Top 5 Underrated CBs Eagles May Pursue in Free Agency

Kendall Fuller

Getty Chiefs CB Kendall Fuller is a free agent and could be signed to a team-friendly deal with another team.

There is a growing buyer beware attitude enveloping Byron Jones. He kind of feels like another Nnamdi Asomugha.

The Eagles’ failed experiment with Asomugha, one that cost them a whopping $60 million in 2011, remains the biggest blight on GM Howie Roseman’s resume. The former Raiders cornerback was widely considered the best coverage guy in football, although his lack of interceptions (11 picks in eight seasons) was troublesome. Asomugha never lived up to the hype.

A similar argument could be made about Jones and his two interceptions in five seasons. Granted, the Cowboys cornerback wasn’t a full-time starter on the outside until 2018. It should still cause a slight pause.

Jones has been the darling of analytics-driven experts and graded out exceptionally well at Pro Football Focus. That’s all well and good but there is something risky about throwing between $15 million to $20 million per year to a guy with an unproven track record. Luckily, there are cheaper options on the open market.

Kendall Fuller, Chiefs

The cornerback-safety hybrid could be an intriguing piece for the Eagles due to needs at both positions. The 25-year-old has been linked heavily to rejoining the Washington Redskins, the team that drafted him, in free agency after a shaky 2019 campaign in Kansas City.

Fuller recorded no interceptions in the regular season and earned a dismal 63.3 coverage grade from Pro Football Focus. But those numbers are a bit deceiving as Fuller played a mix of outside corner, slot corner and safety. When it mattered most, Fuller delivered. His interception with one minute left in the Super Bowl sealed the win. The best part? Fuller would likely sign for $5 million.

Darqueeze Dennard, Bengals

Another free-agent-to-be has quietly been flying under the radar in Cincinnati. Per Pro Football Focus, Dennard has been the NFL’s 12th-best slot corner since 2017 and has been among the league’s 30 most valuable slot corners in two of the last three years. The 28-year-old doesn’t have the gaudy stat line — only three interceptions in six years — but he hasn’t been asked to do more than man the slot in Cincinnati. A change of scenery, along with a move to the outside, could unlock the full potential for the 24th overall pick in the 2014 draft. What’s the price? Well, he made $4.5 million in 2019.

Bradley Roby, Texans

Roby isn’t the same kind of “under-the-radar” as some other corners on this list but he certainly falls in the middle-tier of free agents. Roby, who earned $10 million in Houston last year, is looking for a nice salary bump and he should have suitors on the open market.

The 28-year-old has been a playmaker wherever he’s been, including a key piece on that monster Broncos’ defense that won a Super Bowl in 2014. Roby has accumulated nine interceptions in six seasons while filling the role of the human highlight reel. He always seems to be in the right spot as evidenced by his three pick-sixes since 2016. And a big one versus the GOAT.

Nickell Robey-Coleman, Rams

He’ll never live down that controversial non-call in New Orleans, and maybe that’s a good thing. Robey-Coleman is a restricted free agent and the Rams will probably pick up the fifth-year team option on him for $4.5 million. Then again, it’s not cut and dry that they will. Los Angeles only has an estimated $14.8 million in cap space, per OverTheCap, and are expected to break the bank on an extension for Jalen Ramsey.

They might need to free up that extra $4.5 million. If so, the Eagles would be smart to swoop in on a sweetheart deal for one of the best slot corners in football. Robey-Coleman was only responsible for one touchdown and allowed receptions on 64.1-percent of the passes thrown his way in 2019.

Vernon Hargreaves, Texans

Hargreaves was sitting on the waiver wire last November and the Eagles passed on him. Well, the Texans scooped him up and plugged him right into their defense where Hargreaves switched from outside corner to slot corner. Look, no one is going to mistake him for a shutdown corner but the former first-round pick (11th overall) in 2016 flashed signs of promise. He finished the year with one interception and six passes defensed while logging 61 total tackles.

Houston waived him to void the $10 million fifth-year option on his contract. Smart move. Hargreaves now heads into free agency where teams will have to assess just how valuable he really is. A deal in the range of $6 million might get it done. Not bad for a starting-caliber corner who is still only 24 years old.

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