Rowe Trade Tweaked
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Eagles will be trading second-year cornerback Eric Rowe to the New England Patriots but veteran offensive lineman Josh Kline will not be part of the deal as first reported.
Instead, the Eagles will be getting only a conditional fourth-round pick for Rowe, a second-round selection by Chip Kelly in 2015.
According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the draft choice could be elevated to a third-rounder depending on Rowe’s playing time in New England.
Although Rowe was a priority pick last year, a fourth-rounder is still 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 and is likely to be elevated unless the Eagles go outside the organization.
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 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 and while Rowe certainly has the size to excel in press coverage, it never translated to the football field.
Now, he joins Barkevious Mingo, a former first-round pick in Cleveland, as the latest reclamation projects for Bill Belichick and the Pats, who have a long history of utilizing players correctly.
Rowe, meanwhile, is the now the second ex-Eagles defensive back on the Pats, joining safety Patrick Chung.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen