Philadelphia Eagles: Top contender to sign Byron Maxwell?


It’s utterly clear what the Philadelphia Eagles need to do this offseason in order to make the jump from a good team to an elite team in the NFC. This defense needs a major overhaul in the secondary, and the beginning of the rebuilding process should begin with Byron Maxwell.” According to Tony Pauline of, the Eagles are the front runners for Maxwell’s services next season.

Almost everyone in the city of Philadelphia has caught the fever known as Marcus Mariota. When in reality, the team’s greatest need seems to remain on the back burner. Maybe it’s only the media playing up the hype, and Chip Kelly has an elaborate plan in place to fix the secondary, but it doesn’t seem so far-fetched to believe that Kelly and the Eagles will try to work out a deal to obtain the rights to Mariota.

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Looking at what Philadelphia’s current options are in the secondary, Maxwell would not only be an upgrade, but a godsend. Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher held the team’s two starting spots at cornerback in 2014, on a pass defense that was ranked 31st in the NFL, giving up 264.9 yards per game. The Eagles also ranked 28th in the league in passing touchdowns allowed (30).

Nov 10, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles defensive end

Fletcher Cox

(91) sacks Carolina Panthers quarterback

Cam Newton

(1) at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If this Philadelphia Eagles team wants to make the leap to being a powerhouse in the NFC, Kelly and his front office have to commit to improving the defense. The front-seven was very strong last season, with defensive end Fletcher Cox and nose tackle Bennie Logan imposing their will on the line. Connor Barwin was arguably the team’s defensive MVP in 2014, recording 14.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.

Where does Maxwell fit in though? Defensive coordinator Billy Davis wants a big, physical corner to be able to play press coverage on the outside. Maxwell fits that mold perfectly because it is almost exactly what the Seattle Seahawks do. At 6’0″ and over 200 pounds, he’s already one of the game’s top cornerbacks, but playing in Seattle didn’t do him any justice, with All-Pro Richard Sherman on the opposite side of the field.

The biggest worries about Maxwell are that he has only started 17 games in his four-year career with the Seahawks, as well as his salary. I ultimately don’t believe that him being ill-prepared will be a concern though because after watching his film. He’s just simply too talented. Pete Carroll knows defensive talent and found Maxwell in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He’ll certainly bring a physicality and winning pedigree to Philadelphia, which can put their defense over the top.

According to Pauline, Maxwell will be looking for a contract in the realm of $10 million per year. Currently, the Eagles have over $24 million in cap space for the 2015 offseason, so signing Maxwell shouldn’t be a problem. Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin will be looking for a new deal as well, so Philadelphia will certainly need to be wary of how they allocate their finances.

Now, it’s going to take more than just Maxwell to fix this Philadelphia secondary. The Eagles currently hold the 20th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, and it appears that former Florida State corner P.J. Williams will be available. If the Eagles front office knows what is best, they would draft Williams and never look back. He’s a carbon copy of what Davis is looking for in a cornerback, 6’0″ and 196 pounds.’s Draft Tracker compares Williams to Buffalo Bills corner Stephon Gilmore, and also says that he has plenty of talent to play on an island.

Next: Philadelphia Eagles: 5 free agents to target in 2015

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