Eagles play a risky hand in releasing Cre’Von LeBlanc

PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 09: Philadelphia Eagles Cornerback Cre’von LeBlanc (34) watches the game from the sideline during the game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles on December 09, 2019 a Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Nicole Fridling/Icon Sportswire)

The Eagles surprised a lot of people (and broke my heart) on Sunday by releasing Cre’Von LeBlanc in order to make way for a running back they’d picked up off the waiver wire. This move reeks of risk and potential regret.

The role

LeBlanc wasn’t going to get starting reps in 2020. Despite having a good Summer, he was very clearly the backup nickel corner behind newly-signed Nickell Robey-Coleman. Cutting him after previously parting ways with Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas just seems incredibly risky. The Eagles now have FOUR cornerbacks on their active roster.

‘Strap’ burst onto the scene in 2018, giving up the lowest NFL passer rating (80.4), and the lowest yards allowed per snap (1.11) across his 304 snaps, before exploding in the postseason.

A Lisfranc injury would rip 2019 away from him, but the Eagles paid him regardless. He then returned at a crucial part of the season and was a huge reason the team were able to fend off the New York Giants after putting in a truly ridiculous performance where he helped negate the play of Saquon Barkley.

There is a strong chance that a gentleman’s agreement is in place for him to return, but there’s a risk.

Cre’Von’s a free agent

LeBlanc doesn’t have to clear waivers. He can sign where he wants. If he feels like the team have done him dirty (plausible) and made a stupid decision despite an abundance of talent in other areas (Ie Jordan Mailata/Marcus Epps making the roster), he may absolutely take that personally and wish to go somehwere his role isn’t capped.

Strap could absolutely challenge for a starting role. He wasn’t going to do that with NRC in town. If the right team comes along, I wouldn’t be surprised to see LeBlanc move on and take a chance. If it doesn’t, then he returns and my heart is repaired.

Not for the first time

The Eagles have played some very hot hands this weekend and been burned. Shareef Miller and Rasul Douglas were claimed by the Panthers. Noah Togiai has a new home, meaning the Eagles have two tight ends on the roster. Why would they even bother risking the idea of going into the season with ONE backup cornerback, even if LeBlanc agreed to return once Jalen Reagor hits the PUP list? Because even then it’s not guaranteed he’d be able to stay.

There’s a strong chance Howie Roseman gets burned here.

Photo by Nicole Fridling/Icon Sportswire