Rating the Rumor: CB Joe Haden not a great fit for Eagles

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Rating the Rumor: CB Joe Haden not a great fit for Eagles

Cornerback is officially the new wide receiver for the Eagles. If there is a high-profile cornerback available, somewhere an Eagles fan thinks the team should go get him.

That might be the best explanation for why somebody would want the Eagles to sign free-agent cornerback Joe Haden, who was released by the Browns on Wednesday. According to Jason La Canfora‏, Haden is considering one-year contracts as well as multi-year offers and is expected to make his decision within the next 24 hours. Per La Canfora, the Eagles are in the mix.

The Eagles already addressed the corner position with a trade this month, acquiring Ronald Darby from the Bills for Jordan Matthews and a third-round draft pick. Say what you want about Darby, but that was a major investment, as were second- and third-round choices spent on Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas in April. Jalen Mills is playing well, and Patrick Robinson, Dexter McDougle, C.J. Smith and Aaron Grymes are all still in the mix as well.

How many cornerbacks do the Eagles need?

But this is Joe Haden! Yeah, so about that …

At one point, Haden was arguably one of the top five corners in the NFL, earning back-to-back Pro Bowl invitations in 2013 and ’14. The former seventh-overall selection in the draft recorded 87 pass breakups and 16 interceptions during his first five seasons in the league. He was very good, probably elite.

Haden has not been the same player since. The 28-year-old always had issues with nagging injuries, but he missed 14 games over the past two seasons – nearly a full schedule’s worth. Not coincidentally, a severe concussion and groin injuries have corresponded with a massive drop-off in performance. Haden ranked tied for 53rd (with Mills) among corners with a 97.7 opponents’ passer rating in coverage in 2016, according to Pro Football Focus, and 76th in adjusted yards per pass, according to Football Outsiders Almanac.

Whether it's injuries, Haden is disinterested after years of losing in Cleveland, or both, this clearly is not the mark of a shutdown corner. That being said, is he young enough to turn his career around?

It’s a fair question, but here’s one reason the Eagles probably won't be willing to find out: Money.

Prior to his release, Haden was set to earn over $11 million in 2017. He won't be seeing that kind of cash now, but it's not like he's going somewhere to play for the league minimum, either. Haden will command a hefty sum.

This isn’t a matter of the organization being cheap. This is a matter of whether the Eagles, who have already invested so many draft choices at corner, should pay Haden multi millions of dollars when he hasn’t been healthy or good in over two years.

Even if such a decision is justified, it seems completely unnecessary. Haden isn’t guaranteed to be an upgrade over Darby or Mills. Haden's presence on the roster might not be necessary by the end of this season, once Jones is recovered from a torn Achilles and Douglas is more comfortable with the speed of the game.

A desperate team, perhaps a championship contender, will give Haden a shot. The Eagles are not desperate at corner anymore, nor is ’17 Super Bowl or bust.

Haden could very well become a good player again in the right situation. He's also closing in on his 30th birthday and will be after some serious coin. With so much young talent on the roster already, it's hard not to think the Eagles might be better off rolling over their remaining cap space into next season.

Granted, a play for Haden makes more sense now than it did earlier this week when the Browns were trying to move him in a trade – that was a total non-starter. Now that he's a free agent, it's worth a conversation at least, though this rumor is not going much further than that.

Rating the Rumor: The Eagles are preparing for September 10

Kevin Hart finally gets his Lombardi Trophy

NBC Sports Philadelphia

Kevin Hart finally gets his Lombardi Trophy

Kevin Hart finally has his Lombardi Trophy.

Hart, a comedian and a native of Philadelphia, had a few too many adult beverages during Super Bowl LII and attempted to get to the stage for the presentation of the trophy. He was unsurprisingly denied.

But Hart refused to accept "no" for an answer.

The lesson here is, if you're big enough of a celebrity to get on the field after your hometown team wins the Super Bowl, you probably have enough coin to just buy your own trophy instead of trying to drunkenly crash the trophy presentation.

On his birthday, Embiid delivers present to fans

On his birthday, Embiid delivers present to fans

Most Sixers fans probably could've predicted the 2-0 result of the Sixers' back-to-back swing against the Knicks and the Nets, but the expenditure of energy it'd take to get there was hard to see coming. One night after needing a fourth-quarter comeback to escape from New York, the Sixers went even further down to the wire against Brooklyn at home, needing a huge final-minute three from Robert Covington and some savvy playing of the foul game from T.J. McConnell to squeak out the 120-116 win.

Both one of the biggest reasons the Nets were able to hang around and one of the biggest reasons the Sixers won anyway was the birthday boy himself, Joel Embiid. JoJo turned 24 yesterday, and he matched that with a 24-point performance -- though he needed 23 shots to get there, only hitting a Kobe-like six of them. But The Process was eminently trustworthy elsewhere in the box score: a career-high 19 boards, four assists (with only one turnover), and most importantly, an immaculate 11-11 from the foul line, where he'd been struggling recently (just 63% from the stripe this month previously). It was about as dominant a performance as our big guy could submit while being an absolute mess from the field.

And he was matched along the way by Ben Simmons. The Fresh Prince didn't notch his third consecutive triple-double, sadly, but he came damn close with his 21-8-12 line -- to go with three big steals and just two turnovers -- his highest-scoring night since he hung 32 on the Bulls in February. We've said it before, but having a superstar to carry your team when they're struggling is the ultimate luxury; having two feels downright immodest. (Simmons since All Stars were announced in late January, btw: 16-8-9 on 58% shooting and under three turnovers, with four triple-doubles and double-digit scoring in 25 out of 25 games.)

So the Sixers move to 38-30, two games up on Milwaukee in the seventh seed, half a game behind Washington at five, a full game behind Cleveland at four, and 1.5 behind Indiana at three. While the Sixers have struggled some against top-level teams in the past month -- going 1-5 in their last six games against playoff-bound opponents -- they've kept pace in the East by taking care of business against the sub-.500 teams, winning their last eight against losing squads, dating back to them taking an L against these Nets in Brooklyn at the end of January. Now they get a couple hard-earned days off before two more home games against lottery-bound squads in Charlotte and Memphis. Trust -- and celebrate -- The Process.