouldn’t hurt for Roseman to call and inquire about Greedy Williams.

There are also still some options in free agency, though it's a thin group. It includes:

Steve Nelson. Probably the cream of the leftover crop, he has had seven interceptions in the past three seasons. Perhaps former Steelers teammate Javon Hargrave can give him a call.

Bashaud Breeland. He’s still just 29 and has at least one interception in all seven of his years in the league, and 14 overall.

Richard Sherman. He turned 33 at the end of March, missed 11 games last year with a lower calf injury, and is believed to be in talks to return to the 49ers, so the veteran would be a very longshot to join a team that is marketed as being in a retooling mode.

There are also a pair of former Eagles still on the market:

Cre’Von LeBlanc. In the two-plus seasons with the Eagles, he has battled injury and played just 21 games with six starts.

Nickell Robey-Coleman. Last year’s free-agent signing looked like he would pay big dividends. He never really did, playing 15 games, with seven starts, but without any real numbers to warrant the one-year, $1.3 million contract he was given.

LeBlanc and Robey-Coleman would come with an inexpensive price stage if Roseman so desires to run it back with one or both this year.

Other free agents still available include Brian Poole and Gareon Conley, among others.

Something more needs to be done at this position. The Eagles addressed their safety and linebacker needs in free agency, with Anthony Harris and Andrew Adams coming in, as well as Eric Wilson.

The Eagles also added Patrick Johnson, who is listed as a linebacker, in the seventh round of the draft.

It’s time now to see how Roseman plans on skinning the cat at corner.

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s EagleMaven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.