Corey Clement’s Window of Opportunity
With LeSean “Shady” McCoy signing in Tampa Bay with the Buccaneers, I think it’s about time we take a more in depth look at Corey Clement and what he has to offer. The 25 year old running back actually has a very interesting opportunity in front of him to not only prove he belongs but to also fight for that RB2 spot.
Clement is a short, stout player (5ft 10in, around 220lbs.) but runs hard and is reliable in the receiving game. In college representing the Wisconsin Badgers he played 42 games in 4 years, rushing for 5.4 yards per carry with 3,092 yards on 576 carries for 36 Touchdowns, receiving for 279 yards on 29 receptions for 2 more touchdowns. Not bad considering he was backing up the likes of James White and Melvin Gordon up until his Junior season.
Going undrafted, he signed as a free agent with Philadelphia in 2017. After having a decent rookie year playing all 16 regular season games for the Eagles (Rushing for 321 yards on 74 touches and receiving 123 yards on 10 receptions for a combined 6 touchdowns.) Clement blew up in the Super Bowl. Not only receiving for 100 yards on 4 catches and a touchdown, but also assisting in the play of the game, the “Philly Special” ultimately helping the Eagles beat the Patriots by a score of 41-33 to win their first ever Lombardi trophy.
Clement has spent the better part of the past two years struggling with knee and shoulder issues, ending both seasons on the I.R. and missing a total of 17 regular season games since the beginning of the 2018 season (5 games in 2018 and 12 in 2019.). However he did still manage 3.8 yards per attempt and caught 22 passes in 2018. In 2019 the same couldn’t be said though, only really contributing to special teams in his 4 games before going down. Ironically, his stint on the I.R in 2019 is was what made room for the Eagles to sign current RB2 Boston Scott off of their practice squad. While being interviewed by Eagles insider Dave Spadaro in early May (Interview below.), Clement was asked about said injuries and had stated that “You really can’t feel sorry for yourself – I’ve dealt with injuries but I know how to overcome them- this gives me another time to reflect on how can I propel myself better into the next year.”. The injuries definitely leave a question mark and that’s fair but it seems as if #30 is healthy and ready to go for the 2020 season with a chip on his shoulder.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) May 8, 2020
This off-season the Eagles didn’t offer the undrafted running back a tender as a restricted free agent because they didn’t want to pay the salary associated with that. Instead, they brought him back on a veteran minimum deal worth $825,000. He said he took it a little personally but he wasn’t interested in signing anywhere else, Philly is the only place he wanted to play. He also said that it could be used as “motivation”. We have already seen glimpses of that motivation through training videos posted on social media, some with fellow Eagle running back Miles Sanders.
Even a parachute can't slow Corey Clement down ? @Eagles
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) June 25, 2020
Coming in on a “Prove it” deal, look out for Corey Clement to make an impact this season. His hard running and receiving skills definitely won’t go unnoticed especially with Carson Wentz as his QB and with all this time off I can only imagine he’s had his head buried in the playbooks and is ready to go. With Clement now being the oldest in that RB room, I also look for him to be more of a leader, he knows what it takes to be an Eagle and I feel after almost not being brought back hes going to use this opportunity to prove he belongs.
Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports