Ronald Darby, a native of Oxon Hill, is set to have an impact on the Redskins secondary in 2020.
First-year Redskins head coach Ron Rivera agreed to terms with Ronald Darby on a one-year, $4 million deal as the former second-round pick will get a chance to be a starting cornerback for the burgundy and gold.
Darby is an Oxon Hill native and grew up a Redskins fan. He played high school football at Potomac High School under head coach Ronnie Crump.
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“Ronald Darby, now healthy, will bring back his man-to-man coverage ability that he has always possessed,” Crump said. “Playing for defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio will put him in a position to make plays that will bring back-end excitement to the Redskins defense. His speed, lateral quickness and ability to break on the ball is his strength. I have yet to see [an] NFL wide receiver just run past him. I expect him to have a great season in 2020.”
Throughout his NFL career, Darby has battled injuries and has yet to play in all 16 games in any of his previous five seasons. In 2015, Darby was a second-round pick of the Buffalo Bills and competed in 15 games as a rookie with two interceptions and 68 tackles.
The 5-foot-11 corner competed in 14 games in 2016 for the Bills, but was traded in 2017 to the Philadelphia Eagles. In three years with the Eagles, Darby only appeared in double-digit games in a single season once when he started 11 games in 2019.
Darby’s injury history could be a cause for concern, but now playing on his second consecutive one-year deal with an NFL team, he will have a chance to prove he can be an elite player and stay healthy.
“As the corner I know I am, I’m a great corner,” Darby said, via Rhiannon Walker of The Athletic. “I had to battle obstacles and stuff like that, and at the end of the day whether you’re hurt or good you still got to go out there and perform. You can’t always have excuses. I know that I can be the person that I am, that I’ve shown.”
Few players on Washington’s roster bring championship experience due to the team’s recent lack of postseason appearances, but Darby was a member of the Eagles Super Bowl LII team that defeated the New England Patriots, 41-33 in 2018.
In college, Darby played cornerback at Florida State for three years after leaving school to enter the NFL Draft after his junior season. As a sophomore, he played in 14 games and helped the Seminoles capture the 2013 BCS National Championship.
If he can stay healthy, Darby can provide speed on the outside for the Redskins secondary after having run the 40-yard dash at the 2015 NFL Combine in 4.38 seconds. He will add championship experience to the roster and to a secondary group that will feature a handful of new faces.