NFL rumors have swirled around the Philadelphia Eagles this week, as management is looking to remove players that were acquired by former head coach Chip Kelly. Thus far, Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso have been traded to the Miami Dolphins. Plus, DeMarco Murray is now a member of the Tennessee Titans. According to ESPN, the Eagles have now acquired the services of Leodis McKelvin, who might be changing positions.
The Buffalo Bills spent a first round draft pick on Leodis McKelvin in 2008. While he was solid, he never blossomed into the lock down corner back that the team was hoping for. The Bills decided that it was time to move on last week, so McKelvin was able to hit the free agency market before guys who were waiting for their contracts to expire. The move ended up being quite beneficial for Leodis because he was able to snag a contract sooner than later.
Since he was released by the Buffalo Bills with a year left on his contract, some will assume that Leodis McKelvin is a poor player. That’s actually not the case. The reason why the Bills released McKelvin was because they need some salary cap space. Buffalo had the luxury of making the move because of the emergence of Ronald Darby. Their second round pick captured the starting spot while Leodis was injured, and he never released his grip on it afterwards.
While there was a decent amount of interest from various NFL teams, Leodis McKelvin decided that the Philadelphia Eagles were the best fit for him. Aside from the team clearing a starting spot by trading away Byron Maxwell, the Eagles were also appealing to McKelvin because they had hired Jim Schwartz as the defensive coordinator. Schwartz held the same position when McKelvin was with the Buffalo Bills.
There were some teams in the NFL that were concerned about the ankle injury suffered by Leodis McKelvin back in 2014. That caused a major effect on the negotiation process. McKelvin was only able to secure a two-year contract from the Philadelphia Eagles. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because that means that Leodis can command a higher salary once he proves that he is still capable of being a starter in the National Football League.
Some questions linger about how Leodis McKelvin is going to be utilized by the Philadelphia Eagles. Since Byron Maxwell is no longer with the team, many assume that McKelvin will simply be slotted into the spot. Leodis has also proven that he can capably play the safety position. The Eagles may spend a draft pick or two on the corner back position. The upcoming NFL Draft is filled with quality corner backs.
Leodis McKelvin is also pretty useful on special teams. The Philadelphia Eagles have Darren Sproles returning punts. He ran two of them back for touchdowns last season. With the departure of DeMarco Murray and the possible departure of Ryan Mathews, Sproles could find himself spending less time on special teams. That’s where McKelvin can come in. He can join Josh Huff as the primary returners for the Eagles.
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson knows that there’s much to be fixed with the defensive secondary. Signing Leodis McKelvin isn’t going to fix everything, but it’s a nice start. Fortunately for the Eagles, free agency is still ongoing, and the NFL Draft should enable them to add more talent as well. Florida State Seminoles corner back Jalen Ramsey, Florida Gators corner back Vernon Hargreaves, and Ohio State Buckeyes corner back Eli Apple can all help Philadelphia contain opposing wide receivers. That would go a long way towards winning games.
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