Dec 21, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell (41) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Seahawks defeated the Cardinals 35-6. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Wait a second, didn’t the Eagles sign Maxwell to a 6-year, $63 million contract this offseason? How could a player being paid so much have a breakout season? Well, it’s quite simple. Many believe the Eagles overpaid for Maxwell’s services given their need for a big-time player at the position. He’s been labeled as a “#2 cornerback” that was hidden in a ridiculously talented secondary in Seattle.
Despite putting up impressive statistics, according to Pro Football Focus, many still doubt Maxwell has what it takes to be a team’s top cornerback. Which is exactly why I believe he’ll have a breakout season for the Eagles in 2015. There’s no shortage of confidence in Maxwell’s game, which was evident by his recent quote guaranteeing the Eagles would make it to Super Bowl 50.
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That type of confidence is incredibly important to succeed in the NFL, especially at cornerback. Although money likely had a whole lot to do with it, Maxwell chose to come to Philadelphia and be the team’s top cornerback. He knew that he was taking on the challenge of going against some of the league’s best wide receivers six times a year in Dez Bryant, Odell Beckham Jr. and DeSean Jackson. That is a major challenge and Maxwell’s willingness to accept that challenge shows just how confident he is in his abilities.
After being an embarrassment the past few seasons, the Eagles’ secondary could take a major step forward in 2015 and it all starts with Maxwell. Defensive coordinator Bill Davis even hinted at the idea of Maxwell “shadowing” the opposing team’s top wide receiver no matter where they lined up. That’s something Darrelle Revis, the best cornerback in the NFL, is known and praised for.
If Maxwell can shadow the best player on the field for an entire game and continue to play at a high level as he did in Seattle, he’ll certainly receive the respect he deserves. Especially doing so in the NFC East would be special given the talent at wide receiver in the division that I mentioned above. Either way, Maxwell has set the table to either make a fool of himself or have a breakout season in 2015, I’d put my money on him doing the latter.
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