Eagles Free Agency – Day Three Recap – Some Meaningful Signings

Barwin, Phillips, Williams

Connor Barwin, Kenny Phillips, and Cary Williams are now Eagles

After a full day of no activity the Eagles shocked everyone by actually signing some more players. I can’t say this group of players wet my appetite much more than the first group did, but this is a step in the right direction I guess. I will discuss these three signings in order of my excitement about each of them.

Connor Barwin – 6′-4″, 268(Age 26) Formerly on Texans.

Connor Barwin was the last signing of the day and possibly the only reason I’m not a ranting lunatic at this moment. Barwin will have an immediate impact on the Linebacking core particularly on the outside, most likely SAM, although there is a chance he could play in the predator role. I was initially stoked about this signing until I realized that it was very damning for the chances that Dion Jordan would be selected by the Eagles. It’s still possible because you can never have enough good players; however, there are still bigger team needs such as OT, CB, and QB.

The Eagles currently have a surplus of abandoned 4-3 DEs who are desperately hoping to find roles on a defense that has no place for them, so Dion Jordan could be considered excessive after all these DEs are politely stuck into 3-4 OLB roles. Connor was signed to a 6 year deal worth $36 million with only $8 million guaranteed. Connor is only 26 years old and is a very promising signing, possibly the most impactful signing made in free agency so far.

Cary Williams – 6′-1″, 190(Age 28) Formerly on Ravens.

The Eagles signing of Cary Williams feels like a conciliation prize. It’s as if Howie Roseman is saying, well I could have gotten someone better, but I didn’t, so here you go. Cary is a very physical corner, sometimes too physical. He is something of a hot head and prone to start fights, even with referees. I’m all for toughness as long as you can back it up, but I can’t imagine how Chip Kelly feels this guy somehow fits into the high character culture he wants to develop. Don’t get me wrong, I think this team has over valued character the last few years and missed out on some very talented players that went on to be ill-tempered law abiding citizens. So it’s good to see them set that aside to get a player they apparently think very highly of, it just seems odd given what Chip Kelly just said about character being most important.

It is still very likely that the Eagles acquire another capable cornerback, but I’m inclined to believe they think Fletcher is going to be their other starting CB. So we now have two cornerbacks with a lot of upside and… nothing else. I do find the signing mildly intriguing. The idea that the secondary will be tougher overall and better than the hot garbage they had starting last year is a very pleasing notion, but I’ll believe it when I see it. I have been sold defensive BS every season for at least the last three years. I have heard countless times about how good the players they had would be and I have yet to see consistent quality play from almost any position on defense for years now. They can go on and on about how good they feel about their signings, but I won’t believe it until they do it on Sunday.

Cary was signed to a 3 year deal, $17 million with $10.5 guaranteed. Williams was a 7th round pick in 2008, but really only started playing much in 2011. He didn’t miss a game in the last two seasons so injuries shouldn’t be a big concern.

Kenny Phillips – 6′-2″, 217(Age 26) Formerly on Giants.

Kenny Phillips is the gem of day three. This is Howie’s solution for the safety position. An injury plagued safety that may have degenerative knee problems. There is a lot of talk that Phillips is on the verge of early injury-related retirement. Just the guy we need back there. Why not just bring back Marlin Jackson while we’re at it?

This year’s draft is supposedly loaded with talented safeties so even if Phillips did get hurt it may not be all that significant for a rebuilding team with young talent. There is a decent chance that Phillips won’t even make the final 53 man roster. The Eagles only gave him a 1 year deal; you get the impression that was the best thing he could get.

When healthy Phillips is a very promising young player, but it’s getting him to stay healthy that is nearly impossible. It’s a low risk/high reward kind of signing, but knowing the Eagles luck with this kind of thing, it’s not going to work out. What? He’s struggled to contribute consistently for years, but now that he has a green jersey he’s suddenly going to be solid? There were better safeties out there to sign, but Howie wanted to go into the draft with as many holes as possible to fill.

Conclusion

Connor was a very good signing, not so sure about the other two. I’m willing to let them prove it on the field, but as I look right now I’m not that impressed with what the Eagles have done in free agency. It could work out very well or it could be only a little better than it was last year and right now it feels like it’s only going to be a little better. We’ll see what comes from the rest of free agency, but at this point they’re going to have to land some kick ass players in the draft. That’s Howie’s new favorite place to collect talent, let’s see if he can put his money where his mouth is.

What do you think of the latest Eagles Signings? Will there be anymore or is this it until the draft?

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