The Philadelphia Eagles tried their hand with superstar cornerbacks in 2011 and 2012 and failed. The Eagles acknowledged that when they cut Nnamdi Asomugha and when they let Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie go to Denver . Now Philadelphia needs new corners, yet instead of going big again in the Darrelle Revis sweepstakes, it is taking a different approach.
The Eagles have signed two cornerbacks who aren’t major stars, but who may be more likely to work out than Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie. After signing Bradley Fletcher on March 12, Philadelphia lured away Baltimore Ravens’ corner Cary Williams on March 14 to a three-year deal.
The Ravens are losing people left and right, with Ed Reed currently being wooed by the Houston Texans. As such, Baltimore didn’t have time to worry about losing one of its other corners, which gave Philadelphia the room it needed to take Williams.
While Williams isn’t on Reed’s level, he started every game for the Ravens last year and had four interceptions. In contrast, Asomugha only had four interceptions in two full seasons at Philadelphia.
Although Williams has gotten stronger as his career has gone on, Fletcher is looking to bounce back from some rough seasons. After getting four interceptions and 65 solo tackles in his second year with the St. Louis Rams in 2010, he only played four games in 2011 and only had one interception and 23 solo tackles in 2012.
Nevertheless, Fletcher joins Williams as the Eagles’ most likely cornerback duo, unless they get someone else from free agency or the draft. If this was two years ago, Philadelphia would probably gamble on acquiring Revis, yet the failures of Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie were clear cautionary tales.
Are the Eagles ready to learn better and get the right people for a job, rather than the biggest names? There’s no doubt that trying it the other way for two years didn’t work, so a new approach is needed under new coach Chip Kelly.
The Eagles have already signed several small time but potentially valuable players this week. There’s still plenty of time for Philadelphia to come from nowhere and make a bigger splash, like it did for Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie after the 2011 lockout.
But for now, the Eagles are using Williams, Fletcher and others to show off a new way of doing business -- and a new way of putting a secondary together.