Eagles Work Out One-Year Deal with Carroll
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — The Eagles will be bringing back their best cornerback from last season after agreeing to a one-year deal with Nolan Carroll.
The move comes on the heels of Carroll's visit with Dallas late last week in which the veteran, who is still recovering from a fractured ankle suffered on Thanksgiving Day in Detroit, left without agreeing to terms. Miami, Carroll's original team, was also thought to be interested in the University of Maryland product.
The Eagles wanted Carroll back in the fold despite signing two cornerbacks in free agency last week, former Bills players Leodis McKelvin and Ron Brooks.
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 the injured ankle ended his season.
Right now McKelvin and promising second-year player Eric Rowe are penciled in as starters but the pickings behind them were 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.
A one-year deal from Carroll's perspective allows him to prove he's healthy and re-enter the market again next season. According to Derrick Gunn, Carroll has currently pegged himself at about 85 percent and he expects to be ready for OTAs in May.
The deal could be worth up to $3 million for Carroll.
Of the 111 corners who played enough to be rated at CB by ProFootballFocus.com last season, Carroll was middle of the pack at No. 53 after finishing with career-highs in tackles (54) and pass breakups (15), coupled with two interceptions. While not great it was world's better than Maxwell (No. 75), Rowe (82) and McKelvin (83 while playing for Buffalo).
Entering Week 12, Carroll was ranked third on the Eagles in tackles, first in passes defensed and tied for second in interceptions, while playing basically all the time (739 of a possible 746 defensive snaps).
Originally a fifth-round selection of the Dolphins in the 2010 NFL draft, Carroll played four seasons in South Florida, appearing in 58 games with 26 starts.
He signed with the Eagles as a free agent before the '14 season and has played in 27 games with 12 starts in his two seasons in Philadelphia. Overall, the seven-year pro has compiled 200 tackles (171 solo), three sacks, seven interceptions, 42 passes defensed and 27 special teams tackles during his career.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973ESPN.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen