Several followers of the team will certainly be scared to throw big money at a free-agent cornerback after the Nnamdi Asomugha debacle, but that can't hold them back from acting now. The two players are different talents, and the Eagles have a new defensive scheme and overall culture. The impact that he made on the Patriots in 2014 is further proof that you can afford to pay up for a cornerback if his name is Darrelle Revis.
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After experiencing a Super Bowl victory with the Patriots, it seems unlikely that Revis would opt to go back to a team that's in a rebuilding period. At the same time, it seems unlikely that the Eagles are looking to rebuild. With Nick Foles as the starter, the Eagles have a winning record with several key victories under their belt. They are one of few teams with extra salary-cap space that can lay claim to being the closest to contention. While a similar argument can be made for Ndamukong Suh helping the team 'win now,' Suh is simply not a great schematic fit in Billy Davis' 3-4 defensive scheme.
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As we've now learned several times over, team culture is a huge point of emphasis for Chip Kelly. By all accounts throughout his entire career, Revis brings a winning mentality to every practice and game. He is known for being one of the hardest workers at his craft, and he's never been someone who gets away on his athleticsm alone.
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In Billy Davis' defensive scheme, the cornerbacks are often put on an island and asked to defend wide receivers one-on-one without help over the top and underneath. Revis has no trouble defending on an island. In fact, he has done this so well throughout his career that he earned the title 'Revis Island.' His lockdown man coverage on the outside will allow Davis to find creative ways to use his other 10 defenders.
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Position of need
Even after Mark Sanchez took over, the Eagles moved the ball on offense. Chip Kelly's system generated yardage, although at times they left points on the board. What the Eagles couldn't manage to do was limit the big plays in the passing game. Their late-season loss to the Cowboys was highlighted by a real roasting of cornerbacks Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams. Now that Williams has been released, the Eagles are in the market for a No. 1 outside cornerback. Earlier in the offseason I ranked cornerback as their top need, and Williams' release only further accentuates this weakness.
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In a series of releases and a trade, the Eagles cleared more than $20 million in salary-cap space this past week. According to Over The Cap, the Eagles now have just over $40 million in cap space to work with. Only six teams currently have more cap space, and the Colts are the only one of them that can lay claim to being a potential Super Bowl contender in 2015.