The Philadelphia Eagles were in the market for another starting cornerback for much of the offseason. They eventually signed James Bradberry to fill the void opposite Darius Slay, but another accomplished veteran was in the mix.
Former Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes admitted that he “almost went to Philly” during a recent interview on the Geary & Stein Sports Show. Waynes was released by the Cincinnati Bengals on March 21 and mulling the decision between latching on elsewhere or calling it a career.
It seems the 29-year-old is ready to retire after briefly flirting with the Eagles. Waynes was initially intrigued about the opportunity to reunite with his former defensive backs coach (Jonathan Gannon) and former teammate (Anthony Harris) in Minnesota.
“I actually almost went to Philly, to go back with JG (Jonathan Gannon) and Ant (Anthony Harris) but at that point I was like, ‘I’m ready to be done,’” Waynes said. “Could I easily keep playing several more years? Yes. But I got a family, I want to be around with my kids more.”
Waynes rides off into the sunset with 259 career tackles, plus seven interceptions and 43 pass breakups. He made his one and only Super Bowl appearance last year with Cincinnati. The former Michigan State standout was the 11th overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.
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Potential Only Gets You So Far
The Eagles forged ahead by agreeing to terms with Bradberry on a one-year deal worth $7.25 million (via Spotrac). The franchise is banking on the one-time Pro Bowler to bounce back from a down year in 2021. Blame a slight regression on playing in the wrong scheme, on a very bad New York Giants team. Bradberry is stoked to be in Philly and lining up opposite Slay in what should be a stellar secondary.
“I like to play this defense,” Bradberry told reporters. “It offers a multiple look, play zone and man and I think I make a lot of plays in both, so that’s the reason I like the scheme.”
But Bradberry was quick to slow the hype train on how good he and Slay can be. Yes, the potential is there but potential can only take you so far. They have to get the reps in this summer and build chemistry.
“Potential only gets you so far, so I don’t want to speak on potential,” Bradberry said. “I know individually we’re pretty good. The goal is to be great together.”
Next Great CB Tandem in Eagles History
Slay was a little more forthcoming in his analysis of the new starting secondary in Philly. The four-time Pro Bowler believes he and Bradberry can be the best cornerback tandem to wear midnight green since Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown.
“They set the trend here. And we want to fill them shoes up and compete,” Slay told Sirius XM Radio. “Sky’s the limit for me and Bradberry, man. I’m eager to help him. He’s eager to help me. We both complement each other and we’re really trying to turn this into something great.”