Roseman Addresses the Eagles’ CB Conundrum
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Eagles are once again being lauded for their work in March but one glaring weakness remains and Howie Roseman addressed it during this past week when appearing on WIP Radio in Philadelphia.
“We also know sometimes it’s hard to put lipstick on a pig and we want to make sure we’re doing things the right way here,” the Eagles executive vice president of football operations told the station on Wednesday when talking about the team's issues at the cornerback position. “And sometimes that takes time and we gotta be comfortable with being uncomfortable for the moment."
Uncomfortable right now means that if the Eagles lined up tomorrow, the starting corners would be second-year man Jalen Mills, graded as the worst qualifying CB in the NFL last season by ProFootballFocus.com, and Carson Wentz's former teammate at North Dakota State, C.J. Smith.
Philadelphia moved on from its pedestrian starters from last season, releasing veteran Leodis McKelvin and letting Nolan Carroll walk to Dallas on a three-year deal in free agency.
Depth on the current offseason roster includes Ron Brooks, still recovering from a ruptured right quad tendon, former Jacksonville third-round flameout Dwayne Gratz and a couple of former CFL stars, Aaron Grymes and Mitchell White.
Early in the free-agency period, the Eagles were linked with the top corner available but A.J. Bouye stayed in the AFC South moving from Houston to the ATM machine known as Jacksonville, garnering $24 million of guaranteed money.
An NFL source confirmed to 973espn.com that Philadelphia also had interest in CB Kayvon Webster before the former Denver backup landed in Los Angeles with Wade Phillips and the Rams.
“You look at that position and it’s no secret that we’d like to add some people there, but we also can’t force it," Roseman said. "We can’t do anything that allows us to get away from taking the best player in the draft. And there’s ways to go about it. You know this too, pash rush helps out those DBs a lot.”
Roseman, of course, did address the Eagles’ other obvious need in free-agency by bringing in veteran receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. He also bolstered the interior of the offensive line with a nice low-risk signing in former top-10 pick Chance Warmack as well as re-signing Stefen Wisniewski and brought back Nick Foles to be Wentz's backup, accomplishing all of that despite starting the new league year with under $7 million in cap space.
He also bolstered the interior of the offensive line with a nice low-risk signing in former top-10 pick Chance Warmack as well as re-signing Stefen Wisniewski and brought back Nick Foles to be Wentz's backup, accomplishing all of that despite starting the new league year with under $7 million in cap space.
Despite all their moves the Eagles now have more cap space that what they started with, $9,751,328 according to the latest figures from the NFLPA.
The release on Connor Barwin and the restructuring of Zach Ertz's contracts are some of the ways Roseman has created space.
“I’m looking under pillows, I’m looking under couches man,” Roseman joked when asked about his often brilliant handling of the cap. “I’m doing whatever it takes it find it. I’m doing it. If we have opportunities to improve this team, we’re gonna try to find creative ways to do that.”
As for cornerback, though, the answer is likely coming in the draft where multiple bodies figure to be added at the position.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen