It’s a move that has been talked about and then talked back. The conversation is back on.
According to Pro Football Talk‘s Mike Florio, the Eagles are shopping cornerback Rasul Douglas as a way to free up cap space and improve their roster. Douglas was given multiple chances to start in Philadelphia but never seized the opportunity. The former third-round pick has started 18 regular-season games over his first three seasons, including five starts during the Super Bowl run. His only snaps in Super Bowl LII were on special teams, though.
With the arrival of Darius Slay in a trade from Detroit, the Eagles are finally comfortable enough to move on from some younger players in their disappointing secondary. Sidney Jones seemingly has no trade value and the franchise remains high on both Avonte Maddox and Cre’Von LeBlanc. The latter signed a one-year, $1.3 million contract last year.
That leaves Douglas as the odd cornerback out. The 24-year-old has flashed promise as evidenced by his five career interceptions and 25 passes defensed. If Douglas has heard the trade rumors, he wasn’t let them sink in. He was telling his critics to look up the stats from last season.
Eagles Could Cut Choose to Cut Douglas
Another option for the Eagles would be to outright release Rasul Douglas. The first choice is to find a trading partner (read: the cornerback-needy Jaguars in a possible deal for Yannick Ngakoue) but Douglas’ value might not be at an all-time high.
The cap hit to simply cut Douglas would be approximately $2.3 million, per OverTheCap, and the Eagles would save $2.1 million (base salary) by moving on. It could be a win-win, especially if GM Howie Roseman is looking to squeeze out some extra juice to make one more major move, like inking free-agent receiver Breshad Perriman to a lucrative deal.
As mentioned above, Douglas has played well at times for the Eagles and many thought he could blossom into a starting-caliber corner. However, the results have been too much of a mixed bag. He was benched after Week 7 in 2019 and graded out poorly. Douglas surrendered six touchdowns and 9.1 yards per target while ranking as the 98th-best cornerback in football (52.0 overall grade), per Pro Football Focus.
Douglas Not Good Fit for Playing Safety
Would Rasul Douglas be a good player to transition to safety? This was a common solution to maximize the cornerback’s talent and the Eagles finally tried it but the experiment turned in uneven results.
Douglas was forced into action in 2018 after injuries to Rodney McLeod, Sidney Jones and Corey Graham thinned depth at the safety position. He studied McLeod and Malcolm Jenkins for pointers and mostly held his own through 42 snaps. However, the Eagles didn’t seem to trust his closing speed enough to make the transition from cornerback to safety permanent. Instead, the team has decided to move Jalen Mills over to that spot after dealing for Darius Slay.
“Rasul is a guy that we can plug in anywhere,” Mills told reporters, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “We’ve done it in practice, (now) we did it in a game. As far as what position, he can play all four of them.”
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