Voila: Eagles Create Cap Room and Acquire a Young CB for Torrey Smith
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Maybe it wasn't a David Blaine-level illusion but Howie Roseman managed to turn a player he no longer wanted into a significant defensive contributor and over $4.3 million in salary-cap space.
The Eagles have agreed to send veteran receiver Torrey Smith to the Carolina Panthers for 23-year-old cornerback Daryl Worley, according to both ESPN and the NFL Network.
A well-liked member of the team's locker room, Smith was set to make $5 million in 2018 and certainly wasn't going to be back in Philadelphia for that kind of money so Roseman peddled him to a Panthers team who brought in Norv Turner to overhaul its offense, a coach who believes in stretching the field vertically which plays into Smith's lone difference-making trait as a player, his speed.
Smith, 29, had 36 receptions for 430 yards and two touchdowns last season but was very inconsistent catching the football. He was much better in the postseason, however. ProFootballFocus.com graded Smith No. 100 out of 116 receivers who played enough to be rated.
His personality will be missed more than his performance and the veteran left with a heartfelt note thanking the organization and the fans for embracing him:
Worley, meanwhile, is a Philly native who played his high school football at Penn Charter and was a third-round pick of the Panthers back in 2016 out of West Virginia.
He's got size (6-foot-1 and 200 pounds) as well as significant starting experience on a good, zone-heavy defense. He's started 25 games over the past two seasons and at RC in 2017, grading out as No. 89 out of the 121 CBs rated by PFF.
The big win here for Philadelphia is the cap space as Worley is set to account for $650,000 in the third year of his rookie deal versus the $5M for Smith so Roseman essentially got a young corner for two years at a cost-effective rate and $4.35M in space for a player who wasn't in his plans.
Worley's presence, however, does likely indicate that the team is either preparing to lose nickel back Patrick Robinson in free agency or planning to spin off cornerback Ronald Darby.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen