The Philadelphia Eagles will potentially need to replace both of their outside starting cornerbacks this offseason. Bradley Fletcher is scheduled to be a free agent. Cary Williams could be a cap casualty but it's not a guarantee at this point. The Birds have money to spend and there are a number of free agent cornerbacks that they could look to sign.
This offseason's free agency period features several options for Philadelphia. One of those options is veteran cornerback Antonio Cromartie.
Cromartie was drafted by the San Diego Chargers with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. He started 39 games in 64 appearances with the Bolts before being traded to the New York Jets for a second round pick in 2010. Cromartie teamed up with Darrelle Revis to form arguably the NFL's best cornerback tandem for a time. Cromartie left New York after 2013 to sign a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals in free agency. Cromartie started and played in all 16 games last season.
Cromartie has played in 143 career games and made 118 starts. He's recorded 31 interceptions, 106 passes defensed, 338 tackles, and two forced fumbles. He's received Pro Bowl honors four times: 2007, 2012, 2013, 2014.
Appeal to Eagles
Cromartie turns 31 in April so age is a concern. It also might be a good thing, in a way. The thinking is that maybe the Birds would be able to get Cromartie on a short-term deal to serve as a quality stop-gap option for a year or two. Cromartie might not require the kind of financial commitment that a top free agent cornerback like Byron Maxwell would.
The Eagles could have interest in Cromartie due to Chip Kelly's knack for acquiring players that have performed well against his teams. The Eagles' 2013 NFL Draft class was an example of this strategy with picks like Zach Ertz, Matt Barkley, and Jordan Poyer. Then during the 2014 free agency period the Eagles acquired two players from the team that beat him in the playoffs: Malcolm Jenkins and Darren Sproles from the New Orleans Saints. Cromartie recorded two interceptions during the Eagles' 24-20 loss in Week 8 last season. That performance just may have caught Kelly's eye.
Durability is also worth mentioning. Cromartie hasn't started less than 15 games since 2007, which was his second season in the league. He's only missed one game in his entire nine-year career.
Lastly, at 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, Cromartie has the size the Eagles like in their cornerbacks.
Appeal to Cromartie
Money. That's obviously a big factor and the Eagles have enough cash to make it happen. It also might not hurt that the Eagles will seemingly be more competitive than, say, the Jets in 2015. I bring up New York because there's talk of Cromartie reuniting with his former team. The veteran cornerback might want to join forces with Todd Bowles again since they were mostly recently together in Arizona.