STAY OR GO: The Cornerbacks

The 2020 season was the first time in a long time that the Eagles had an elite cornerback. However, they still had issues for whoever played opposite Darius Slay. With new Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon being a former Defensive Backs Coach, performances at the position should improve, but who will the Eagles keep and let go?


Darius Slay


Slay joined the Eagles last free agency via a trade with the Detroit Lions and played well for the most part. Slay allowed just two receivers to have 100 yards receiving with him covering them last season. He managed to keep the likes of Cooper Kupp, Jarvis Landry, and Chase Claypool in check. The lack of interceptions was a negative, but it is nice to have a corner that quarterbacks fear.


Verdict: STAY. Slay recently restructured his contract saving the team $8.65 million in cap space. He will be the team's leading corner heading into 2021.


Avonte Maddox


Maddox had his season cut short by injury, but it was a year he would like to forget. He struggled as the second cornerback for the most part and was picked on quite a bit. He also did not register an interception.


Verdict: STAY. The Eagles likely keep the former fourth-round pick for the final year of his rookie deal. He is cheap and has 35 games of NFL experience under his belt. It will be a big year for Maddox, who should either be played in the slot or moved to safety. His height played a part in his struggles, and he would be better suited to those two roles.


Cre'Von LeBlanc


'Strap' LeBlanc was waived before the season started, which caused uproar amongst Eagles fans. However, the cult hero from the 2018 playoff push had a below-par year and was placed on injured reserve following an ankle injury.


Verdict: GO. LeBlanc has always done okay in an Eagles uniform, but he is one of those players that can easily be replaced. The Eagles will look for other corners that better fit Gannon's system.


Nickell Robey Coleman


Robey-Coleman is famous for that no-call in the NFC Championship, which cost the New Orleans Saints a place in the Super Bowl. However, his tape as a slot corner was pretty impressive. For a cheap one-year-deal, this free agent pick-up looked a great one. Sadly like most of the Eagles 2020 season, it was not and NRC seriously disappointed.


Verdict: GO. The Eagles need to get younger and have to get rid of players that have not made a positive impact. Getting rid of Robey-Coleman does both. They can look to strengthen at cornerback in free agency and the draft.


Craig James


James was viewed as a special teams whiz heading into 2020 and that was one of the main reasons for him being on the roster. He made his name known to Eagles fans after his pass deflection set-up the game-sealing interception in the 2019 win over the Green Bay Packers. James struggled with injuries throughout 2020 and only featured in four games.


Verdict: STAY. It may appear to be a silly choice, but special teams matter too. James will likely be at the bottom of the cornerback depth chart, but his play on special teams will warrant a place on the team. He also makes less than a million dollars, so he will be a good asset in helping with cap space.


Michael Jacquet


Jacquet is remembered for his game against the Dallas Cowboys, where Michael Gallup dominated against him. He was subsequently benched in the same game, and he did not start in the season finale against the Washington Football Team.


Verdict: DECIDED IN CAMP. It will be a big training camp for Jacquet as he likely battles for a place back on the practice squad. However, he needs to show that his horrifying game vs Dallas is not lingering with him. He will have to do more than others to make the team, shaking off the memories associated with that game.


Shakial Taylor


Taylor signed with the team in February after opting out of the 2020 season. He played for the Colts in 2019, working with current Defensive Coordinator Gannon.


Verdict: DECIDED IN CAMP. Having worked with Gannon, Taylor is likely being brought in as a camp body that understands how the new DC uses his corners. That could play in his favour in his attempts to make the practice squad.


Lavert Hill


I would be lying if I said I knew of Lavert Hill. He went undrafted in 2020, and the former Michigan cornerback signed for the Eagles practice squad at the start of December.


Verdict: GO. Hill will likely be a camp body with an outside shout of making the practice squad.


Jameson Houston


The Eagles signed Houston after a successful tryout, and he spent the second half of the 2020 season on the practice squad. He has signed a futures contract and was elevated to the main roster for three games.


Verdict: DECIDED IN CAMP. The Eagles liked Houston enough to elevate him to the gameday roster on three occasions. Having signed a futures contract, he will fight for a place on the practice squad.


Kevon Seymour


Seymour featured in two games for the Eagles in December of last season before being placed on injured reserve. He has played in 33 NFL games, and last year was his first time back on the field in three years.


Verdict: DECIDED IN CAMP. Seymour has signed a futures contract with the team, and his previous NFL experience could work in his favour this training camp. It should make him an early favourite to make the practice squad as he could be relied upon in an injury crisis.

32 views0 comments

All About the Birds

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

© 2023 by Jennifer Warner. Proudly created with Wix.com

All About the Birds Newsletter

  • Instagram
  • RSS