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After signing TE James Casey to a 3 year, $14.5 million contract, they address the defensive side of the football by coming to terms with former 49ers nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga, former Rams CB Bradley Fletcher, former Patriots S Patrick Chung, and former Panthers LB Jason Phillip on Tuesday.
Sopoaga contract is reportedly worth 3 years, $12 million with $5 million guaranteed. In 8 years with the 49ers, the 31 year old has played in 124 games(80 starts) recording 218 total tackles, 7.5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. The 6’2” 330lb nose tackle will fit well for the Eagles. He is more of a two down nose tackle that can anchor the defensive line and get a solid push to be an impact against the run for the Eagles with his size and strength. His age and staying healthy has been a concern but at that contract it is worth it to get one of the real nose tackles left in the game.
And then just hours after the Eagles moved on from CB Nnamdi Asomugha and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, they look to re-build that secondary by signing CB Bradley Fletcher to a 2 year contract. The 6’0” 196lbs corner will be turning 27 before the start of the season is one of the more under rated cornerbacks in a deep free agent market. In 4 seasons with the Rams, he played 43 games(26 starts) with 139 total tackles, 21 pass deflections, 5 interceptions, and 1 forced fumble. He is now 2 years removed from an ACL tear and looks to be fully recovered from the tear and brings his physical, solid press-man coverage skills and great tackling ability to Philadelphia. He is right now slotted in to be the starter… But the Eagles weren’t finished addressing the secondary.
They also managed to lock up 5th year veteran S Patrick Chung to a 3 year contract. The 5-11 210lbs defensive back amassed 235 tackles, seven interceptions, 3 sacks, and 19 pass deflections in 50 games(29 starts). The former 2nd round pick has the same routes as Chip Kelly playing at the University of Oregon. Only 25 years old, is a physical hard hitting safety with some decent coverage skills. Has to work on his awareness and his what his assignments are. Also needs to do a better job of wrapping up and not just going for the big hit but is easily an upgrade among the safety core and provides some physicality to this secondary.
And finally they lock up former Ravens and Panthers LB Jason Phillips to a two year deal. The former 5th round pick is a nice addition if healthy. He really isn’t a guy that I feel will come in here and compete for a starting job but will provide competition and depth to a slim linebackers core and is familiar with the 3-4 defense. The 27 year old Phillips(6-1, 240lbs) in 29 games(2 starts) only recorded 14 total tackles in a reserve role. He has had issues staying healthy but if he can stay on the football field, he will make an impact on special teams where he lead the Panthers with 16 special teams tackles in 2012.
Yes these aren't names that many have heard of but I feel the Eagles got some quality up and coming talent to build for the future and got great value for these players. They realized their issues and that they needed to address the defensive side of the football and I felt they done a decent job instead of going all out on the big franchise names but still a lot of work to do...