The much awaited first day of free agency has come and the Eagles didn’t waste much time in making some additions to their roster. In just the first few hours, the Eagles have already added five new free agents: Texans TE/FB James Casey (3 years), Patriots S Patrick Chung (3 years), Rams CB Bradley Fletcher (2 years), Panthers LB Jason Phillips (2 years), and Niners NT Isaac Sopoaga (3 years).
Casey is the headliner here and was noted as a guy the Eagles had a lot of interest in. Although he wasn’t a super flashy player in Houston, he should be able to do a variety of different things for the Eagles. His main responsibilities for the Texans were as a fullback and tight end, but Chip Kelly will likely use him in an H-Back type role. It’s unclear exactly how Casey will fit into the offense but you can be sure that he’s another weapon that Kelly will utilize in a number of different packages.
Outside of Casey, the rest of the players the Eagles added were on the defensive side of the ball which should come as no surprise.
First up is Chung who could definitely have an immediate impact if he can stay healthy. He has had some injury issues recently, but is a talented and versatile safety when healthy. Chung is best known for his ability to play in the box and could be the physical force at the safety position that the Eagles have lacked since Brian Dawkins left town. If he can stay on the field, I think this will be a great addition.
The Eagles need bodies at corner after releasing Nnamdi Asomugha and letting Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie walk. Although I’m sure there will be more down the road, Fletcher is the first addition to the unit. At 6-0 and 200 pounds, he has pretty good size. He may not be the shutdown corner people are looking for, but he should be able to come in and compete for a starting spot on the roster.
Another not so flashy but helpful signing came when the Eagles added Phillips to the roster. He has been a solid special teams player which is very valuable, and I think he can add some depth to the insider linebacker group. Talented special teams player tend to be overlooked, but Phillips should definitely help improve the coverage units.
Last is the old man of the group, Sopoaga. He won’t be a guy asked to come in and be a starter on the defensive line, but he’s the first addition to the line that fits the scheme the Eagles intended to run. They need to add bodies along the line, and Sopoaga should be a solid role player as part of that group.
It was a busy day, and as many predicted, the Eagles went for a quantity of mid-level guys rather then trying to land a couple big fish. You may not be super familiar with all of these guys; I know I’m not. However, we can all remember what happened the last time the Eagles made a big splash in free agency.
The Eagles added some nice pieces to the roster today and they’re far from finished.