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Eagles Make Plethora of Free Agent Moves

With NFL Free Agency officially opening up on Wednesday, the Philadelphia Eagles came to several deals during the legal tampering window starting on Monday. While they are losing long-time center Jason Kelce and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox to retirement, they are gaining key pieces at positions of need through free agency. They are also losing running back D'Andre Swift, who agreed to sign a three-year deal with the Chicago Bears. 

Brandon Graham, EDGE

The Eagles agreed on a one-year deal with Brandon Graham as the longest-tenured Eagle returns for his 15th season after they drafted him with the 13th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. Graham's stay in Philadelphia helps ease the pain of losing two of the best Eagles of all time and huge leaders in the locker room. The deal reportedly costs $4 million, a reasonable, low-risk number for the soon-to-be 36-year-old. 

Graham still has some motor left and posted three sacks this past season, adding a sack and three tackles for loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the playoffs. He downshifted into a rotational role in the 2023 season, playing 34 percent of snaps but still making a strong impact. 

Bryce Huff, EDGE

Adding more to their defensive line depth, Philadelphia signed former New York Jets edge rusher Bryce Huff to a massive three-year, $51 million contract as he looks to be an impact player under new Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio. Huff is coming off a career year with the Jets as he recorded 10 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, and 21 quarterback hits last season. This move gives a strong possibility that at least one of Haason Reddick or Josh Sweat will be traded.

Sweat recently commented on an Eagles post featuring their signing of Saquon Barkley: "I will miss y'all," which gives you the idea that he is on the move. However, Huff only played 42 percent of the Jets' snaps last season, while Reddick and Sweat played 74 percent and 71 percent of the Eagles' snaps last year. Huff didn't break out until 2023 and only had 7.5 sacks over his first three seasons in the NFL, so there is certainly some risk with this signing for him to stay consistent through increased playing time. 

Saquon Barkley, RB

Early on Monday afternoon, the Bears signed Swift, and the Eagles didn't mess around for long. Later that afternoon, Howie Roseman swooped in and signed former New York Giant and Penn State running back to ​​a three-year, $37.75 million contract that could be worth up to $46.75 million and includes $26 million guaranteed. This is very out of character for the Eagles, as they aren't keen on giving large multi-year deals to running backs, but it could give them a serious boost to an already loaded offense. That offense already has receivers A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, led by quarterback Jalen Hurts, and a dominant offense line. They now add Barkley, who has recorded 7,300 scrimmage yards over his six-year career, to run wild behind that offensive line. There are concerns with the former Nittany Lion, who now returns home to Pennsylvania, though, as he has dealt with numerous lower-body injuries throughout his career. If the Eagles can have him healthy, they could very well have the most dangerous offense in the league, and he'll be a boost similar to what Christian McCaffery gave to the San Francisco 49ers. 

Zack Baun, LB

The Eagles started to address their linebacking needs by signing former New Orleans Saints linebacker Zack Baun to a one-year deal. Still just 27, Baun started six games for the Saints last season while recording two sacks, four tackles for loss, and an interception. The Eagles consistently have trouble at linebacker, and it was a big vulnerable spot last season, only compounded by Nakobe Dean missing significant time with foot injuries. Baun can line up as an off-the-ball and on-the-ball linebacker, giving Fangio options with defensive positioning. At the very least, he should be able to contribute as a special teams and rotational player. 

DeVante Parker, WR

The Eagles have a strong duo in Brown and Smith at receiver, but with Olamide Zaccheus and Quez Watkins being free agents, they needed someone else to compliment them at the No. 3 or No. 4 receiver spot. They agreed on a one-year deal with DeVante Parker on Tuesday. While he has dealt with injuries in recent seasons and his production has dropped, Parker brings plenty of experience. Plus, it is a low-risk deal, as Philly is only paying $1.2 million of his $4.9 million salary. 

C.J. Gardner-Johnson, DB

There is a reunion in the cards as the Eagles are signing defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson to a three-year deal worth as much as $33 million in maximum value. Gardner-Johnson had a great season with Philadelphia in 2022 despite missing five games to injury, as he tied a league-high with six interceptions. CJGJ brings versatility back to the Eagles' secondary as he can play slot corner and safety with strong playmaking skills. For this deal to be worth it, Gardner-Johnson must stay healthy, as injuries have been a major factor for him the last few seasons. He missed all but three regular-season games last season after tearing his pec in Week 2 and suffered a lacerated kidney in 2022. 

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