The Eagles had another grocery list of positions to fill this off-season.

  • Safety (or 2)
  • Linebackers (multiple)
  • Wide Receivers (multiple)
  • Running Back (or 2)
  • OL Depth

They had already made a few moves to shore up some depth and competition in the roster. See more of the previous moves, like Okwara and Kinnard, here.

If you had told me that the Eagles would cross off most of that list within the first week of free agency. I would assume most of the players were cheap acquisitions who might not even make the 53-man roster. But by the end of the day Thursday, the Eagles have started the off-season impressively.

Let’s recap the moves they’ve made since Wednesday.

 

Division Rival Betrayal

The Eagles began the legal tampering period with some of the best news. And later finalized a 3-year, $37.75M deal with Saquon Barkley.

This should be the 3rd year in a row that the Eagles end up with a 1,000+ yard player in the backfield, from Sanders to Swift and now Barkley, who put up 962 rushing yards in only 14 games with the Giants this past season. At the same time, the Giants had started Tyrod Taylor, Daniel Jones, and Tommy DeVito for equal amounts of the season. Saquon was in a similar situation to Christian McCaffrey and should now make as much an impact on the Eagles as McCaffrey has on the 49ers offense.

With only a $3,950,000 cap hit in 2024. Barely costing the team as they continued to spend their available cap space…

 

 

Shopping From Both Sides Of MetLife

There was one more stop the Eagles had to make while they were scooping players from MetLife Stadium.

Signing Bryce Huff to a 3-year, $51M contract is a big price to pay for a defensive end who only played 42% of the defensive snaps. Compared to Sweat at $13.3M and Reddick at $15M, who both played over 70% of the Eagles defensive snaps. But with Huff putting up 10 Sacks last year for the Jets, this signing feels similar to when they signed Haason Reddick 2 seasons ago.

So, could this be a signing to replace one of the expiring Sweat or Reddick deals? Or utilizing the $30M jump in cap space to re-invest on the defensive line? We won’t know for now, but this Josh Sweat Instagram comment might be a hint of what could still be to come.

 

Addressing The OL

Every year, there are plenty of people online who scream into the void, “The Eagles should use their Day 1 pick on an offensive lineman.”

I’m here to tell you they probably won’t do that, again.

The Eagles had plenty of players depart from the Offensive Line. From Kelce’s retirement to no news on Sua Opeta or Jack Driscoll. But they’ve already gone and signed Darian Kinnard and now Matt Hennessy.

With 20 starts in Atlanta over the last 3 years, the former Temple Owl will return to Philadelphia. Having played center and left guard in Atlanta. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Hennessy is viewed as a backup piece, but can bring competition for both Cam Jurgens and Tyler Steen during training camp.

While this is only a 1-year deal, it probably keeps the Eagles from using a high-round pick in the draft on the offensive line. If they’re truly building for the future, they could use a 2nd or 3rd round pick, like they have in the last two drafts.

 

 

 

Finally, Some Linebackers!

There’s one position the Eagles desperately needed to invest in this off-season. And it took a while for these moves to come through, but they’ve made them.

Adding 2 linebackers in the opening week of free agency is steps ahead of the linebackers the Eagles were acquiring last year.

Nicholas Morrow was the only free agent move in March for an LB, and Zach Cunningham and Myles Jack weren’t signed until August.

Devin White, a former Pro-Bowler and All-Pro, had 83 tackles last year, including 2.5 Sacks and 2 Interceptions.

While Zack Baun had 30 tackles, 2 Sacks, and 1 Interception.

Many may not approve of the White deal, but with plenty of time to make final roster decisions, the draft still a month away. White and Baun are better moves than the Eagles have seen at LB in some time. (We all remember Nate Gerry, right?)

 

A Reunion In Philly

Maybe this is what was missing from the Eagles secondary in 2023.

C.J. Gardner-Johnson didn’t see plenty of playing time in Detroit, With a Week 2 injury that saw C.J. out until Week 18. The reacquainted Safety still had 2 Interceptions across his 6 total games in Detroit, 3 in the regular season and 3 in the playoffs.

Some wanted Justin Simmons to fill the void in the secondary left by Byard, but after some apologies, many are on board with this addition.

 

The New WR3 In Town

With Quez Watkins and Olamide Zaccheaus set to be free agents, the Eagles had to bring in multiple new faces for new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.

And they did.

While DeVante Parker’s separation numbers are the worst in the league, the Former Patriot still had 539 and 394 yards during his 2-year stint with Mac Jones at QB (And Matt Patricia at OC).

Not bad numbers to fill in a WR3 role that Watkins and Zaccheaus didn’t come close to last year. Sure, the offense struggled under Brian Johnson, there’s still bright things to expect with new faces on this team, with new coordinators and schemes being put in place this off-season.

There’s still 1 more open WR spot on the roster that could be addressed in the draft or re-signing Zaccheaus. And with the Eagles only paying $1.2M of Parker’s deal, there’s no guarantee he makes the final roster cut in August either.

 

The Eagles have already made plenty of moves, signing new faces to the team, who are you hoping they’re still able to add before the draft?


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