Eric Rowe’s Success With Patriots Evokes Eagles’ Regret About Trading Him

Eric Rowe could be the proverbial “one that got away” from the Philadelphia Eagles.

As the New England Patriots cornerback prepares for Super Bowl LI, his former team regrets trading him in September for a fourth-round draft pick in 2018. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman offered a lengthy explanation for trading Rowe on Monday during his appearance on 94 WIP’s “Morning Show.” Note Roseman’s use of the word “process” and try not to chuckle.

“I think it’s good to just go back to the process,” Roseman said, according to CSN Philly’s Reuben Frank. “What we were thinking about was where he was on our depth chart. At that time the starting three guys were Nolan (Carroll), Leodis (McKelvin), Ron Brooks. Jalen Mills at that point in camp had beat him out, so he was the fourth guy, and then when we spoke with our coaches, they said that Malcolm (Jenkins) would be the next guy in the slot. So for where we were and what his role was at the time, we thought it was pretty good value.

“For them to give up that kind of pick — a fourth that could be a third — we knew they had a role for him. We knew that there was going to be an opportunity, and we’ve got to do what we think is best for us.”

Rowe eventually became a key contributor to the Patriots’ success this season, performing well enough to earn “Best In-Season Addition” honors from Patriots analysts Doug Kyed and Zach Cox.

No one prompted Roseman’s insights on the show. He simply wanted to clarify what he told reporters on Jan. 4 about sending the cornerback to New England.

“When we sat down and discussed the offer, we really started thinking about the likelihood that we had to sign him to an extension,” Roseman said earlier this month. “We want to build this team with some continuity. We felt at that time that we were not going to sign him to an extension and to be able to get that value for him and possibly add someone who would be here for a longer period of time made sense for where we were.

The Eagles’ calculation on Rowe became the Patriots’ gain. If he makes a big play in the Super Bowl and helps the Patriots defeat the Atlanta Falcons, spare a thought for Roseman and hope he doesn’t lose any sleep over unwittingly trading a diamond for something he thought could help his team.

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images

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