The Eagles secondary arguably cost the team several games down the stretch in 2014, robbing them ultimately of a playoff spot.
When the season ended, fans surely were hoping Chip Kelly and the Birds would go in a different direction with their corners and safeties.
So when news broke Tuesday morning that Cary Williams had been cut, and that Williams “spoke with Chip and he told me they were going in a different direction,” it was the news Birds fans had been waiting for all offseason.
Williams continued on 97.5 the Fanatic, “That was fine with me. I’m not disappointed in anything that went on in Philadelphia. I enjoyed my time there. I enjoyed the fans, and I enjoyed my teammates.”
During his Eagles tenure, which included just two interceptions and none in 2013, he was a controversial and outspoken figure. He famously complained in the locker room after a game that the team was regularly worked too hard in practice. Perhaps Kelly was cutting Williams’ salary and his attitude at the same time.
Philly will gain $6.5 million in cap room with a $1.667 million hit in dead money as the highly paid cornerback departs. Many reports have Williams returning to the Ravens, where he won a Super Bowl in 2012, for the 2015 season.
His exit from Philly also leaves the team with just one starting secondary player left, safety Malcom Jenkins.
It is a complete overhaul, and one that suggests not only that Kelly gets it, but that he is looking to win now, not down the line.
The free agent market is top-heavy, with Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell the most alluring name for the Birds, who now have money to make him a generous and competitive offer. Devin McCourtyof the Patriots is another top name to keep an eye on.
But they still need a safety to replace Nate Allen, and a second cornerback to fill the role of Bradley Fletcher. Brandon Boykin, Nolan Carroll and Jaylen Watkins are now the only corners under contract and it should be interesting to see if they are able to compete for a starting gig.
The draft offers another respite for the Birds at corner, though the best secondary players are expected to go in the first half of the first round, and the Eagles still stand at No. 20.