Carroll Still in the Mix For Eagles
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — The Eagles already lost one player to Dallas this week and another was at least contemplating the move.
Free agent cornerback Nolan Carroll visited with the Cowboys but unlike Cedric Thornton, the University of Maryland product left North Texas without signing a deal.
That keeps Philadelphia, which still wants to bring back the 2015 starter despite signing two cornerbacks in free agency last week, former Bills players Leodis McKelvin and Ron Brooks, in the mix. The Eagles aren't alone, however, as Carroll's original team, the Miami Dolphins also have interest in bringing him back to South Florida.
Carroll really impressed the old coaching staff with his work ethic and conditioning during the offseason a year ago and he ascended to a starting position in his second season in Philadelphia, proving to be the team's best corner over the high-priced Byron Maxwell before a fractured ankle ended his season on Thanksgiving Day in Detroit.
Right now McKelvin and promising second-year player Eric Rowe are penciled in as starters but the pickings behind them are slim as Brooks is considered more of a special teams player and the rest of the offseason roster is dotted with young, unproven talent like Jaylen Watkins, Denzel Rice, Randall Evans, recent CFL signee Aaron Grymes and JaCorey Shepherd, who missed all of his rookie season with a torn ACL.
An NFL source confirmed to 973espn.com that Carroll was one of the players targeted by Howie Roseman for an extension before the market opened but the two sides couldn't work out a deal. Judging by Roseman's M.O., that is code for a team-friendly deal was put on the table and Carroll decided to take his chances.
If the veteran sees that the market isn't as robust as he thought it would be and the Eagles are able to work something out now Carroll would serve as much-needed insurance for the development of Rowe and also be in the mix to be in the team's nickel or dime packages.
Of the 111 corners who played enough to be rated by ProFootballFocus.com last season, Carroll was middle of the pack at No. 53 but that was world's better than Maxwell (No. 75), Rowe (82) and McKelvin (83 while playing for Buffalo).
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973ESPN.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen