Recent reports indicate that the Philadelphia Eagles are going to be big spenders in free agency this offseason to fix their lackluster secondary. The Eagles have already been connected to names like Devin McCourty and Byron Maxwell. CSN Philly's Geoff Mosher has one new name to add to the mix: Brice McCain.
"Don’t be surprised if the Eagles also address secondary depth in free agency. If they’re not looking to move Boykin and Carroll from the sub packages, the Eagles need some versatile backups who can start if an outside guy goes down.
Keep an eye on veteran Brice McCain, who’s coming off a good season with the Steelers after playing his first five seasons with Houston. McCain, 28, can play inside and outside and has started 19 games.
The Eagles have discussed him, according to another source. McCain is only 5-foot-9 and 187 pounds, not the vitals we’ve come to expect from Kelly corners, but even if their interest in him is mild, it illustrates their blueprint to rebuild the secondary from top to bottom through free agency."
McCain, 28, is a free agent after signing a one-year contract with Pittsburgh Steelers last offseason. The Utah alumnus was originally drafted by the Houston Texans in the sixth round of the 2009 NFL Draft. McCain has appeared in 86 career games. He's recorded eight interceptions, 39 passes defensed, and 113 tackles in that time. For what it's worth, Pro Football Focus has ranked him as one of the better slot cornerbacks over the past few seasons (save for a down year in 2013).
As Mosher notes, McCain doesn't fit the typical mold of an ideal Eagles outside cornerback since he's only 5-9. But it seems like Philadelphia could be interested in having him as a backup to Boykin, who will be a free agent following the 2015 season. Or perhaps the Eagles would be looking to sign McCain as a replacement if Boykin is traded. There's been indication Boykin wants to play on the outside but the Eagles haven't given him the opportunity to do so. And they reportedly don't plan on changing their stance on him.
Elsewhere in Mosher's report, he notes that the Eagles are not interested in San Francisco 49ers free agent Chris Culliver. This doesn't exactly come as a surprise.
"One seemingly good fit for Kelly and coordinator Bill Davis, 49ers corner Chris Culliver (6-0, 199), can be scratched off the list. Culliver has endured some knucklehead moments off the field throughout his career and a source with knowledge of the situation said the Eagles have no plans to contact him."
The Eagles will have a lot of cap space (over $50 million) to spend when free agency begins on March 10. It seems like they're ready to commit a lot of those dollars to revamping their secondary.