Earlier this month, de facto Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman explained his decision to trade CB Eric Rowe to the New England Patriots after his rookie season.
“We felt at that time that we weren't going to sign him to an extension,” Roseman said, “and to get that value for him, and to possibly add somebody that would be here for a longer period of time made sense for where we were."
Roseman felt that he didn’t explain himself well during that response, so he came back with a clarification this week, per CSN Philly.
“I think it’s good to just go back to the process,” Roseman said. “So it’s the first week of the season and we get this offer and it’s the Patriots and we’re not sitting there thinking, ‘We’re getting one over on Bill Belichick,’ maybe the best evaluator of defensive backs in the history of the NFL.”
While some might dispute giving Belichick that lofty title for his questionable evaluation of defensive backs in the draft, it’s clear that Rowe has been working out for New England.
Roseman explained that Rowe was the sixth player on their depth chart at the time of the trade and that the coaches would have moved free safety Malcolm Jenkins back to cornerback before playing Rowe.
“For them to give up that kind of pick — a fourth that could be a third — we knew they had a role for him,” Roseman said about the Patriots. “We knew that there was going to be an opportunity, and we’ve got to do what we think is best for us.”
While the Eagles couldn’t find a place for Rowe on their defense, the cornerback has become third on the depth chart and often matches up against the taller receivers. He will likely be asked to cover a mix of Mohamed Sanu and Julio Jones in the Super Bowl.
The Eagles will receive a 2018 3rd round pick if Rowe plays 50% of the snaps in 2017, or else they will receive a 2018 4th round pick.
Rowe isn’t the only former Eagle starring for the Patriots in Super Bowl LI. SS Patrick Chung (2013 Eagles), RB Dion Lewis (2011-12 Eagles), and WR Danny Amendola (2009 Eagles camp) are all playing key roles for the Patriots in their quest for a fifth Super Bowl title.
“We probably make 50 decisions a year that are really real decisions that we sit down and make,” Roseman added. “To say that we don’t go back and think about them and think about whether they were right? That’s part of it, you know? You want to hit as many as you can, but when you’re watching games of other players that you’ve had here, that’s the hard part about doing it.”
It’s increasingly like that the Eagles will receive a 2018 3rd round pick as a result of the trade- but with Rowe’s contributions so far, that’s a trade the Patriots would make over and over again.