Philadelphia Eagles Offseason Free Agency Guide - Part 14: Cornerbacks

The trading/free agent signing period is fast approaching, so the Eagles front office will have to decide who they plan to pursue come March 5th. Over the next few weeks at BGN, we will be taking a position-by-position look at who we could see in an Eagles uniform come training camp. Today's position? Cornerbacks.

At first glance, the Eagles would appear to have one of the deepest cornerback corps in the league. However, when you remove nickel back and kick return ace Ellis Hobbs, who will likely be departing via free agency after a serious neck injury, you are left with Asante "tackling is overrated" Samuel, an aging Sheldon Brown, a limited special teams player in Dimitri Patterson, Geoffrey Pope the Enigma, and Joselio Hanson. The losses of Patterson, Hobbs, and Hanson during the 2009 season left the Philadelphia defense in desperate need of reliable depth, so look for the Eagles to make a play on a cornerback either in the free agency market or early on in the draft. Here are a few options available on March 5th:

Rod Hood (UFA): Could it be time for Hood's second stint with the Eagles? Since departing Philadelphia after the 2006 season, Hood has developed a habit of turning an opposing quarterback's mistake into a pick six, racking up nine INTs and three defensive touchdowns in three seasons. Granted, as a starter Hood occasionally gets faked out on coverage plays, but could find a home in a more limited role such as a nickel corner. His knowledge of the late Jim Johnson's defense couldn't hurt, either.

Stanford Routt (UFA): In the typical Raiders mold, the 26 year old Routt is one of the fastest cornerbacks in the league, posting an impressive 4.25 40 time in the 2005 NFL Combine. He possesses excellent footwork and quickness, and his 6'1" height allows him to go up for the jump ball. He also has experience playing special teams. However. Routt has been known to make mental mistakes and cause discipline problems, even getting ejected for a scuffle during the Browns game. Still, with the Eagles addition of the elite defensive backs coach Dick Jauron, the young Routt has the chance to develop into a more disciplined, complete player in a positive environment.

Frank Walker (UFA): The 28 year old Walker is a speedy nickel corner with a knack for picking off passes for big returns. Although not used much during his last two seasons with the Ravens, his solid tackling skills and elite speed could be of use as a nickel or dime corner in Sean McDermott's defense. One thing to watch out for with Walker, though, is his tendency to draw penalties.

Other Available Free Agents:

In the next installment, we will be taking a look at kickers. Feel free to leave any suggestions on who to examine in the comments section. For more information on unrestricted vs. restricted free agents in a potentially uncapped year, check out this great article over at Mocking The Draft.

Previous articles: QB, HB, FB, TE, WR, OT, OG, C, DT, DE, OLB, MLB, S

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