Howie Roseman Explains the Eric Rowe Trade

The Eagles traded their 2015 second-round pick for a conditional fourth-round pick in September.
Howie Roseman. (Jeff Fusco)

Howie Roseman. (Jeff Fusco)

When the Eagles traded Eric Rowe to the Patriots before the season for a conditional fourth-round pick, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz partially attributed it to Jalen Mills moving ahead of Rowe on the depth chart. But when Howie Roseman addressed the media during his end-of-season press conference Wednesday morning, he offered another explanation that hasn’t been given before.

“When we sat down and discussed the offer, we really started thinking about the likelihood we’d sign him to an extension,” Roseman said of Rowe, who isn’t eligible to sign a contract extension until after the 2017 season. “We want to build this team with some continuity. We felt at that time that we weren’t going to sign him to an extension and to be able to get that value for him and possibly add someone who would be here for a longer period of time made sense for where we were.”

While the Eagles’ cornerbacks struggled this year, Rowe is reportedly playing well in New England, who owns the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. According to the New England Sports Network (NESN), the Eagles’ 2015 second-round pick is having a “strong” season as he’s allowed a a passer rating of just 56.9 when targeted, which NESN referred to as “lockdown-esque.”

Rowe, who has been hampered a bit by injuries, played 43.3 percent of the Patriots’ defensive snaps in the regular season. If he plays more than 50 percent of the snaps next season, the Eagles will get a third-round pick in 2018.

“We did make that determination [that we wouldn’t sign him to an extension] based on the defense we have [and] the scheme we have,” Roseman said. “And after talking about the corner position with the coaches, we were concerned about getting the same value if it was the same situation going forward and obviously you can only deal with the information you have at the time.”

Similar to previous years, cornerback is one of the Eagles’ biggest needs going into next season. While Nolan Carroll is a free agent who the Birds may let walk, they could also cut Leodis McKelvin to save $3.2 million against the 2017 salary cap.