Springs To Play Corner and Safety For Eagles?
By Lance Epstein
On Tuesday afternoon, the New England Patriots released veteran cornerback Shawn Springs, but he might not be on the market for very long.
Teams such as the Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks have been rumored to be in the running for his services. Additionally, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Patriots are trying to resign him to a new deal.
However, Boston Globe reporter Albert Breer suggests that the Philadelphia Eagles are a likely landing spot for the 35-year-old defensive back. Breer added that the Eagles were very interested in signing the defensive back last year and that the team has a hole at safety, which Springs could fit.
Last year, Springs mostly played cornerback for New England. In 2009, he registered 40 tackles, one interception, four pass deflections and suited up for 13 games [one playoff game against the Ravens].
Despite Breer beliefs that the Eagles would use Springs at safety, he makes much more sense at the right cornerback position for the team. The Eagles are confident and have big plans for South Florida rookie Nate Allen. Allen is going to compete with Marlin Jackson for the starting free safety position and will probably be the starter week one against Green Bay. At the strong-safety position, the Eagles are in tremendous shape with Pro Bowler Quintin Mikell.
On the other hand, the right cornerback position is still a giant concern. Ellis Hobbs is currently the team's starting right corner, but there are a ton of question marks and unknowns surrounding him.
First, Hobbs is coming off of a severe neck injury, which cost him half the season last year. Furthermore, the injury might prevent him from being the player he once was or that the Eagles envision.
Second, Hobbs was not playing that great before he suffered the season-ending injury. Before being placed on IR, Hobbs was the Eagles fourth cornerback and only saw the field on Dime package situations [not including kickoff duties]. In addition, there was a reason that Patriots decided to unload Hobbs for just a fifth-round pick. One-year removed from the Patriots 18-1 season, Hobbs gave up the most touchdowns of any corner in the entire league.
Lastly, there is no true competition behind Hobbs right now. None of the players backing him up have shown the ability to be starters just incase Hobbs turns out to be this year’s version of Lorenzo Booker [overhyped by front office].
Joselio Hanson is the Eagles’ third cornerback and is best utilized in that spot. Plus, his play after his four-game suspension was not very inspiring.
Macho Harris, Trevard Lindley, David Pender, Dimitri Patterson and Devin Ross have not yet demonstrated that they are even NFL caliber cornerbacks. In fact, three of the five have not played a single snap in the NFL. Then there is Jackson. Although Jackson is coming off two straight years where his season ended early due to a torn ACL.
Even though the Eagles have been trying to get younger this offseason, Springs would bring depth and competition to a team that needs help in the secondary. Also, Springs brings a leadership quality to the defense that the team lost by trading Sheldon Brown. Springs has 13 years of experience in the league [169 regular season games] and has accumulated 33 interceptions, 138 pass deflections and two touchdowns.
While Springs might not be the flashiest name on the market or the same player he was in his prime, but he can be an excellent insurance policy for the Eagles at cornerback...and possibly even safety.