Maryland Football: Nolan Carroll could be back with the Eagles

Cornerback Nolan Carroll is about to hit free agency.

However, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if Carroll is back with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The former Maryland defensive back is coming off a season in which he registered 41 tackles and defended 10 passes in 11 starts for the Eagles. Carroll also recorded two interceptions, one of which he took back for a 17-yard touchdown against the New York Giants on Oct. 19.

Carroll’s season was cut short due to a broken ankle, which he suffered against the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day. Shortly after the injury, he underwent successful surgery to repair the fracture.

The 2015 season was Carroll’s second campaign with Philadelphia, but was the first one where he was a weekly starter for the team. He had started 26 games during his four previous seasons with the Miami Dolphins.

In 2015, Carroll started opposite former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell, who ironically was traded along with linebacker Kiko Alonso to the Dolphins on Monday.

Despite playing opposite an uninspiring counterpart and on a team that was a sinking ship under coach Chip Kelly, Carroll did a remarkable job at his position through the season.

Carroll is one of those players that may not have that “wow” factor, but rarely gets burnt by opposing wide receivers either. He is hardly ever caught out of position even if opposing quarterbacks throw out a pump fake to throw him off balance.

Carroll oftentimes drew the assignment of covering the opposing team’s number-two wideout. In 2015, he was covering guys like Brandin Cooks (New Orleans Saints), Ted Ginn (Carolina Panthers), Roddy White (Atlanta Falcons), and Terrance Williams (Dallas Cowboys).

With Maxwell on his way out the door, it makes a lot of sense for the Eagles to have significant interest if re-signing Carroll.

Philadelphia will likely start former Utah defensive back Eric Rowe at one of the cornerback spots. Janoris Jenkins and Sean Smith are two of the top corners available on the open market, but unless new coach Doug Pederson wants a reunion with Smith, a more cost-conscious signing would make sense.

Carroll is going to be a very productive cornerback that won’t put your safeties in a lot of bad situations. He’s extremely consistent and saw a large amount of success as a regular with the Eagles this past season.

While it is a business and he will have to weigh his options, the best situation for Carroll may be in Philadelphia.