Eagles Predicted to Sign Former Cowboys 2nd-Round Starter

Chidobe Awuzie

Getty Cornerback Chidobe Awuzie is set to hit free agency.

Veteran cornerback Chidobe Awuzie is set to hit free agency after three years with the Cincinnati Bengals, and at least one analyst thinks he’ll land with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Dallas Robinson of Pro Football Network put together a list of predictions for what each NFL team will do this offseason. For the Eagles, Robinson has them signing Awuzie.

“The Eagles’ cornerback situation was a mess in 2023, and GM Howie Roseman has some decisions to make this offseason. Darius Slay seems likely to return, but James Bradberry could be a candidate for a post-June 1 release,” Robinson wrote.

“Either way, Philadelphia needs to add bodies in the secondary after ranking bottom-five in pass defense efficiency. Chidobe Awuzie was a legitimate CB1 as recently as 2021; while a torn ACL slowed him down over the next two years, he’s still only 28. If the Eagles are looking for potential surplus value, Awuzie could be on their list.”

Would Chidobe Awuzie Be Good Pickup for Philadelphia Eagles?

A second-round pick out of Colorado for the Dallas Cowboys in 2017, Awuzie spent his first four seasons in Dallas. He played in 49 games (42 starts) for the Cowboys in that span before signing a new deal with Cincinnati in 2021.

He had a very promising first season with the Bengals. Awuzie played in 14 games (all starts) and finished with 64 total tackles (4 for loss, a career high), 14 pass breakups and 2 interceptions. He played 518 coverage snaps in 2021, allowing 53 catches on 93 targets, per Pro Football Focus.

He finished with a very high 84.2 grade in coverage from PFF that year and make some eye-opening plays. Check out this grab he snagged against the Los Angeles Chargers late that season:

Awuzie was playing extremely well for Cincinnati before he tore his ACL halfway through his 2022 campaign. Over the first eight games of 2022 he allowed a meager 42% completion percentage on balls thrown his direction, also allowing just 20 total yards-after-the-catch prior to sustaining the injury.

Awuzie recovered from his torn ACL well enough to play in 15 games in 2023 (10 starts), but the injury did impede his play earlier in the season. He finished with 57 total tackles (2 for loss), 6 pass breakups and a forced fumble.

Eagles Could Use Affordable Option at CB in Free Agency

The Eagles have some big decisions to make at several positions this offseason. Their secondary was a porous mess for the bulk of the 2023 regular season and into their lone playoff loss.

Philly’s defense allowed over 252 yards a game through the air last season, which was second-to-last in the NFL. The 32 TDs allowed by the secondary also ranked 31st in the league. The Eagles also managed to snag just 9 total interceptions last season, which was ranked 25th.

With veteran cornerback James Bradberry a likely cap casualty, Awuzie could be an affordable replacement with definite upside. He’d have to be completely healthy, of course.

The Eagles face a difficult decision with Bradberry. Philly Sports Neywork has a nice breakdown of what it will mean financially should the Eagles cut Bradberry after June 1:

“In 2025 and 2026 James Bradberry will count against the cap for $7.9M worth of dead money whether he is cut now or not. So the only question for the Eagles to ask themselves is if it is worth moving on from James post-June 1 (and paying him $4.3M) just to get him off the team and free up a spot for another player.”

If Philly moves on from Bradberry, Awuzie’s projected contract according to PFF is a two-year deal worth $21 million ($12.5 guaranteed). He may even command less due to the recent injury issues. With the cornerback market looking slim (top corner Jaylon Johnson is widely expected to stay in Chicago), the Eagles may not have may appealing options. Awuzie could be one of their best options.

Read More