Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Could Cardinals LB interest Eagles?

For months now, we've speculated about what the Eagles will be looking for in return for Kevin Kolb once they are allowed to deal him.

Could Cardinals LB interest Eagles?

Could the Eagles be interested in Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington? (Paul Connors/AP Photo)
Could the Eagles be interested in Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington? (Paul Connors/AP Photo)

For months now, we've speculated about what the Eagles will be looking for in return for Kevin Kolb once they are allowed to deal him.

Once the draft passed in April, the situation became more complicated.

Will the Birds settle for 2012 picks? Will they demand a defensive starter?

We won't know for sure until the lockout ends and they're allowed to explore all their options, but Adam Caplan of brought up a new name in his most recent mailbag.

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A reader asked Caplan about Cardinals cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who I wrote about earlier this week.

While he thinks Rodgers-Cromartie is a longshot, Caplan mentions another name that could interest the Eagles: linebacker Daryl Washington, who can play either in the middle or on the weak side.

Washington (6-2, 230) was a second-round pick (47th overall) out of TCU in 2010. The Cardinals traded up to get him, and he played inside last season in their 3-4 scheme.

Coming out of college, Washington ran a 4.57 at the combine, the fastest time among linebackers. He blocked four punts while at TCU and also played special teams with the Cardinals last season.

According to Football Outsiders' metrics, Washington was a very strong tackler as a rookie in pass coverage. He had a sack, a forced fumble and an interception last season.

The Eagles have a complicated linebacker situation. The position has been an area of weakness, and the team has spent five draft picks in the last two seasons on LBs. But none of the three spots are locked down. JaMar Chaney showed the most potential last season, and Stewart Bradley looks like he could get a chance to test free agency.

With or without Washington in the mix, linebacker spots are going to be up for grabs.


Caplan had another good piece that's of interest to Eagles fans, as he identified the top 15 defensive free agents, along with teams that could be interested in them.

Multiple sources tell Caplan that the Eagles will show "strong interest" in Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor once free agency starts:

Taylor is coming off of a very solid season. According to a personnel source, Taylor showed a willingness to be physical against wide receivers and is capable of playing in zone or press coverage, which makes him particularly attractive in today’s NFL.

Taylor (6-1, 191) was a fourth-round pick in 2003 and has spent all eight of his NFL seasons with the Steelers. He turned 31 in May and has started all but one game for Pittsburgh in the last four seasons.

Football Outsiders keeps a stat for cornerbacks called success rate, defined as the percentage of passes that don't manage to get at least 45 percent of needed yards on first down, 60 percent of needed yards on second down or 100 percent of needed yards on third down.

Taylor's success rate last season 52 percent, which ranked 45th among corners. I wouldn't recommend going on one stat alone, but that rank would put Taylor among the top half of No. 2 corners in the league, which is what the Eagles are looking for.

Is Taylor as good as Nnamdi Asomugha? Of course not. But he won't command the same amont of money either.

I'm going to try to take a closer look at some of these potential Eagles targets over the weekend by re-watching games from 2010, and will report back with some thoughts early next week.

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Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at or by clicking here

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