July 15, 2024

Eagles’ A.J. Brown believes former suspended defender will have ‘special year’

The Eagles rebuilt their secondary this offseason after allowing the league’s second-most passing yards per game (252.7) in 2023.

Among those highlighting Philadelphia’s new-look group are rookie cornerbacks Quinyon Mitchell and Cooper DeJean. However, someone else has caught the early attention of three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Brown: Cornerback Isaiah Rodgers.

“For a guy that has not played football for a year, coming back, he looks like he has been playing nonstop,” Brown said, via Tim McManus of ESPN. “He’s flying around, and he’s going to do special stuff for us this year.”

Rodgers, a sixth-round pick by the Colts in 2020, was suspended for the entire 2023 season for violating the league’s gambling policy. 

The Eagles signed Rodgers shortly after Indianapolis cut him, knowing he couldn’t play because they liked his potential. It may be a very smart move, as Brown would have never guessed that Rodgers hadn’t played football in a year.

Rodgers was reinstated by the NFL in April and has reportedly received work at the outside corner with the first-team defense, splitting time with second-year CB Kelee Ringo.

The only player who seems to be a lock on the outside is veteran cornerback Darius Slay, so who will play opposite him is still up for grabs. Rodgers, Ringo and Mitchell will all have a chance to win the job, and it looks like Rodgers has the early lead.

That would be quite the comeback for the 26-year-old following a suspension that could have derailed his NFL career.

Rodgers registered 90 tackles; one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, three interceptions and 10 passes defensed during his three years with the Colts, in which he was mostly a backup.