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Barwin: Byron Maxwell's 'been as good as suspected'

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At 5-foot-9, the recently traded Brandon Boykin didn't fit the physical mold of what Eagles coach Chip Kelly wants from his defensive backs -- but Byron Maxwell does.

The former Seahawks star was paid handsomely this offseason to serve as Philly's big -- he's 6-foot-1 and 207 pounds -- lead cover man.

"Maxwell's been as good as suspected," Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin said, per ESPN.com's Ashley Fox. "You can tell he was on a Super Bowl team and played with a very, very good group over there."

We ticketed Maxwell as one free agent bound to make too much money this offseason, and he certainly broke the bank with a six-year, $63 million deal. He earned the contract after just 17 starts in Seattle, but Maxwell showed the ability to handle heavy coverage duties as opponents constantly threw away from All-Pro Richard Sherman.

Maxwell remains confident he can live up to the massive contract, telling the Philadelphia Inquirer he "can definitely be in that mix" as a top-five cornerback this season.

Kelly also believes Maxwell has the talent to battle No. 1 wideouts, telling the newspaper: "When you see him in person, not evaluating him on film, but it's just how big and tall and long he is, and what a disruptive force he was, especially when he was playing those guys in press man."

With Boykin, Bradley Fletcher, Cary Williams and Nate Allen all gone from last year's secondary, Maxwell now looms as the clear-cut leader of a unit that finished as the second-worst in the league against the pass in 2014.

"I'm automatically thrust into a leadership role just because of the position I'm in," Maxwell said. "It's a responsibility I have. I'm aware. I've just got to make sure I'm giving them Byron Maxwell and I'm not trying to be somebody else."

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses Tom Brady's lawsuit and debates which veteran players are most likely to be cut.

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