Having re-signed Ronald Darby to a one-year contract reportedly worth $8.5 million, the Eagles have kept a starting member of their squad while giving Darby an opportunity to prove he can stay healthy and earn a much bigger contract in 2020.
The cornerback hopped on a conference call on Tuesday with the media and talked about staying in Philadelphia for another year, and why he chose that over some other teams and options he had this offseason.
On NFL Free agency
Darby opened by saying, “I’m just blessed to be back here,” and that he’s happy to be apart of a great organization, with great teammates, and in a great city. He’s ready to get back to work.
He talked a little about the free agency process — without going into detail about why he chose the Eagles one-year deal over a reported multi-year deal with the Chiefs — and noted that he’s never been through the process before and it was different. But he didn’t have to deal with too much, saying, “that’s why you have an agent”.
He said he left the specifics up to his agent, but at the end of the day feels like he’s back where he belongs.
“I always wanted to be back, of course. How am I going to walk away from a place like this?”
On his recovery
Darby mentioned that his recovery is going well, and his goal is to be back for Week 1.
“My rehab is going great right now. I’m hitting all the marks I need to.”
He explained that he’s not trying to rush anything, but the start of the season will put him at 9-10 months post-injury, which is the recovery timetable to be expected.
The CB also talked about how he knows that the back-to-back injuries were going to play a huge role in his free agency, but that he’s excited to be back in Philly — and that he hopes that the one-year deal doesn’t mean he’s gone after 2019.
“Of course, I love to be here after the one year deal. I love it here.”
He also talked a little about how it been “real frustrating,” having to deal with injuries two seasons in a row, and that he’s “never been hurt like this until I got to Philly”.
On the Eagles secondary
Darby said that the cornerback room with the Eagles is a great group, and at the end of the day their goal is to win. He said that it’s a talented, tight group of players, and that they embrace the fact that all that talent will create a lot of competition.
He also said that a few of the new Eagles stood out to him at the end of last season, including Avonte Maddox, Rasul Douglas, Cre’Von LeBlanc and Tre Sullivan, saying “they were out there making plays”.
He said that they are all in it for each other and not other there for themselves, saying that some teams say that but they actually prove it. Darby noted they have some great veterans in the room, like Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod and they have a lot to learn from guys who have been in situations they haven’t even seen yet.
Darby said that when one of them looks bad, their entire unit looks back, so they’re in it together.