After re-signing James Bradberry and restructuring Darius Slay, the Eagles added another cornerback Thursday night, and like Slay and Bradberry, this one is also a former second-round pick.
According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Eagles signed 25-year-old outside cornerback Greedy Williams. No terms or length of contract are available yet.
Williams played high school football at Calvary Baptist in Shreveport, Lousiana, the high school Doug Pederson coached at several years earlier before embarking on an NFL coaching career.
He led the SEC with six interceptions as a freshman at LSU in 2017, becoming only the second LSU freshman in the last 35 years to earn All-SEC First Team honors. The first was punter Brad Wing in 2011, two years before he was in training camp with the Eagles. He added two INTs in 2018.
The Browns made Williams the 46th pick taken in the 2019 draft, seven picks before the Eagles took Miles Sanders. He was the seventh cornerback taken overall.
Williams – whose given first name is Andraez – started 21 games in four years with the Browns. He started 12 games as a rookie but missed the entire 2020 season after suffering a nerve injury in his shoulder during training camp. He had his first two interceptions in 2021 – off Kirk Cousins and Derek Carr.
But after playing 680 and 590 defensive snaps in 2019 and 2021 and starting 20 games, he played only 105 snaps this past season and started just one game. According to Stathead, opposing quarterbacks targetting him this year were 9-for-10 for 163 yards and two touchdowns – a perfect 158.3 passer rating.
Of his 1,375 career defensive snaps, only 45 were in the slot, including just 10 since his rookie year.
Although the Eagles did bring back Bradberry and Slay, they don’t have a lot of young corners on the roster. Zech McPhearson, a 24-year-old fourth-round pick in 2021, has played 278 defensive snaps in two years, and Josh Jobe, who spent the year on the 53-man roster as an undrafted rookie, played 12 defensive snaps (and 220 on special teams). Josiah Scott is 23, but he’s a slot corner.
In Williams, the Eagles get a cornerback who was very highly regarded coming out of LSU, has starting experience, is only 25 and comes with presumably a very low price tag, since that’s all Howie Roseman can afford at this point.
Williams was the cornerback covering A.J. Brown in Eagles-Browns joint practices this past summer in Berea, Ohio, when Brown made a spectacular highlight-reel catch in the end zone on a Jalen Hurts lob.
Later, after another catch against Williams, with Williams laying on the ground, Brown stood over Williams and glared at him.
Now they’re teammates and they’ll both be facing the Browns in another round of joint practices this August.
The Eagles have brought back a number of their own defensive free agents – Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Bradberry and Slay – but Williams is the first defensive player from another team they’ve signed since the onset of free agency on Monday. The only other outside player they’ve signed is running back Rashaad Penny.
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