I just came across this photo of Howie Roseman walking out of the NovaCare Complex after trading a 29-year old, five million dollar wide receiver for a 23-year-old, $850,000 cornerback:
The Birds are reportedly sending Torrey Smith to Carolina for Daryl Worley, clearing more than four million dollars of salary in the process, something they can benefit from as soon as the new league calendar begins on March 14th. They do not, however, get the pre-date, instant savings because Smith was traded instead of cut.
On the flip side, Michael Bennett’s added salary doesn’t factor in until after March 14th, so while that’s a boon, Howie still has to trim about $9 million over the next few days.
Make sense? It’s a dumb rule.
When this trade goes through, the Eagles will have these guys on the CB depth chart:
- Jalen Mills – 23 years old
- Ronald Darby – 24 years old
- Rasul Douglas – 23 years old
- Sidney Jones – 21 years old
- Daryl Worley – 23 years old
People seem to think Darby might be on the block now, but I’m not so sure. He only costs you about one million dollars going into the last year of his rookie deal, plus the Eagles carried six corners last season, which is those first four guys plus Jaylen Watkins and Patrick Robinson. Watkins is a restricted free agent who will not be tendered.
Robinson is an unrestricted free agent, so the Birds will need someone in the slot next season if he goes, and Worley did play a bit of that in Carolina but was primarily, predominantly used as the #2 CB, playing on the right opposite of James Bradberry. Captain Munnerlyn I’m pretty sure was the main slot guy down there, though I seem to recall that Worley played a bit of slot for the Panthers against the Eagles in October.
He was definitely in the slot when Zach Ertz beat him for this touchdown:
— Bovada Official (@BovadaLV) October 13, 2017
Bit of a push? Maybe. Not like Carolina didn’t get the better of the officiating in that game…
Worley is 6’1″, 198 pounds, so he’s somewhere between a corner and safety in size. Going back to his college days (he played at WVU with Rasul Douglas), he was sort of a ‘tweener’ in a 3-3-5 stack defense, which was tweaked to combat Big 12 passing attacks. The design uses a spur safety to flex between different sub packages and disguise blitzes:
I always wondered if that transition from a gimmicky college defense to a traditional NFL defense was difficult for guys like Worley, Douglas, and Karl Joseph, who plays for the Raiders. Rasul had some good plays and some bad plays this season, but didn’t look out of place as a rookie on a great defense.
Worley, the most penalized player on the Carolina defense, seems to get mixed reviews from Panther fans. Some think he improved as the season progressed and some think he was awful:
So tired of hearing commentators every week say how improved Daryl Worley is from last year. Nah! That man is still garbage!
— Glenn Lewis (@FirstandGlenn) November 27, 2017
Worley wasn’t particularly ass. He didn’t play smart a lot, but he wasn’t ass. Good tackler, good at playing ball. Had a little down year just like Bradberry.
— KILLMONGER Goddy ✊🏾 (@g_goddy) March 9, 2018
Being not “particularly ass” is the biggest compliment a man can receive.
Worley started 14 games last year with two interceptions and 10 passes defended, playing alongside safeties Kurt Coleman and Mike Adams. The Panthers had a good defensive front but weren’t exactly the ’85 Bears in totality, ranking 18th in passing defense and giving up 25 touchdowns to finish 22nd out of 32 teams.
Pro Football Focus grades Worley with a 58.9, ranking him as the league’s 89th best corner and in the bottom half of the barrel. That’s not great, but I don’t have access to the advanced data they used to make their determinations.
Let’s take a look at the Eagles game film, where he was matched up against… Torrey Smith! Smith finished with one catch for six yards, which took place on the second play of the game. It isn’t even worth showing.
Really the only action outside of that Ertz touchdown was this 16-yard reception he allowed to Marcus Johnson:
Technique looks fine, and he keeps Johnson in front of him, but that’s a nice design by the Eagles to roll Carson Wentz out of the pocket and escape the rush.
In the playoff game, Worley game up a handful of catches, which most corners are going to do playing New Orleans on the road. Drew Brees went for 376 yards and 2 touchdowns, though Worley wasn’t beat on either of those scores.
This was his one and only pass breakup:
By my count, he was targeted five times, allowing two catches for 36 yards, committing two holding penalties, and then breaking up the pass you saw above.
Worley isn’t the fastest guy out there, but he does a nice job of closing the gap and tackles pretty well:
That’s better than what Asante Samuel gave you in that department. The Eagles corners actually tackled really well this year before hitting that little slump at the end of the regular season.
Some good, some bad, and a bunch of this, which I mentioned above:
That’s second year, third round kind of stuff. It’s a mixed bag, but the penalties were a killer.
That’s a brief look at some of the things he does well and doesn’t do well. Worley is entering his third season, still only 23 years old with upside and a good chunk of experience under his belt. He’ll look better on a Jim Schwartz defense that features Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, and the NFL’s best line.
By the way, this trade adds a fifth Mountaineer to the Eagles roster, with Worley joining Douglas, Wendell Smallwood, Najee Goode, and Shelton Gibson. They’re mostly peripheral guys, but it’s nice to see, since most of our boys flame out in the NFL.
I’m looking at you, Geno Smith.