The Eagles took one summer to determine that 2015 second-round pick Eric Rowe was not a part of the team's future. They traded Rowe to the New England Patriots before the 2016 season opener for a 2018 conditional fourth-round pick. (Link to story here.)
Rowe started seven games for the Patriots, who finished the regular season 14-2, while the Eagles' cornerbacks struggled – and the team was even forced to sign two first-year players during the season. So why did the Eagles determine that Rowe could not be a part of this year's defensive backfield?
"When we sat down and discussed the offer, we really started thinking about, as we sat at that time, the likelihood that we would sign him to an extension," said Howie Roseman, the Eagles' executive vice president of football operations. "We want to build this team with some continuity. We felt at that time that we weren't going to sign him to an extension. To get that value for him and possibly add someone who would be here for a longer period of time made sense for where we were."
The Eagles reached that conclusion even though Rowe was under contract for three more seasons. He is not eligible for a contract extension until 2018 and would not be a free agent until 2019. The Eagles saw Rowe play 2015 in a different scheme and for one offseason in Jim Schwartz's defense.
"We did make that determination based off the defense that we have, the scheme that we have, and after talking about our corner position with the coaches, we were concerned about getting the same value if it was the same situation going forward," Roseman said. "And obviously, you can only deal with the information you have at the time."
So to sum it up: The Eagles decided that Leodis McKelvin, Nolan Carroll, Ron Brooks, and Jalen Mills were all better to have on the roster this year than Rowe, they made a determination about a contract 2-3 years in advance, and their scheme was not a fit for a player who started for New England this season.