Before the 2016 season started, the Philadelphia Eagles traded cornerback Eric Rowe to the New England Patriots in exchange for a conditional pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. This means the Eagles can receive one of two picks.
1 — Eagles receive New England’s third-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft if Eric Rowe plays at least 50% of the Patriots’ defensive snaps.
2 — Eagles receive New England’s fourth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft if Eric Rowe plays less than 50% of the Patriots’ defensive snaps.
Where this pick ultimately lands is significant for the Eagles. Philadelphia currently doesn’t own any Day 2 picks due to both the Carson Wentz trade and the Ronald Darby trade.
Since this is an important pick, I’ll be doing a weekly update on Rowe’s playing time to see if the Eagles will get the third-round selection or not.
ERIC ROWE DRAFT PICK TRACKER
WEEK 1: Eric Rowe plays 37 out of New England’s 69 defensive snaps. That’s good for 54%. If the season ended today, the Eagles would get the pick! It would also be the first overall pick in the third round since the Patriots have the worst record in the NFL right now. ;)
Week 2: Eric Rowe plays 34 out of New England’s 65 defensive snaps. That’s good for 52%. Rowe actually started over Malcolm Butler in the Patriots’ win over the Saints but Butler ended up playing more snaps due to Rowe suffering a groin injury. So far, Rowe has played 71 out of 134 snaps this season, which is 53%. It’s a close margin, but the Eagles are currently projected to get the third-round pick.
Week 3: Eric Rowe plays 0 out of New England’s 71 defensive snaps. That’s good for 0% (duh). Rowe was inactive due to the groin injury he suffered in Week 2. The good news (?) is that Rowe was listed “questionable” after being limited in practice all of last week. Maybe he’ll be able to return this week. The Eagles better hope Rowe gets healthy because now he’s only played 71 of 205 snaps this season, which is 34.6%. One thing to keep in mind regarding the Rowe tracker is that Malcolm Butler still appears to be on the trade block. If Butler gets moved, Rowe’s playing time should receive a boost. The NFL trade deadline is set for 4:00 PM ET on October 31.
Week 4: Eric Rowe plays 19 out of New England’s 63 defensive snaps. That’s good for only 30%. Rowe left the Patriots’ game against the Panthers due to a groin injury, which is what caused him to be out in Week 3. It seems like this might be a nagging thing for Rowe. Not good for the Eagles’ chances of getting the third-round pick. Rowe has now only played 90 of 268 snaps through the first quarter of the season, which is 33.6%. The Patriots don’t have their bye until Nov. 5 so Rowe might continue to miss some games due to injury. The Eagles’ best hope still is that Rowe gets healthy and the Patriots trade one of their cornerbacks (Butler) to open up playing time for him. If it’s any consolation, the Patriots are now 2-2. It’s looking like they might not be picking at the very last spot of the fourth round.
Week 5: Eric Rowe plays 0 out of New England’s 72 defensive snaps. That’s good for 0% (thanks). Rowe was inactive due to the groin injury he re-aggravated in Week 4. Rowe has now only played 90 of 340 snaps through the first five games, which is 26.5%. If you weren’t resigned to getting the fourth-round pick by now, it’s probably time you start. The Eagles really need 1) Rowe to get healthy and 2) the Patriots to give less playing time to Malcolm Butler and/or Stephon Gilmore. For what it’s worth, Rowe is the 111th corner out of 111 corners graded by Pro Football Focus this season.
Week 6: Eric Rowe plays 0 out of New England’s 76 defensive snaps. That’s good for 0%. Rowe was inactive again due to his groin injury. Rowe did not participate in practice all of last week so there’s no indication he’s really close to returning. Rowe has now only played 90 of 416 snaps through the first six games, which is 21.6%. It’s becoming more and more likely the Eagles will get the fourth instead of the third. It’s frustrating, too, because there’s a chance Rowe would be playing enough to get over 50% if he was healthy. The Patriots played third string corner Johnson Bademosi, who is below Rowe on the depth chart, a total of 96% of the team’s snaps this week. If it’s any consolation, the Patriots haven’t looked super awesome. They needed a blown call to beat the Jets. New England’s pick would be ahead of the Eagles’ pick if the season ended today.
4th - (from the Minnesota Vikings)
4th - (from the New England Patriots; can elevate to a 3rd)
5th - (from the Seattle Seahawks)