Eagles Outlook: 3 free agent cornerbacks who could replace James Bradberry this offseason
The Philadelphia Eagles are set to lose several key starters on the defensive side of the ball this offseason. Among them is Pro Bowl CB James Bradberry, who’s going to be one of the most sought after corners on the market once free agency begins.
Unlike some of the defensive positions where the Eagles are going to lose starters, the team doesn’t have a clear in-house replacement for Bradberry. Howie Roseman is going to have to add a starter through free agency or the NFL Draft.
While I would personally love to see the front office take a swing on one of the top CB prospects come draft night, history suggests the Eagles will look elsewhere for cornerback help. They haven’t selected a corner in the first-round since taking Lito Sheppard all the way back in 2002.
Outside of Bradberry, there are still a handful of intriguing options on the cornerback market this offseason – all of whom would be cheaper than No. 24. Here are three to keep an eye on.
Outside of Bradberry and Tampa Bay’s Jamel Dean, Rock Ya-Sin is really the only other pure outside corner set to become a free agent this offseason. Standing at 6-foot, 190 pounds, Ya-Sin is your prototypical CB2 who thrives in man coverage.
Per Pro Football Focus, Ya-Sin has earned a 74.4 coverage grade when lined up outside over the past two years. That grade ranks 27th among corners during that time. His 70.9 coverage grade when in press ranks 20th. Not to mention his solid 18.2 percent forced incompletion rate, which ranks 19th.
Ya-Sin is still relatively young, too. He’ll enter the 2023 season at 27 years old.
Spotrac estimates Ya-Sin’s annual salary to sit at $10.8M, which does seem like a lot. It certainly beats Bradberry’s projections of $15.1M, but Ya-Sin is a bit of a downgrade.
Nevertheless, cornerback is a premiere position and worth spending on if the Eagles can afford it. Ya-Sin is a suitable replacement for Bradberry and can do a lot of the same things Bradberry did for this Eagles defense.
Once considered one of the best cornerbacks in football, Marcus Peters’ stock has dropped significantly over the past two years. He suffered a torn ACL in 2021 and got off to a slow start in 2022. He managed to find his stride down the stretch, but his production was still lacking by his standards.
2022 was the first time Peters has failed to record multiple interceptions in a season. Still, he could be a perfect fit opposite of Darius Slay in Sean Desai’s defense.
He has enough juice left in the tank to be a suitable outside corner. The only issue is, he’d likely be a one-year rental – similar to Bradberry. Peters won’t command nearly the same type of money that Bradberry is going to get, but signing Peters to a one-year deal essentially ensures the Eagles are right back in this position next offseason.
Peters is the best ‘band-aid’ option on the cornerback market if the Eagles choose to go that route.
If the Eagles want to get a long-term, relatively cheap option to place opposite of Slay, Emmanuel Moseley could be their guy.
He only suited up for five games last season with San Francisco before tearing his ACL. In those five games, Moseley was on pace for a career-year. He recorded 22 tackles, five pass deflections, and one pick-six.
Moseley has been inconsistent throughout his career, but it seemed like he was finally hitting his stride last season before it got cut short. He posted the best coverage grade of his career (73.5) last year, while allowing a passer rating of just 63.5 when targeted. His overall PFF grade in 2022 was also the highest mark he’s earned since entering the NFL, posting a 70.9 grade through five games.
At just 27 years old and coming off a major injury, the Eagles will likely be able to acquire Moseley for pennies on the dollar. PFF projects his next contract to be two years at $3M per year. A complete bargain if he manages to stay healthy and holds down the CB2 spot.
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