Eagles Sign Controversial CB to 1-Year Deal: Report

Nickell Robey-Coleman

Getty Images The Los Angeles Rams declined their team option for CB Nickell Robey-Coleman on March 17.

The Eagles-Saints game this year just got a little more interesting. Philadelphia has agreed to terms with one of New Orleans’ biggest known enemies.

The Eagles are reportedly signing cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman to a one-year deal, per ESPN’s Jordan Schultz. The financials of the deal were not immediately disclosed but Robey-Coleman made $4.5 million last season for the Rams. He was primarily the nickel cornerback in Los Angeles and one of the better ones in the league.

According to Pro Football Focus, Robey-Coleman was the 19th-best cover corner in football through 17 weeks last year. He allowed just an 80.1 passer rating and 0.63 yards per slot coverage snap. He also recorded 36 total tackles and seven passes defensed in 16 games.

Robey-Coleman: Where Does He Fit on Defense?

What does the signing mean? Well, it could mean a variety of things.

For starters, the rumors that the Eagles are shopping Rasul Douglas in a trade certainly seem truer than ever. There has been a growing sense that Douglas isn’t a good fit for the slot and the Eagles just inked one of the best slot corners in football. The writing is on the wall there. Meanwhile, Nickell Robey-Coleman may get a chance to compete for a starting job in Philly.

Think about it. Sidney Jones and Avonte Maddox are very much question marks entering 2020 while Cre’Von LeBlanc seems entrenched as the favorite to play nickel cornerback. GM Howie Roseman has made it a point this offseason to add versatile players who can man multiple positions in the secondary. Robey-Coleman is another guy that does that. He’ll push the younger guys on the roster.

Robey-Coleman is a disciple of Jim Schwartz, too. He played under Schwartz when he was the defensive coordinator up in Buffalo in 2014. The cornerback played in 16 games, including seven starts, and finished with 48 tackles, seven passes defensed and even picked up a sack. The move makes sense considering Schwartz’s penchant for reuniting with his former players in other cities (see: Ronald Darby, Darius Slay, Nigel Bradham, Leodis McKelvin, Corey Graham, etc.).

Controversial Non-Call Cannot Define Robey-Coleman

When Nickell Robey-Coleman completely annihilated Tommylee Lewis in the NFC Championship Game a few years ago, he inadvertently became the poster child for pass interference. The refs failed to throw a flag on his blatant helmet-to-helmet hit and his Rams beat the Saints to advance to the Super Bowl.

While it isn’t fair to define a man by one controversial play — or keep bringing up a foul that wasn’t called — it certainly is a big part of his NFL story. The play came with 1 minute, 45 seconds left in a tie game and the Saints were driving to take the lead. There is a 90-percent chance they at least kick a field goal.

Alas, Robey-Coleman rubbed out Lewis and the Saints lost in overtime. After the game, the refs admitted they had missed the call.

“Ah, hell yeah, that was PI,” Robey-Coleman told reporters after the game, via USA Today “I did my part. Referee made the call. We respect it.”

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