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Last offseason, the Eagles had to overhaul the cornerback positions. In came Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher, both of whom wound up being far more effective than the so-called Pro Bowlers they replaced, Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
Despite the immediate improvement though, it would seem the team is not finished rebuilding. Both Williams and Fletcher appear to be stopgaps, particularly if the moves made this offseason were any indication.
First, Philadelphia signed Nolan Carroll to a free-agent contract. His two-year, $5.2 million contract seems to indicate he’s mostly here to provide depth, but he did start 22 games over the past two seasons for the Miami Dolphins, so perhaps he is actual competition.
Plus, the Birds went out and selected Jaylen Watkins in the fourth round of the draft. He is a highly versatile defensive back who could wind up playing safety down the road, but for now, the coaches are looking at him as a corner.
Between Carroll and Watkins, the team suddenly has options if Williams and Fletcher struggle, or if the Eagles decide to move on a year from now.
According to Spotrac, Williams’ salary-cap figure is set to jump to north of $8 million in ’15, the final year of his deal—that' pricey for a middling starting corner who will turn 30. Furthermore, Fletcher is scheduled to become a free agent next year and thus far has been overlooked as the franchise has handed out numerous extensions this offseason.
I’d say the writing is on the wall for them, as both could easily be embarking on their final season in Philly. The lack of stability regarding their future alone makes them losers early on in this offseason.