Early offseason rumors are circulating that the Philadelphia Eagles are “front runners” to sign Byron Maxwell, cornerback from the Seattle Seahawks.
Maxwell is head and shoulders above every other free-agent corner and will demand around $10 million per season should Chip Kelly push forward with plans to bring in what could be a crucial part of the puzzle for Philadelphia.
The connection to Philadelphia is not surprising and would address the most glaring need for the Eagles. Secondary issues kept Philly from making the playoffs; in 2014 they were ranked second worst in terms of passing yards allowed.
A move like this would be a win-win scenario for both sides; the Eagles would improve drastically in their biggest weakness and Maxwell would be the number one corner for the first time in his career.
Philly has an opportunity to win a ring next year if they get this offseason right. Signing Byron Maxwell would be a step in the right direction.
Article continues below
Maxwell is not only a talented player but he fits the characteristics of what the Eagles like in their corners. The Eagles prefer lengthy physical corners and that’s what Maxwell is standing at 6 foot 1 weighing around 210 pounds. Maxwell also ran a 4.43 40 at the NFL combine so, although he is not known for speed, he can keep up with the best of them.
Keeping Jeremy Maclin is crucial and should be the Eagles top offseason priority. Maclin is coming off his most productive season where he was elected to the Pro Bowl after catching 85 passes for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns - all at least tying his career highs.
This was his first season being the number one receiver and he produced these impressive numbers despite playing with two different quarterbacks. His production did not dissipate one bit with Mark Sanchez.
Stick With Foles
If the Eagles really want to win now, they will keep Nick Foles as their quarterback and put all these ridiculous Mariota rumors to rest. Foles was not as impressive in 2014 as he was in 2013, but you can attribute that to injuries depleting his offensive line, and him being young and still developing.
For all the criticism Nick Foles received in his eight games in 2014, his career numbers are hard to argue against. Including the playoffs, he has thrown 48 touchdowns to just 17 interceptions and has a record of 15 wins to 10 losses. If you disregard his rookie year where the franchise was in disarray, Foles has a record of 14 wins and 5 losses.
The final step in preparing this team to win next year, is adding more pieces to the secondary via the draft. If Philly can hit on a defensive back selection, all of a sudden their secondary could consist of Maxwell, safety Malcolm Jenkins - who had a breakout season - and whomever they drafted. Adding that along to a defense whose strength is getting after the quarterback would change everything.
Having a reliable defense, with an offense that could return a receiving duo that accumulated 2190 yards and 18 touchdowns, Jeremy Maclin and Jordan Matthews, with a former Pro Bowl MVP in Nick Foles throwing to them would make them serious contenders.
Not to mention a running back duo of two of the most dynamic players in the NFL, Lesean McCoy and Darren Sproles, who combined to rush and receive for 2577 yards last season.
After the Super Bowl, Deion Sanders stated that he believes the Eagles have a great chance to represent the NFC in next seasons’ Super Bowl because he is a fan of Chip Kelly. If the Eagles add the right pieces, they could easily prove Sanders to be correct.