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Why Eagles wanted cornerback Tay Gowan in Zach Ertz trade with Cardinals


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Why Eagles wanted cornerback Tay Gowan in Zach Ertz trade with Cardinals


Updated: Oct. 16, 2021, 8:00 a.m. | Published: Oct. 16, 2021, 8:00 a.m.
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman went to tight end Zach Ertz Tuesday to discuss something with the longtime member of the organization. Roseman knew the time was coming close to grant Ertz his request to be traded, something that Ertz had requested this offseason.
After the two had a couple of conversations, Roseman officially pulled the trigger Friday, trading him to the Arizona Cardinals. As part of the deal, the Cardinals sent cornerback Tay Gowan and a 2022 fifth-round draft pick to Philadelphia in exchange for Ertz.
Gowan is not a stranger to the Eagles. After running a 4.49 during his pro day workout at the University of Central Florida, something that comes into use when going against fast receivers and closing the coverage gap if he gets beat.
On Friday, Roseman said the team was high on Gowan coming out of college, spending a lot of time with him during the draft process, and seriously considering taking him as a Day 3 selection. Roseman said Gowan gives the team another young cornerback to add to the secondary.
"He’s a guy we spent a lot of time with in the draft process,” Roseman said. "He was somebody that we would have considered with our sixth-round pick. He was in a group of names. He went right before we picked, and he’s a long corner. He’s got tremendous speed.”
Gowan has not played in any games this season, with the Cardinals deactivating him in the first five games of the season.
The move is more beneficial for the Eagles in the next couple of seasons. The Eagles are facing the possibility of having both Steve Nelson and Avonte Maddox head into free agency next offseason. Gowan gives the Eagles an insurance policy if both Nelson and Maddox leave.
The move also follows a pattern of what the Eagles have tried to do to bolster their secondary. The Eagles used a fourth-round pick in this year’s draft to select cornerback Zech McPherson. McPherson has been relegated mainly to special teams in his rookie season, but the team said it is very high on him and hopes he can develop into a cornerback who can contribute to the defense.
The Eagles also claimed cornerback Mac McCain off of waivers from the Denver Broncos. Just like Gowan, McCain has not been active for a game this season.
The Eagles figure to use one of their 10 draft picks to get younger in the secondary. Having Gowan come in and learn Jonathan Gannon’s defensive system gives him an early start for next season. Gowan can also learn the organization’s culture and get acclimated to the city.
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