Hey, the Philadelphia Eagles finally signed a wide receiver!
Haha, just kidding.
But, for real, the team signed free agent cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman to a one-year contract, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson. The deal is reportedly worth up to $1.3 million with $1 million guaranteed.
NRC was available since the Los Angeles Rams declined his 2020 option last week. The 5-8, 180 pound defender served as the Rams’ nickel cornerback (couldn’t be a more fitting name!) from 2017 through 2019. He logged 122 total tackles, 20 passes defensed, three interceptions, and three forced fumbles in that span. You may also remember when he got away with pass interference in the 2019 NFC Championship Game, which caused Sean Payton to flip out and push for the NFL to make PI reviewable.
Prior to signing with LA, NRC played for the Buffalo Bills for five years after entering the league as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2013. NRC notably overlapped with Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz in Buffalo during the 2014 season. I can’t imagine that connection is irrelevant to the Eagles signing him, especially given the reporting about Schwartz’s personnel influence.
The NRC signing raises questions about where the Eagles plan to line up their cornerbacks in 2020. NRC figures to play the nickel. If that’s the case, does it mean Avonte Maddox is going to be a starter opposite of Darius Slay on the outside? Is Cre’Von LeBlanc destined to only be a backup despite making plays when he’s gotten snaps in the past? Where is Will Parks going to line up after he spent time playing nickel with the Denver Broncos last year? Could we see some of Parks and/or Jalen Mills line up against bigger slots since they’ve been mentioned as replacements for the Malcolm Jenkins’ role? Are the Eagles planning on building some sort of amoeba defense with interchangeable defensive backs?
NRC has a track record of production and he’s only missed one game in his career, so those are definite positives. He also doesn’t turn 29 until next January.
As with some of the other Eagles’ offseason moves, I think this addition makes more sense in a vacuum than it does when you apply context. I think NRC could be a good nickel for this team but did they really need to add another one of those? Maybe they do if they continue to get hit hard by defensive back injuries like they have over the past couple seasons.
Grade the Eagles’ signing of Nickell Robey-Coleman
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