The Eagles were active on the first day of free agency. Although they didn't go after any of the big names, Howie Roseman and company made a bevy of smaller moves. Let's break them down.
Cut Nnamdi Asomugha. Finally. Now we can all celebrate.
Signed Isaac Sopoaga. According to Albert Breer, it's a three-year deal worth $12 million, with $5 million guaranteed. First of all, I doubt it's really for three years. Sopoaga is 31 years old, and he'll be 32 when September rolls around. That's not a player you count on a few years down the road. Second, I don't particularly like this signing. As I said on Monday, it's time to rebuild from the ground up. You want the Eagles to get younger -- something their other signings accomplished -- not older. Sopoaga serves one purpose only, and it's similar to the one Michael Vick is serving: he allows the coaching staff to implement a new scheme immediately. That's valuable as the defense converts to 3-4 hybrid, but I'd rather see them bring in younger nose tackles instead. Hopefully they still will.
Signed Bradley Fletcher. Jordan Raanan says the deal is two years, $5.25 million plus incentives. This is a fascinating move. Lots of people are high on the young corner (he turns 27 this summer), including Tommy Lawlor, who says Bradley has "the best pure cover skills of any CB on the market." Yet he was demoted last year, previously suffered a knee injury, and received a relatively cheap deal that itself suggests he wasn't highly valued. Bradley immediately becomes the most experienced corner on the roster, and one of the starting spots is his to lose. I'm cautiously optimistic.
Signed James Casey. I know lots of folks were hoping for a stretch-the-field athlete at tight end like Jared Cook. But this is probably better (and cheaper). Casey is a fullback/tight end hybrid who the Eagles gave a three-year, $14.5 million deal. What's great about that versatility (he even played WR and QB in college at Rice) is that Casey can shift all around the formation as Chip Kelly turns up the speed on his no-huddle offense. He's not amazing at any one role, but whenever he's on the field the team has a capable receiver, blocker, even running back at their disposal. As far as 29-year-old role players go, there's a lot of upside here. Matt Waldman has a good write-up on Casey's abilities.
Signed Patrick Chung. The Eagles needed to add more safeties, and the hard-hitting Chung certainly fits. The 2009 second-rounder fell out of favor in New England after a spate of injuries and poor coverage. Much like the Bradley signing, there's talent and youth to like here. Still, Bill Belichick knows as much about defensive back play as anyone, and he let Chung walk. Plus, analysis of his performance sounds a lot like a description of Kurt Coleman. That's never good. UPDATE: Apparently Chung's salary is "fully guaranteed" in 2013 and 2104, which makes no sense.
Signed Jason Philips. The 27-year-old journeyman is going to compete for an inside linebacker spot. You have to like his chances against the likes of Jamar Chaney and Casey Matthews, but he's nothing to get excited about.
Photo from Getty.