Since the NFL combine last weekend, rumors have been swirling about who the Eagles will target in free agency.
The largest rumor first reported by Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher on the Inside the Birds podcast is that the Eagles will be ‘all in’ on Byron Jones.
Many fans could not be happier and some could not be more disgusted.
The Eagles have not had an elite cornerback since Asante Samuel, and he left for the Atlanta Falcons in 2011. It is no secret Howie Roseman has had a difficult time finding starting-caliber cornerbacks in the draft and free agency. The Eagles have put themselves into a desperate situation. However, could Byron Jones buck the trend? Many national analysts like Brian Baldinger say yes. Byron Jones is not an elite playmaker but he is an elite cover corner.
In Jim Schwartz’s scheme, Jones would likely travel with the opposing team’s best receiver and he has proven he can nearly shut down the number one wide receivers and tight ends. Pro Football Focus ranked Byron Jones as the 15th best defensive back in the NFL and that ranking would likely rise with a more competent defensive coordinator in Schwartz and promising new defensive backs coach in Marquand Manuel.
If the Eagles were able to sign Byron Jones it would likely be for a large contract ranging from 15-18 million a year.
The team would also be taking one of the Cowboys’ best players and placing him in Midnight Green, making that contract even sweeter.
Jones is far and away from the best cornerback on the free-agent market and is a better value than the runner-up, James Bradberry. Bradberry will receive a similar contract but he is not the athlete and cover corner Byron Jones is.
Byron Jones is the one player in free agency that makes a massive impact on the Eagles. He solves a multitude of coverage issues and prevents a massive hole at cornerback.
With the new CBA and salary cap, his contract is not something that would handcuff the Eagles in the present and future. He is such a premier talent to where it makes too much sense. Eagles fans can be skeptical but his play in Midnight Green will be excellent.
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