Maxwell, Alonso Look Back on Failed Stints in Philly
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The minute Byron Maxwell signed his big-money deal with the Eagles, it was doomed to failure.
That's because the veteran cornerback who was a good player in Seattle's predominately cover-3 zone defense signed a contract (six years and $63 million) that came with the expectations of greatness.
Still, Maxwell's disappointing 2015 season, which wasn't quite as bad as people remembered, isn't the reason he calls South Florida home now, it was because Howie Roseman and the organization were intent on getting the answer at the game's most important position.
"It was obvious," Maxwell said on Monday afternoon after the first of two joint practices between the Dolphins and the Eagles at the NovaCare Complex when asked why he was traded. "[The Eagles] needed a quarterback."
To that end, both Maxwell and linebacker Kiko Alonso were sent to Miami in a deal that moved the Eagles from the 13th to the No. 8 overall in the 2016 draft. From there the Eagles moved up again to the second-overall selection to grab Carson Wentz, the second-year signal caller who wowed the visiting Miami reporters with a sharp day against the Dolphins' defense.
Part of that was Wentz finding Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith at the expense of Maxwell, a classy player who still uses the trade as motivation.
"I would be lying if I told you I don't want to do better than the Eagles do," he said. "I do. I want to win more games than them. I want to prove them wrong."
That's probably not going to happen because the Eagles are thrilled with Wentz and his progression as a player but Maxwell is unfazed by that reality,
"That's just what I do," Maxwell claimed. "You can call it petty -- I don't know what it is. But that's just what I do, how I feel. That's just realistic. I know what it is but I still want to do better than my old team. I don't think no player wants the team to get rid of you and then they do better, to be honest with you."
There might be one actually, the laid back Alonso, who was also a one-year disappointment in Philadelphia after Chip Kelly traded the franchise's all-time leading rusher, LeSean McCoy, for him.
"Obviously, it wasn't the year we wanted," Alonso said. "It is what it is. ...I didn't really get caught up in [the trade]. I was just like, just go with the flow. They traded me, I was like 'alright, I'm going to Miami.'"
Like Maxwell, Alonso rebounded to play well with the Dolphins last season but he wouldn't blame his failed Eagles' stint on a knee injury that was clearly hampering him.
"No, I was good," Alonso claimed. "Obviously I hurt it early on, but I was good to go.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen