Eagles Wake-Up Call: DRC And the Corner Market

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie signed a one-year deal with Broncos late Wednesday night.

Nobody knows the holes in DRC’s game better than Eagles observers, but many believed there would be some competition for the talented 26-year-old. It never developed, and DRC finds himself on a prove-it contract in Denver.

His signing solidifies the fact that the Eagles will go into 2013 with two new starting corners. They inked former Ram Bradley Fletcher to a two-year deal on the first day of free agency to compete for a job, but the all-important position remains paper thin at the moment.

Where to go from here?

There are a healthy amount of corners still available, although the market appears to be heating up. Not only did DRC find a home late Wednesday, but so too did 26-year-old Derek Cox, who goes from Jacksonville to San Diego on a four-year deal. (We were told it was down to the Chargers, Saints and Browns for his services. The Eagles never got serious about him.) This could very well start a run on corners.

Ideally, the Eagles would land a young cornerback with decent size. Here are a few options that appear to fit the criteria, and what we know about them:

Sean Smith, Dolphins (6-3/218/25) -We were hearing at the start of free agency that the Eagles were not going to be players for Smith, as they were staying away from the hefty contracts and looking more at the next tier down. Unless his price tag really drops, we’ll continue to operate under the belief that they are not in on him.

Keenan Lewis, Steelers (6-0/208/26) –  Lewis has good size and led the NFL with 16 passes defensed last year, per Pro Football Focus. He was heading to New Orleans Wednesday to visit with the Saints.

Antoine Cason, Chargers (6-1/195/26) – The former first-round pick has 49 starts under his belt and has never missed a game in five seasons. He is reportedly scheduled to visit the Cardinals. 

Also of note: Aqib Talib (6-1/205/27) is supposedly on the Redskins’ radar, though it’s questionable whether they could fit him under their cap…There was a report that Brent Grimes (5-10/183/29) was heading back to Atlanta, but that proved to be erroneousAntoine Winfield (5-9/190/35) was recently released by the Vikings, but at 35, it’s hard to see him as a fit.

There are still some options out there, but the time to act is drawing near for the Eagles.

WHAT YOU MISSED

Ricky Jean-Francois left town without a deal.

What to make of the Geno Smith workout? Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman were asked about the QB.

Kelly references the Patriots’ Aaron Hernandez when talking about his new tight end, James Casey.

Isaac Sopoaga promises that Eagles will “shock the world.”

The Eagles will reportedly look at tackles Andre Smith and Sebastian Vollmer.

A round-up of analysis and reaction to the Eagles free-agent signings.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Bill Barnwell over at Grantland talks about the Eagles’ approach early in free agency.

They added Bradley Fletcher from the Rams and Patrick Chung from the Patriots on relatively small deals, signing players who were out of favor in their old organizations but exhibited some signs of above-average play in the recent past. The sort of logic that went into those moves — buying low on a low-risk, medium-reward player — seemed absurdly out of place on the dumbest day of the NFL year. Some of the teams that made headlines Tuesday by following a now-infamous Eagles plan that didn’t work might have done well to follow the new Philadelphia brain trust’s lead.

Mel Kiper has an updated mock draft out. He sees the Eagles taking Alabama corner Dee Milliner.

Pick analysisNnamdi Asomugha won’t be wearing an Eagles uniform in 2013, and in a division with Eli Manning, Tony Romo and Robert Griffin III, the Eagles can’t simply attempt to piece together the secondary. They need talent, and Milliner offers the best cornerback talent in the draft. Not a tough pick.

Free-agency factor: There isn’t much in the way of top-end talent available in free agency if you want to improve your secondary, so I’m not sure any shopping will change the basis for this pick.

COMING UP

Bradley Fletcher and Patrick Chung to meet the media at 4:15. Plenty of action before then.

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  • Hoping chip has a clue

    good riddance to another NFL goofball that hates to tackle, likes his paycheck but doesn’t like football, I would rather go with rookies that will at least try rather than watch prima donnas try to avoid contact.

    • borntosuffer

      Yea, but DRC would have been my first pick in the flag football league.

      • Brian

        And charity softball games.

  • http://twitter.com/corry_k Corry Henry

    I’d like to see them sign another starting corner rather than wait for the draft. This way they’re free to draft BPA. If a corner they like is available, then they can draft him, if not, they can move onto the next player on their list.

    This is a good draft for corners, but I don’t like the thought of them having to draft for need.

  • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

    Still hoping they bring Vollmer in for a visit. Strangely quiet on his front, haven’t heard a word about him visiting anywhere besides Grazziano saying the Eagles are interested. Probably resigning in NE.

    • Brian

      Seems a little strange to me too, You’d think there would be a lot more interest in the guy. Maybe he’s just planning on resigning with the Pats.

  • Smegga

    Is there something wrong with Antoine Cason?
    He’s young, got great size and I’ve been impressed when I’ve watched him. Yet he’s almost an afterthought in regards to free agent cornerbacks.

    Maybe there’s a health issue or he interviews poorly/wants too much money, but I just find it odd. Then again, I find every free agency period baffling.

    • JofreyRice

      I don’t think he’s all that good in coverage.

  • JofreyRice

    DRC needs a “prove it” contract that goes week to week. Half-assed tackling and loafing in the field = no pay week. What a waste of talent.

    • Mr. Magee

      Well said. He was in a “prove it” contract year with the eagles in which he could have made himself a lot of money, and instead laid an egg. I would expect more of the same going forward.

  • Dilleria

    CAREY WILLIAMS

  • HowieDon’tKnow

    Interesting signing. Broncos have better coaching than we do and Jon Fox is no fool. 2013 may be another year when the our cast-offs outperform the talent we bring on board. This is not a good thing. This is worrisome.

    • morgan c

      Fox is kind of a fool. The conservative play-calling helped them lose the game to the Ravens. Dude is the epitome of old school solid but not great coach. Not too worried about DRC doing anything.