Well, you know what they say: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Former Eagles’ cornerback Ronald Darby signed a one-year, $4 million contract with the division rival Washington Redskins on Sunday. It’s been long projected that Darby was headed on his way out the door–after a quality 2017 campaign, Darby struggled to be much more than a mediocre starter in his time in Philadelphia–but no one expected him to hop over to a division rival. Now, this should come as great news for Eagles’ fans, many of whom have been calling for his departure for a couple of seasons now, but today, let’s take a closer look at what this all means for both teams.
The Quick Scouting Report
Eagles’ fans have gotten to watch the atrocity that is Ronald Darby every week for the past two seasons. After a great start to his career in Buffalo and then an okay first season in Philly, things quickly went downhill. In Buffalo, Darby appeared to be one of the league’s best up and coming defensive backs. Then he came to Philadelphia, and at first, things seemed to be looking good for the young DB there, too. However, after the Super Bowl run, Darby became a match-up dream for all opposing offenses. He never appeared fast enough to run with the speed receivers, couldn’t jump with the big, jump-ball receivers, and couldn’t stick with the league’s elite route runners. What started as a promising career quickly turned into a tenure Eagles’ fans couldn’t wait to see end.
So What’s This Mean for Philly?
As most fans should know by now, Howie Roseman made some major moves in the defensive backfield this offseason. After starting slow and letting team leader Malcolm Jenkins walk, he kicked it into overdrive, resigning Rodney McLeod, trading for perennial Pro Bowler Darius Slay as well as Nickell Robey-Coleman, and signing Broncos’ safety Will Parks. These acquisitions have turned the loss of Darby into a non-factor, and, on paper, have improved the secondary tremendously. The bottom line is Darby’s time in Philly was coming to an end one way or another. Now, if he plays as poorly as he did during his last two seasons, the Redskins signing might end up benefiting the Eagle offense twice a year.
As for Washington…
Washington lost perhaps their best corner this offseason in Quinton Dunbar. Now maybe they’ll draft his replacement come late-April, but as of now, it appears that they’ll be rolling with Darby. Perhaps they think with coaching they’ll be able to bring him back to his 2016 form. However, I can’t see it happening. What Philadelphia got was a corner who was sub-mediocre in just about every primary skill that comes with playing corner. He got burnt week-in and week-out. Just watch his film against the Miami Dolphins last season–it was truly a spectacle. I won’t announce a verdict just yet, because maybe there’s more to be seen from Darby in the future. Still, after watching him play in my team’s uniform for three seasons, I think it’s pretty safe to say there won’t be any significant transformations from him in Washington.
Overall, Times are Looking Bleak for Darby
Darby’s time in the NFL may be running out if he doesn’t turn things around with Washington. And why should anyone expect him to? At times, he looked more like a used cigarette than an NFL corner. That is to say… burnt. When you’re greatest highlight during your tenure with a team is a halfhearted block during a pick-six, that’s not exactly saying much. Darby became a guy that, every time a pass was thrown his way, I’d close my eyes and pray nothing terrible happened. For Redskins’ fans, I predict them reacting the same way next season. However, only time may tell. The truth is no one knows if Darby was held back by Philly or if the opposite was true. However, he’ll get his chance to prove himself in a different environment next year. Then we’ll get to see how good that trash Washington dug up is, which luckily for Philly, they get to see twice.