Originally written on Eagledelphia  |  Last updated 2/23/15
  Brandon Boykin played a big role in the Eagles defensive backfield last season, who is running mates are in 2014 is the question that needs to be answered (Image Courtesy GCobb.com) Over the next couple of weeks, Eagledelphia will be addressing the Eagles free agents needs while evaluating producing a position-by-position analysis. The today’s area to be addressed: Cornerback. The secondary may be the most intriguing positions to break down for the Eagles. On one hand, we have the safeties (which will be addressed later), which has been a turnstile since the departure of Brian Dawkins after the 2008 season. On the other hand, we have the cornerback position, which the Eagles have been blessed with talent since the days of Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor. But something interesting happened to the Birds when they broke free of drafting corners and entered the free agent market: they swung and missed. Since the signing of Asante Samuel, the Eagles have attempted to replicate a strong defensive backfield, but have failed. They traded for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and signed Nnamdi Asomugha, both were colossal failures. The Eagles attempted to rectify that mistake by letting both cornerbacks leave after the 2012 season and revamp the position. With that, enter Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams. Fletcher came over from St. Louis, where he had dropped down the depth chart to their dime position. The former third round pick inked a two-year deal with the Eagles in the off-season and was immediately named starter. Fletcher was strong in his first season in Philadelphia, finishing with 62 tackles, which was good for fourth on the team. The former Iowa Hawkeye also broke up 15 passes and intercepted two balls, all while missing three games. Fletcher’s running mate was another free agent signee who the Eagles brought in on a three-year contract. Cary Williams had just helped lead the Baltimore Ravens to a Super Bowl, and was now an Eagle. Williams was inconsistent in his first year with the Birds. He showed the ability to be a top-flight cornerback, but in the same breathe, would get burned by being too physical or having mental lapses. The former undrafted player would finish the year with 11 passes defensed, three interceptions, and a sack. The most important thing that Williams brought to Philadelphia was not his talent, but rather a swagger that the defense had sorely missed in previous years. Swagger is what incumbent slot corner Brandon Boykin lacked after a trying rookie season. The former Georgia Bulldog came from a winning college program to a toxic locker room in the NFL. With new leaders abound, Boykin was able to excel. Playing in just 51 percent of the snaps, the former fourth-round pick was second in the NFL in interceptions with six and tied for tenth in the league in passes defensed with 17. Boykin also did not shy away from contact as he also forced two fumbles. Behind Fletcher, Williams, and Boykin sits an unsettled position. Despite the positives that Fletcher and Williams showed, both had a tendency to get beat while being overly physical. Because of that, cornerback is a position that the Birds could address in the upcoming NFL draft. Furthermore, Williams, who signed a three year-17 million dollar deal with the Eagles, could be asked to take a pay cut or be cut, depending on how the Birds feel he fits into their defensive scheme. If the Eagles choose to address their lack of depth at the cornerback position through free agency, there will be both talent and youth available. Below is a list of cornerbacks the Eagles could be interested in if they are looking for a “shut down” corner. 1. Alterraun Verner. If there is one player who has been underrated for his career, it is Verner. The former fourth-round pick has been a lockdown, shut down corner since stepping foot on the field. He is a short, physical cornerback similar to what the Eagles already have in Bradley Fletcher. In 2013, Verner totaled 57 tackles, five interceptions and one touchdown. The former UCLA Bruin also defensed 23 passes, which tied for the league lead.  2. Walter Thurmond III. Thurmond has battled injury and suspension problems throughout his career, but was able to step in last year for the Seahawks on their road to the Super Bowl. The California native is a former Oregon Duck who could draw great interest from his former coach Chip Kelly. The former nickel cornerback will be looking for a starting job as well as a starting paycheck. 3. Sam Shields. The former Miami Hurricane has battled injuries throughout his career, missing 11 games in four seasons, but when he plays, Shields has shown the ability to be a top-flight cornerback. The Green Bay defensive back will be looking to break the bank, as he registered four inceptions and 17 passes defensed in 14 games. Keep an eye on: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Just kidding. Hal Greenblatt covers the Eagles for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter: @HMGreenblatt
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Metta World Peace expresses interest to coach St John's

Knicks want Marc Gasol, do they know what they’re asking for?

New York Rangers are the first team to clinch a playoff spot

Victorino: I plan on playing every day for Red Sox in 2015

The Rams are still planning on drafting a quarterback


Howard willing to make 'ultimate sacrifice' to help Rockets

Pacquiao bought P. Diddy’s house for $12.5M, fight tickets

The Seahawks are already winning the NFL Draft

Fiancée takes stand at Aaron Hernandez's murder trial

Thunder announce Kevin Durant to miss rest of season

Jeremy Maclin says he still believes in Chip Kelly

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Dominique Wilkins in HORSE

Angels remove Josh Hamilton banner from front of stadium

Elite Eight preview: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

Support for relocation growing among NFL powers

Mother says special needs son forced to remove varsity letter

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Minnesota Timberwolves: Should they tank?

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

Twins to offer $19 Bloody Mary with pizza slice garnish

Ranking the NBA's hottest coaching seats

The beginning of the end for Notre Dame

An identity in flux: Harden and the collective consciousness

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

James Harden and the collective consciousness

Hottest coaching seats in NBA

Under-the-radar NL MVP candidates

Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight

The last Expo standing

Five under-the-radar AL MVP candidates

Michigan sent recruit's GF a letter

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.