The Eagles, seemingly overnight, have assembled a solid and deep group of cornerbacks.
Bolstered by the addition of Nolan Carroll on a one-year deal (announced Tuesday by the team), the Birds shed Byron Maxwell and were able to addLeodis McKelvin and Ron Brooks when free agency started. By pairing these two former Buffalo Bills with their old coach Jim Schwartz, Philly's incoming defensive coordinator, there also could be some fast-developing chemistry in the defensive backfield.
"I was excited when I heard that Jim Schwartz wanted me to come out and play in his defense," Brooks said last week after officially inking his contract in South Philly."In Buffalo we were the fourth ranked defense in the league. ... It's obvious, it's been proven and shown that it works. The mentality that he brings to this organization is going to be something to see."
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With Eric Rowe, last year's second round pick expected to settle in to a corner role as well, the trio of veterans will face a lot of competition in training camp.
JaCorey Shephardis expected to be back following a season ending injury last August, as will Jaylen Watlkins, Denzel Rice and Randall Evans.
The good news? There is a lot of talent at cornerback.
The bad news? It's anyone's guess as to who will start, who will play in the slot and who will make the 53-man roster.
With a fourth member of the secondary also arriving in Philly for the first time, former Rams' safety Rodney McLeod, head coach Doug Pederson sees the positionas a strength for the first time in a few years.
"McKelvin, a cornerback, we’re really excited about having him here," the coach told the media,"McLeod, a great player, safety, who has the opportunity to shore up that secondary here. Brooks, another cornerback who really gives us some nice depth there in the secondary. We’re really looking forward to working with these guys."
Carroll, 29,returns for $2.3 million after making 57 tackles and two interceptions last season opposite Maxwell. His season was cut short with an injury against the Lions in late 2015.He reportedly flirted with the idea of playing in Dallas, but the market for cornerbacks is slimmer than usual.