Ronald Darby may have helped the Eagles win a Super Bowl but he grew up cheering for the Redskins. He’s finally back home.
Darby, who spent three seasons in Philadelphia, signed a one-year deal worth $4 million this offseason to join his hometown Redskins. The 26-year-old cornerback calls the Washington, D.C. suburb of Oxon Hill, Maryland home and attended Potomac High School where he was a four-star recruit. Darby will now play under a defensive-minded head coach in Ron Rivera, a new beginning for a player who struggled to stay healthy as a member of the Eagles.
“I believe it was last year or the year before last he [Rivera] gave me a shout-out saying he respected how I play and things like that before we played Carolina like two years ago,” Darby told reporters, via NBC Sports Washington. “His defenses have been good, corners that have played in his defense got paid.”
Darby, of course, was referring to Josh Norman and James Bradberry. The former Panthers cornerbacks thrived in Carolina under Rivera before moving on to much greener (literally, greener) pastures. The two players earned a combined $120 million in free agency.
Darby ‘Excited’ to Play Eagles Twice in 2020
Ronald Darby enjoyed a love-hate relationship with the fans in Philly. He’ll always be remembered as an integral part of the team that delivered the franchise’s first-ever Super Bowl. That being said, the cornerback was often criticized for giving up big plays and blowing coverages. It was pretty clear that both the fan base and the organization were ready to move on after the 2019 season.
Darby himself never threw any shade or ill will at the Eagles but his comments to the Washington media seemed to indicate that he is looking forward to exacting some semblance of revenge on his former team. He admitted it would be “fun” to play against the Eagles twice in 2020.
“It’s crazy. I’m grateful for the opportunity in Washington,” Darby said, via NBC Sports Washington. “I’m from the DMV area and grew up a Redskins fan, so I get to come back home and play for the team I grew up loving. I get to go against my old teammates twice a year. That’ll be fun.”
Darby finished his career in Philadelphia with six interceptions, 32 passes defensed and 114 tackles in three seasons. He has eight total picks, 65 passes defensed and 251 combined tackles in six years of NFL service.
Eagles Preferred CB Out of NFC East
The Eagles think they have significantly upgraded their secondary this offseason, thanks to the additions of Darius Slay, Nickell Robey-Coleman and Will Parks. They did lose Malcolm Jenkins and Ronald Darby in free agency but the younger guys should make an immediate impact.
It was evident they were set to let Darby walk and didn’t even attempt to lure him back on a team-friendly deal. Still, the franchise probably would have preferred to see him in another division. Not the NFC East. He’s got plenty of tread left on his tires and never forced his way out of Philly. He loved wearing midnight green.
But, after signing a one-year, $8.5 million “prove-it” deal in 2019, he just didn’t inspire enough confidence to be part of the Eagles’ long-term plans. The result is the team will have to face him twice a year and hope they made the right decision.
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