What options do Eagles have at cornerback after day one of free agency?

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Unfortunately, the Eagles missed out on three of the top cornerback names of Free Agency at the start of the tampering period. Two of which have signed with NFC East rivals. James Bradberry has signed with the Giants and Kendall Fuller has returned to Washington. As for the most coveted corner of free agency, Byron Jones, he decided to take his talents to South Beach. He signed the richest contract for a cornerback and asserted himself as a huge piece for a team that’s rebuilding. Fortunately, there is still plenty of talent on the board! Here’s a look at who remains:

Via Trade

Darius Slay

Slay is still only 29 years old, a year older than Byron Jones. We know the Lions and Eagles were in heavy talks at the trade deadline for Darius Slay, but what we don’t know is what it will take to acquire him and just how rich of a payday he is looking for. Honestly, if the Eagles give him a deal worth 16-18 mill a year for three years, it may be a win-win for both parties but of course, they would have to want to trade for him first. In 2019, Slay had 13 pass deflections, 2 interceptions, and 46 combined tackles. He also allowed a completion percentage of 56% when targeted. Acquiring Darius Slay would be a huge win for this team.

Xavien Howard

Now I know the Dolphins signed Jones and having Jones and Howard would create Voltron and all, but they went all-in on Byron Jones for a reason – a reason that should make the Eagles very interested in trading for the young corner.

Howard may be on the outs in Miami. Last year he dealt with a domestic violence charge that was later dropped, but had problems on the field too, with an injury forcing him to miss nine games. The Dolphins could be looking to move on from Howard and maybe draft a young corner like CJ Henderson or Kristian Fulton. Wow, maybe I should be writing for Miami? Eh, I’ll pass.

Anyways, Howard already has a favorable contract that the Eagles would love to obtain but hasn’t played a full season since 2017. Although, in 2018, Howard appeared in 12 games and had 7 interceptions, 12 pass deflections, and 35 tackles. During that season, He also allowed a completion percentage of 52% when targeted. In 2019, that number skyrocketed to 65% but again, he only played 5 games. Howard can possibly be had for a more reasonable price then Slay but the risk is there for a team that can’t afford any more hiccups.

Free Agency

Logan Ryan

The Eagles love their slot corners. More importantly, they love versatile defensive backs. That’s what 2-time Super Bowk champ Logan Ryan is. He can bring the veteran leadership that this cornerback group needs.

In 2019, He finished the year with 4 interceptions, 18 pass deflections, 4 forced fumbles, 4.5 sacks, and 113 tackles. As you can see, Ryan would be a phenomenal upgrade over anyone that the Eagles have. He also may not cost the money it’ll take to sign a top-end cornerback. Now, don’t get me wrong, Ryan isn’t perfect. He did allow a completion percentage of 66% when targeted and did have 11 missed tackles last season but a player of his caliber should not be overlooked.

Chris Harris Jr

If age isn’t just a number for you then I recommend you scroll the next player because Harris is already 30 years old and will be 31 by the start of the new season. That doesn’t stop him from being one of the better slot corners in the league.

Unfortunately, he allowed a passer rating of 112 last season while allowed a completion rate of 67%. Harris finished the season with 1 interception, 6 pass deflections, 1 forced fumble, and 56 tackles. Compared to the top three in this piece, you would think Harris is a long shot for the Eagles to consider but one thing you have to remember is that Eagles always take chances on these kinds of veterans.

Desmond Trufant

Trufant makes the most sense as he’ll be released by Atlanta within the next two days. He also has ties with the Eagles new DB Coach, Marquand Manuel. Trufant is 29 years old and will be 30 when the season starts but that shouldn’t make you want him any less. Despite playing only 9 games this season, he still had 4 interceptions on the year and has only missed 1 game from 2017-2018. He’ll be an interesting pairing in this defense.

Xaver Rhodes

So, Rhodes. hm… Um… He’s a player that was once considered to be on the top end of the Elite Corners list but has been on a downward spiral and last season really exposed. He allowed a completion percentage of 81% and a passer rating of 123. He’s only missed three games in the last three seasons along with 23 pass deflections, 3 interceptions, and one forced fumble. Last season he only had 6 of those pass deflections, 1 forced fumble, and no interceptions. He could possibly be a player that needs the change of scenery but I highly doubt the Eagles take that risk.

Brian Poole

Now I know the last few have been rough and I feel for you, trust me, I do. But here’s one that fits the Eagles criteria. Brian Poole is only 27 years old, he’s only allowed a completion percentage of 62% last season and 57% the year before. With the Jets, he had 1 interception, 5 pass deflections, and 59 tackles. The year prior he was with the Falcons where he had 3 interceptions, 6 pass deflections, 3 sacks, and 74 tackles.

Poole could be a good corner to pair with one of the top three remaining on this list. Again, he’s only 27 years old so his best football may be ahead of him.

Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

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