PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — After releasing Leodis Mckelvin and letting Nolan Carroll walk in free-agency, the Eagles are in desperate need of cornerbacks.
The Eagles were reportedly interested in one of the top corners in the market A.J. Bouye, who eventually signed a five-year $67 million contract ($26 million guaranteed) with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Howie Roseman, the Eagles’ executive vice president of football operations, made it clear that he didn’t like what he saw at the position in free-agency.
“We also know sometimes it’s hard to put lipstick on a pig and we want to make sure we’re doing things the right way here,” Roseman told the 94WIP Carlin & Reese Show on Wednesday. “And sometimes that takes time and we gotta be comfortable with being uncomfortable for the moment.
Listen: Howie Roseman on the 94WIP Carlin & Reese Show
“You look at that position and it’s no secret that we’d like to add some people there, but we also can’t force it. We can’t do anything that allows us to get away from taking the best player in the draft. And there’s ways to go about it. You know this too, pash rush helps out those DB’s a lot.”
Roseman did address the Eagles’ other big need in free-agency, adding veteran receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. The Eagles currently hold the 14th overall pick in Philadelphia’s own 2017 NFL Draft and many expect Philly to select a cornerback.
Not so fast.
“We’re gonna look at it from a long term perspective as we build it,” Roseman said about the Eagles’ draft philosophy. “Any mistakes when you look back is just, ‘What’s the short term need? Well we gotta get him on this team right now.’ Now it’s a beautiful thing when they match, but until we get in there and see who is available at the pick, you’ve gotta keep those options open.”
Roseman was also asked about the report that the Birds offered Malcolm Jenkins and two draft picks to the Saints for receiver Bradin Cooks.
“Any time good players are available in this league, we’re going to be making phone calls if they fit us,” Roseman explained. “That’s our job. That’s our responsibility to do. We have to be aggressive for the right guys and see what it takes to get them. And by the same token, people should be interested in Malcolm Jenkins. He is a heckuva player. And by the same token, we don’t want to give him up. Just because teams want guys or ask for guys, that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to give them up. For us, we felt like the best combination for our football team was to go and address the receiver position the way we did in free agency and keep our defensive backfield. Which as we look at it, we’re continuing to try to address that position. We’re very happy about the way it worked out. And at the same time, we understand there are good players on our team that other teams would like to have.”
Was Jenkins’ name a deal breaker?
“Yeah, from our perspective, it didn’t make a lot of sense to do something there that would hurt the team when we could address it in a different way,” Roseman admitted. “At the end of the day, we felt like the best way for us to move forward was to address the position in free agency.”
Despite having the fourth-least cap space in the NFL entering free-agency, the Eagles signed guard Chance Warmack, re-signed G/C Stefen Wisniewski, and signed backup QB Nick Foles in addition to Jeffery and Smith.
Roseman is acquiring a reputation as one of the league’s best managers of the cap.
“I’m looking under pillows, I’m looking under couches man,” Roseman joked when asked about where he is finding all of this cap money. “I’m doing whatever it takes it find it. I’m doing it. If we have opportunities to improve this team, we’re gonna try to find creative ways to do that.”