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Eagles reportedly have interest in a veteran free agent cornerback

Looking for a stop-gap solution?

New York Jets v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles “have some interest in” veteran free agent cornerback T.J. Carrie, according to Inside The Bird’s Adam Caplan (via r/Eagles).

We previously wrote about Carrie as a potential Philly target due to the connection with his former position coach and current Eagles defensive coordinator, Jonathan Gannon.

Carrie, who turns 31 in July, also doesn’t really fit what the Eagles should be looking for [in terms of youth and upside]. But if they want a more affordable stop-gap option than Xavier Rhodes, they could sign Carrie to be their new Leodis McKelvin (shoutout to a legend).

The Eagles have been expected to sign a corner. The starting spot across from Darius Slay is wide open with Avonte Maddox failing to prove himself as a viable option in that role last year. The Eagles showed interest in Adoree’ Jackson but he signed with the New York Giants before he even made it to Philly for a visit.

Carrie has the potential to be a nice short-term signing. He’s demonstrated versatility by playing at safety, nickel cornerback, and the outside. Our associates at Stampede Blue noted how Carrie is coming off a strong season:

Initially signed as ‘slot insurance’ to Kenny Moore last offseason, the 30 year old veteran cornerback ended up playing prominent action at outside cornerback—especially down the season’s stretch run.

He was a revelation at cornerback for the Colts, having signed a 1-year, $1.05M deal.

Appearing in 15 games (2 starts), Carrie recorded 32 tackles (25 solo), a tackle for loss, 8 passes defensed, 2 interceptions (including one returned for a touchdown), and a fumble recovery this past season.

Per PFF (subscription), in 2020, Carrie was their 37th best graded cornerback with a +67.9 overall grade—including a +90.0 run defense grade.

In coverage, he was targeted 42 times for an allowed 24 receptions (57.1% completion rate), 347 receiving yards, 2 touchdown receptions, and 2 interceptions.

Carrie visited the New Orleans Saints last week but left town without a deal. The longer he lingers on the market, the more affordable he might be. His best option might be to reunite with Gannon on a one-year deal and try to test the market again next year.

The Eagles getting Carrie on a bargain deal could be a nice addition. He ideally shouldn’t be guaranteed a starting job, though, as much as he should be pushing Maddox for playing time in the slot and/or a rookie on the outside.

If Carrie does wind up playing for the Eagles, this “retooling” team will hardly have a youthful secondary in 2021. The starting corners will be 31 (Carrie) and 30 (Slay) while the starting safeties will be playing their age 31 (Rodney McLeod) and age 30 (Anthony Harris) seasons.

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Should the Eagles sign T.J. Carrie?

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