Over the weekend, Howie Roseman signed veteran nickel corner Orlando Scandrick to a one-year deal. The move was in response to Cre’Von LeBlanc’s foot injury he sustained during the first week of camp.
On the surface, this may seem like a move to just help mitigate the loss of LeBlanc and the other injured corners, but Scandrick wouldn’t have come here if he didn’t believe he had a shot to start. The current cornerback group has a ton of potential, but with the amount of youth and inexperience at the position, bringing in a guy like Scandrick — someone who has a proven track record of stellar play — is a solid move by Howie.
The 32-year-old defensive back has made 76 total starts during his career, making him the most experienced corner on the roster by a landslide — no other CB has over 46 starts. And while some fans a pundits argue that Scandrick is a washed up commodity at this point in his career, his stats say otherwise.
Last season, QBs had a 80.6 passer rating when targeting Scandrick and he finished third among corners with 12 pass deflections.
With Cre’Von LeBlanc, Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills all out with injury with no clear timetable for return, it’s not far fetched to think Scandrick has a real shot to be the starting nickel come week 1.
Jim Schwartz has been playing Avonte Maddox and Rasul Douglas as the starting outside corners through camp thus far. When he inserts the nickel package, Sidney Jones comes in to play on the outside while Maddox shifts inside to the nickel. Maddox showcased his versatility last season as a rookie, and it seems like the coaching staff is already using his adaptability to their advantage this year.
At the very least, Scandrick could help Maddox develop into a solid nickel corner with his knowledge and experience.
It’ll be interesting to see what Scandrick’s role becomes once the season gets underway. This could end up being a pivotal signing for this team, only time will tell.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens as we continue to approach the regular season.