Some thought the Eagles clued Cre’Von LeBlanc into the fact they were cutting him. That wasn’t the case. At all.
The Eagles’ slot cornerback wasn’t told the team was releasing him ahead of last Saturday’s cut-down deadline. Philadelphia did it to make room for promising young running back Jason Huntley, then claimed LeBlanc the following day. It was a genius move by GM Howie Roseman because the 26-year-old wasn’t subject to waivers.
Now he’s back in midnight green and all is right in the world. Still, LeBlanc admitted it was a little “shocking” to get the news.
“It was shocking, just as it was for the fans,” LeBlanc told reporters on Friday. “It was very shocking. But, I mean, this is not my first rodeo. I’m going on Year 5. I’ve been cut before and I’ve been claimed. That’s just the name of the game. This is just the business that we have to live with on the daily basis. You can’t [dwell] on that too long. For the most part, going forward, my mental, I’m in a good place. I know who I serve, I know who my Lord and savior is. From here on out, the season is here and I’m glad to be back in the building.”
LeBlanc turned into a folk hero in Philly after he intercepted Drew Brees in the Eagles’ 2018 playoff loss to the Saints, on the first play of the game nonetheless. He was supposed to be an integral part of the secondary — that is, until the team signed Nickell Robey-Coleman in the offseason. He projects as the backup slot corner for 2020, with added value as a versatile option on the outside.
“We sort of always viewed Cre as just a nickel, even though against the Giants a couple years ago he had to go play outside corner for almost a whole half and really did well for us,” defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said of LeBlanc. “But in his career, NFL career, he’s really been more of a nickel slot. We moved him around around a lot and we like his versatility. We think he can handle a lot of different roles, and we’re comfortable with him outside.”
LeBlanc went undrafted in 2016 out of Florida Atlantic and landed on the Eagles’ roster in November 2018 after catching the eye of former assistant GM Joe Douglas. He made an immediate impact by recording seven tackles, three pass deflections, and an interception over two postseason games that year, leading Schwartz to claim: “I don’t know where we’d be without Cre’Von. That might have been the key to our season, putting the waiver claim in.”
Brandon Graham's strip sack was a coverage sack. Brees wants the outside curl at the sticks but has to reset on 3rd and 8. LeBlanc carries that seam and rolls down to cut the curl. All that's left is the deep throw and Brees is out of time. pic.twitter.com/oI4Mn5lPgu
— Tyler Jackson (@TjackRH) January 14, 2019
The trusted cornerback also won the hearts of Eagles fans, many of whom ran to social media to blast the organization for cutting him. Luckily, it was a short-lived breakup. LeBlanc is back and ready to contribute.
“I’m just thankful to be back with the Philadelphia Eagles,” LeBlanc said. “I love it here, I love the city, love playing for the fans and the guys in this organization.”
Cre'Von LeBlanc says he didn't know the love from Eagles fans went THAT deep before his 18 hour free agency.
— Thomas R. Petersen 🦅 (@thomasrp93) September 11, 2020