A True Impact Player

Posted: May 28th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

The Eagles traded for cornerback Darius Slay in March. They paid a fair price and then gave him a contract extension. This wasn’t a casual move. The Eagles wanted Slay and saw him as a key addition.

Good CBs can almost be transcendent. That’s not true of every position. Jason Babin had 18 sacks and 3 FFs in 2011. That’s insanely good production. But I don’t think many people remember him being a great player. And the defense wasn’t anything special.

Troy Vincent signed with the Eagles in March of 1996. He was the team’s best CB until he left after the 2003 season. The Eagles went to the playoffs multiple times and had some outstanding defenses. Vincent was a huge reason.

Asante Samuel signed with the Eagles in March of 2008. Lito Sheppard had become too erratic and Sheldon Brown wasn’t a consistent playmaker. Samuel had 23 picks in four seasons with the Eagles. He helped the team boast a Top 5 defense in 2008 and the team just missed a trip to the Super Bowl.

Patrick Robinson signed with the Eagles as a cheap “let’s see what he’s got left” player in the spring of 2017. Robinson was awful in minicamp, but came alive in Training Camp and then played great in the regular season. He led the team with 18 PDs and 4 INTs. He also made a key play in the postseason, if memory serves me correctly.

Such a glorious moment.

CBs can be real impact players. That position is crucial because of the importance of the passing game. If you can take away a player or part of the field on a consistent basis, QBs and coaches will change their gameplans. You limit what they can do.

Darius Slay has a chance to be a real impact player this season. Jimmy Bama wrote an excellent piece on Slay. This isn’t blind hope. Jimmy went back and studied all of Slay’s snaps from last year. He explained everything he saw, good and bad.

There is risk. I liked the move because I felt the Eagles had to get a veteran corner, but there are no guarantees it will work out. We’ve seen more than a few offseason additions that made sense on paper and didn’t work in reality.

The Eagles have not had a true #1 CB for a while. They thought Ronald Darby might be that guy, but he only played in 28 of 48 possible games. He picked off 6 passes in three years. He also got burned on some big plays. There were flashes, but no consistency.

If Slay can be a legit #1 CB, that changes a lot. He’s not going to shut everyone down. He’s not Deion Sanders or even Troy Vincent. Slay is a good cover corner and he will make you work hard to beat him. QBs won’t have nearly as many easy throws. They’ll have to earn their yards when throwing his way.

Also, Slay is the type of skilled, aggressive corner who can make CBs pay. Howie Roseman mentioned one of the things the Eagles really liked about Slay is that he is a player who can get the ball back for the offense.

In the last three years, Slay has played in 45 of 48 possible games. He has 13 picks in that time. The potential is there for him to be exactly what the Eagles were looking for.

He also should be playing behind the best pass rush of his career and that can’t hurt.


There is one hole in Slay’s game. Tackling. Read Jimmy’s piece for more on that. Not…ideal.


Rob Rang wrote a review of the Eagles draft for SI. Rob is a good draft analyst. I’ve been following his work for 15 to 20 years. He doesn’t just throw up a grade. Rob tries to look at the picks and offer an insightful evaluation.


One Comment on “A True Impact Player”

  1. 1 A True Impact Player | SportSpyder | said at 2:31 AM on May 28th, 2020:

    […] A True Impact Player […]