Over the past ten years the Eagles secondary has been anything, but great. Since departing with Asante Samuel in 2012 offseason, the cornerback room has been under constant change, with new personnel being brought in every year.
None of which have brought long term stability to the position.

What hurt the team over the first half of the 2010s was its persistence to find cornerbacks in free agency. Twice the Eagles went all-in on the cornerback market and failed miserably. The first being with Nnamdi Asomugha. Asomugha was given a five-year, $60 million contract with $25 million guaranteed.At the beginning of the Chip Kelly era, the team signed Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams to a two-year, $5.25 million contract and a three-year, $17 million contract respectively. While both were not held to high expectations, neither performed like starting cornerbacks by any stretch. The lasting memory of the two will always be Dez Bryant’s monster night in 2014 hauling in 6 passes for 114 yards and three touchdowns, helping the Cowboys clinch the NFC East.

Photo: Evan Habeeb/Getty Images

Heading into the 2015 season, the team went back to paying free agents big money. The Eagles gave free agent Byron Maxwell a six-year, $63 million contract with $25 million guaranteed. Almost identical to that of Asomugha’s in 2011.

To say both Asomugha and Maxwell did not perform anywhere close to expectations is an understatement. Both were system guys on their former teams and did not mesh well in Philadelphia. Asomugha was the number one corner on a lowly Raiders squad and Maxwell played alongside superstars such as Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, and Cam Chancellor.

Over the second half of the decade, the team shifted its focus towards the draft to find it’s future corners. Picks such as Brandon Boykin and Eric Rowe early on looked to be bright signs of future for the position group, but neither panned out and have been nothing more than rotational guys around the league since.

More recent selections such as Jalen Mills, Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas and Avonte Maddox have been a mixed bag. Out of the four, Mills has played the most, while Maddox has shown the most potential to be a slot corner. Douglas and Jones have had some success, but also have shown their flaws and opposing teams always look to exploit them greatly.

Photo: Getty Images

In the 2017 season, the team traded for a young Ronald Darby, who at first had many believing the Eagles had found a lock at the position. His poor performances against wide receivers such as Devante Parker and Darius Slayton to name a few have recently shown why he is by no means a lock at the position.

A new decade of Eagles football is on the way. For the pattern of cornerback futility to change the team needs to look for young, talented players early on in the draft and avoid overpaying veterans. If drafting requires moving up a bit in the first round to do so, the team should be all in because true lockdown corners such as Jalen Ramsey and Stephon Gilmore go off the board early in the first round.

These types of corners are also the kind that helps teams win football games and championships.

Featured Image: Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Contract Information: sporttrac.com
Statistics: Pro Football Reference
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