The Philadelphia Eagles made an under-the-radar move last week when they snagged young cornerback Nolan Carroll for a bargain at two years and $5 million. Carroll has the size and length that Chip Kelly covets in a cornerback at 6-foot-2, and he is also still relatively young at 27 years of age.
Carroll was a productive player for the Miami Dolphins when given a chance to play starters minutes. He had three interceptions and 11 pass deflections last year in limited playing time.
Is it possible the Eagles may have found a diamond in the rough? It looks that way. Carroll was rarely beaten, and quarterbacks had a poor rating when throwing his way. It is not out of the realm of possibility that Carroll could challenge for a starting job, and coach Kelly intimated as much.
While it looks like the starters are pretty well entrenched, with Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher on the outside and Brandon Boykin in the slot, none, especially the two outside guys, are elite enough players that their jobs should be safe.
If Carroll represents an upgrade, or even similar production, the nod usually goes to the younger guy. While Fletcher and Williams both played solid football last year, neither is the long-term answer, especially Williams, who has two years left on his contract and is getting up there in age.
If Carroll can come in and be a stud at the cornerback position, great. At the very least he provides great depth at the position, something the Eagles didn’t have last year. This is the type of under-the-radar signing that Howie Roseman has gotten very good at.
The Eagles are slowly but surely building into a perennial contender in the NFC.