Philadelphia Eagles: Whatever happened to Daryl Worley?

(Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)
(Photo by James Chance/Getty Images) /

After a comically short tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles, whatever happened to ex-cornerback, and Philly native, Daryl Worley?

Upon finding out about the retirement of Torrey Smith, I naturally took a look back at his abbreviated tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles to reminisce about one of the true building blocks of the team’s current dynasty.

The catches, the drops, the mountains of praise for Nelson Agholor, and the dog shows (more on that here); Smith’s single-season in Philly was Jason Babin-level memorable – and unlike Babin, fans in the 215 should actually, ya know, like Smith for years to come.

But do you remember who the Eagles traded Smith to the Carolina Pathers for in March of 2018?

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That would be cornerback, and Philadelphia native, Daryl Worley.

Who? Exactly.

A third-round pick out of West Virginia – and one time teammate of both Rasul Douglas and ex-Eagle Shelton Gibson – Worley made a name for himself in college as an impressive ball hawk (10 picks and 21 passes defensed), even if his lack of outside speed (4.64 40) left a lot to be desired.

In a way, Worley plays like a smaller, more aggressive version of Douglas, a fact that surely drew Howie Roseman to make a deal.

With a dire need for speed on the outside and their own surplus of young, ascending DBs, the Pathers clearly valued adding a playmaker like Smith over an average starting cornerback (25 starts) and shipped Worley back to his hometown club in a rare player-for-player trade, presumably to compete with Douglas and company for a starting role in Jim Schwartz‘s crowded secondary.

He was even issued the number 29, a clear sign that he was in the running for a roster spot.

But then, disaster struck.

On April 15th, 2018, Worley was found “passed out inside a vehicle blocking an intersection” in South Philadelphia as per Around the NFL writer Jeremy Bergman. After administrating a taser, the arresting officer found a gun at the scene and brought Worley in on a slew of charges (more on that here).

While the then-23-year-old’s erroneous decision-making clearly left egg on the Eagles’ face – an image that’s practically cannibalistic when you really think about it – Roseman and company wasted little time coming to a consensus, and with a single press release, the ‘Chris Worley’-era of Eagles history was over – joining the likes of Frank Gore and Bryan Cox Jr. in a very exclusive club.

From there, Worley signed a one-year deal with the Oakland Raiders, where he joined the club after a four-game suspension. Though it took a little time to get fully acclimated, Worley ultimately started nine of the 10 games he appeared in for the Raiders in 2018 – recording 33 tackles, seven passes defensed, and an interception – and once again earned a nod on the outside for the team’s 2019 season opener against the Denver Broncos.

Worley has also grown out a pretty gnarly beard, which isn’t really relevant to his on-field play but is a fun fact none the less.

With Worley out of the mix, the Eagles used their fourth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft to select his replacement Avonte Maddox – who fittingly also chose the number 29 – and that my friends is history. While Maddox may never be a lockdown corner on the outside, he played a crucial role in the Eagles’ success last season in the slot, on the outside, and at free safety, and looks like a potential long-term swiss army knife for the team moving forward.

Next. Torrey Smith was the consummate pro. dark

While obviously it would have been nice for things to have worked out with the Eagles – or for a different player to have been included in the Torrey Smith trade – it’s clear that between Douglas, Maddox, Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Sidney Jones, and 2018 waiver wire claimee Cre’von LeBlanc, it would have been an uphill battle for Daryl Worley to even make the Philadelphia Eagles roster in 2019, let alone win a starting role on the outside. But hey, at least he’ll always have a jersey from his hometown team with his name on it; that’s pretty cool if you ask me.