The NFL lockout has finally ended, but Kevin Kolb is yet to be traded. There have been a ton of different scenarios that have been discussed, but it seems like a deal will get done with Arizona before the week ends.
Arizona has been a front-runner in the Kolb sweepstakes for a long time, and there has been tons of speculation about what the Cardinals would give up to get Kolb.
To begin, it seemed like Kolb would be traded for draft picks. However, with the lockout still in place through the 2011 draft, talks changed to the Eagles acquiring something that would help them win this year. Acquiring picks for the 2012 draft wouldn’t help.
Early after the draft and even while it was going, the most common rumors discussed the Eagles ending up with Cardinals first-round draft pick Patrick Peterson.
A trade with the Cardinals still seems like a definite, and the Eagles receiving a corner from Arizona also seems like a given. However, it seems like this trade will end up with the Eagles receiving Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and some other form of compensation.
This wasn’t the most popular scenario early on, but let’s take a look at why it should be a beneficial trade for the Eagles.
1. He’s Young
Let’s be honest. This defense has gotten a lot younger of the last couple years, and it seems like Andy Reid and company want to build their defense around a young nucleus.
The team has brought in a significant amount of draft picks the last two seasons who have either contributed last season or will likely contribute this year.
Rodgers-Cromartie just turned 25 this April and is significantly younger than an option like Nnamdi Asomugha. Of course, Asomugha is a better player, but he wouldn’t be able to contribute for as long.
The Eagles tend to shy away from players when they hit the age of 30, so we all knew that would be a big consideration when looking at Asomugha.
2. He’s Talented but Still Developing
Being young, Rodgers-Cromartie has already proved to be talented, but is still developing at the position. In fact, he commented in a radio interview that he would love to learn from a guy like Asante Samuel.
The Eagles defense is going to see some changes under first year man Juan Castillo. Rodgers-Cromartie isn’t set in his ways, and he’s going to be willing to learn different ways to play his position in order to best help the Eagles defense as a whole.
Rodgers-Cromartie is starting to head into his prime, but can afford to improve. As a player, I believe he knows that he has a lot of talent, but I think he still believes he can get much better.
He’ll come to Philly with an open mind, and that should only help both him and the team.
3. He’ll Cause Turnovers
In his first three seasons in the league, Rodgers-Cromartie recorded a total of 13 interceptions. In that same time span, Samuel has recorded 20. Combined, that’s a lot of interceptions.
The Eagles could possibly bring in a different option who is better in man-to-man coverage. However, there’s no denying the impact that turnovers can have on a game.
Turnovers are huge. They end drives, give teams good field position, and can serve as a huge momentum changer.
Guys who have the tendency to force turnovers are a scary thing to deal with for opposing quarterbacks. When Rodgers-Cromartie comes to town, the Eagles will have a scary presence on both sides.
4. He Doesn’t Have to be THE Man
Rodgers-Cromartie already knows he’s a good player. With a guy like Samuel lining up opposite of him, a lot of pressure will be taken off his shoulders.
He can come in and learn a lot while he develops into his prime. It’s a nice feeling for a young player like him to have while he tries to become one of the top corners in the league.
While the Eagles try to develop some of the young corners on their roster, Rodgers-Cromartie doesn’t have the pressure on him to help aid as a leader. He can be a good guy to talk to, but young players will look up to Samuel before they look up to him.
5. He’s an Immediate Upgrade
This has to be one of the most simple, but important reasons that he’ll work out well in Philly. Corner was a huge hole for the Eagles last season, and he’ll be a huge upgrade.
Many people tried to step up last season, but no one would step in and be a rock on the outside. Rodgers-Cromartie has proved to be a Pro Bowl caliber player, and that’s a lot more than you can say about any other corner on the Eagles roster outside Samuel.
Defensively, corner was by far my biggest concern heading into the 2011, but bringing in Rodgers-Cromartie will be a huge upgrade, and will provide some much needed consistency.
There will be no doubt about who will start opposite Samuel. They’ll form a dynamic duo from day one, and this will allow the Eagles to develop some players at other positions to solidify their defense.