AFTER weeks of speculation over whether we would, the Philadelphia Eagles have finally signed free agent CB Steve Nelson, formerly of the Steelers and the Chiefs. One of the loudest voices trying to lure him here, was CB Darius Slay. By most peoples calculations (and Slay’s), this should give the Eagles a shutdown duo. Especially with the coming changes to the defensive scheme.
I do however, have a couple of questions. Why were we able sign him? Why only a 1 year, 4M$ deal? Many Eagles fans will say “Shut up! Just take the gift!”, but I’m not wired like that. I crave knowledge. I didn’t see any stories about him being arrested or anything like that. So maybe he’s not a great locker room guy? I dunno.
Nelson is just 28, has been durable, and started a ton. He’s also been moved on from, twice in his career. The two coaches to do so, were Andy Reid and Mike Tomlin, respectively. Those are not coaches known for giving up on players. Especially promising ones.
For some reason though, he’d just been sitting in free agency limbo since March. While a few teams were kicking the tires, it was reported that they (and the Eagles), had reservations about paying him north of 3M$ per year.
Honestly, 3M per year for CB with Nelson’s resume, doesn’t seem that expensive to me. The idea of being able to negate a 20M$ WR with a 3M$ CB, strikes me as a win. What confuses me, is now that the leap has been made, why only one year? Why the lack of commitment? Why are we still not sold on him?
When General Manager Howie Roseman inked Slay last year, it was for 3 years, 50M$, with 26M guaranteed. Slay was 29, had been durable, and started a ton.
Despite Nelson ticking those same boxes, his deal has me wondering why the Eagles didn’t try to lock him down, before he plays his way into a more lucrative deal.
It’s not like there’s going to be an open competition for the spot, because he’ll plenty of opportunity to shine. Nelson and Slay (barring injury), are your starters at CB in 2021. This is the reality. The Eagles aren’t spending 4 mil on a guy, to watch him ride pine.
Rookie CB Zech MacPherson may get to challenge for the spot in 2022, but any fantasies he entertained of winning a starting role in 2021, are officially dead. Still, I’ll be keeping an eye on how Nelson gels with his teammates. Especially with everyone predicting that we’ll have a rough season.