Eagles Trade Eric Rowe
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Howie Roseman continued to wheel and deal on Tuesday, sending disappointing second-year cornerback Eric Rowe to the New England Patriots for offensive lineman Josh Kline and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018.
According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the draft choice can be elevated to a third-rounder depending on Rowe’s playing time in New England.
Although Rowe was a second-round pick last year, that’s good value for a player that clearly wasn’t in Jim Schwartz’s plans and was the team’s fifth cornerback behind starters Leodis McKelvin, Nolan Carroll and Ron Brooks, as well as seventh-round draft pick Jalen Mills.
You can’t enter an NFL season with just four cornerbacks so this likely foreshadows more movement on the Eagles’ 53-man roster. Undrafted rookie C.J. Smith is currently on the team’s practice squad.
Schwartz and head coach Doug Pederson rarely mentioned Rowe when talking about the corner position through the offseason and training camp unless they were specifically asked about him.
A safety for the majority of his career at Utah, Rowe played his final college season at corner and the Chip Kelly regime loved his length and athleticism for the position.
A former player who used to play for Schwartz told 973espn.com that the defensive coordinator prefers physical corners who show some swagger, however, and while Rowe certainly has the size to excel in press coverage, it never translated to the football field.
Now, he becomes the latest reclamation project for Bill Belichick and the Pats, who have a long history of utilizing players correctly.
Kline, meanwhile, is a veteran interior lineman with 18 starts on his NFL resume. Originally an undrafted free agent out of Kent State, Kline is a former Ohio high school wrestling champion who is regarded as a mauler rather than a technician.
However, it looks like Roseman is already trying to flip him.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen