NFL Rumors: Former Patriots CB Makes Sense for Eagles

Logan Ryan

Getty Images Titans CB Logan Ryan ends the Patriots 2019 playoff hopes with a fourth quarter pick-six.

Logan Ryan grew up in the Philadelphia area. The Eagles need cornerback help. Draw your own conclusion.

Ryan, a two-time Super Bowl champion, has been sitting out in free agency since March after the Titans refused to cave into his lofty contract demands. They drafted a rookie cornerback in the second round last month and officially parted ways with the 29-year-old veteran last week. Ryan was reportedly seeking a long-term extension valued around $10 million per year but admitted he would consider a one-year deal at his 2019 base salary rate of $9.5 million.

“I was willing to come back and work with the team on a one-year deal to earn the right for an extension or to go back to free agency next year,” Ryan told Devin and Jason McCourty’s “Double Coverage” podcast. “So I said, ‘Look, I’ll come back for the same rate, I want to keep this thing going,’ but they weren’t really interested in that.”

Pro Football Talk noted that Ryan has been “hearing” from a lot of teams but the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape and quieted those talks. Teams are “taking their time” with free agents since they can’t physically bring players into their facilities.

When looking at the Eagles’ roster, Ryan appears to be a nice fit at a position of need. The team brought in Pro Bowl corner Darius Slay to lock down one side of the field. He’s set in stone. The other side? Well, it looks to be a two-man race to earn the starting spot between Avonte Maddox and Sidney Jones. And maybe Rasul Douglas and his recently restructured contract make a run at it.

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Ryan Has Been Linked to Eagles for Several Months

There has been no shortage of rumors landing Ryan in the Eagles’ nest. First off, Ryan is a native of Berlin, NJ and attended Eastern Regional High School in Voorhees Township. He also played his college football at nearby Rutgers University. Ryan even grew up cheering for the Sixers and Allen Iverson.

“I’m a South Jersey kid. I grew up with Philly sports all around me,” Ryan said in 2017, via 24/7 Sports. “And Allen Iverson was the biggest thing at that time and one of the greatest athletes in the sense for being undersized and having a lot of heart.”

Ryan was heavily linked to signing with the Eagles in free agency back in January, too. Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline mentioned the possibility in his NFL mailbag at the Senior Bowl. Obviously, the move never materialized.

At this point, I don’t know who will be the best at the position. But I can tell you this – several people tell me Logan Ryan will be in play for the Eagles and it makes sense. He grew up right outside of Philadelphia, he’d be a terrific fit from a scheme and personality point of view and he may be slightly less expensive than Byron Jones.

Would Ryan Make Sense in Jim Schwartz’s Scheme?

One problem with bringing in Ryan could be how he fits in defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s scheme. On the surface, he’s a perfect fit: another hybrid cornerback who has thrived playing in the slot. It’s almost surprising that the Eagles didn’t sign him on the first day of free agency.

However, the defense is stocked with similar players and all those guys are a lot younger than Ryan. Schwartz already has a logjam at slot corner with Cre’Von LeBlanc, Nickell Robey-Coleman and maybe Will Parks. It’s also a spot where Avonte Maddox has shown promise over his first two seasons.

Could Ryan line up on the outside and go? Sure. He’s started 85 games in his seven-year NFL career and has collected 17 interceptions (78 passes defensed) during that span. He’s also a willing blitzer with 11 total sacks.

But, his main contributions have been at nickel corner where 40-percent of his snaps came in 2019. Pro Football Focus ranked him as the third-best “remaining free agent” in 2020 and wrote this:

Ryan has had a solid career, and he hits free agency once again after three years in Tennessee. He’s a slot corner who has graded between 62.0 and 76.2 in coverage in all but one year of his seven-year career, and that level of consistency makes him an intriguing candidate for teams looking for help in the slot. Ryan has generally been an excellent tackler, though 20 of his 49 career misses came in 2019.

Logan Ryan 2019- 2020 Season HighlightsLogan Ryan (Pro Bowl Alternate) Season Highlight Mix Logan Ryan played four seasons in New England before leaving in free agency, signing a three-year, $30 million deal with the Titans in 2017. Ryan, scheduled to become a free agent again this March, knows the drill.

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