Andy Reid’s first signing was Tackle Jon Runyan. Runyan made several Pro Bowl appearances, and solidified the Right Tackle spot for nearly a decade. Hopefully, Chip Kelly’s first signing lives up to Big Red’s.
The Philadelphia Eagles have signed TE James Casey, NT Isaac Sopoaga, LB Jason Phillips, and CB Bradley Fletcher. Casey, Chung, and Sopoaga signed three-year deals, while Fletcher and Phillips are two-year signees.
Casey played two seasons in Houston, with varying degrees of success. He lined up as a Fullback, Tight End, and Running back for the Texans. His dynamic nature would fit well in Chip Kelly’s offense, moving around often. Look for Casey to become a red zone threat in 2013, and beyond.
Chung is a second-round pick from New England. Chung recorded 29 tackles and two interceptions in New England last season. He would fill in one of the starting Safety spots, the other which may come via draft. At 5-11, 210 lbs, Chung adds bulk to the secondary. He is a solid all-around player to cover centerfield against the deep threats in the NFC.
Sopoaga is a veteran Nose Tackle. Turning 32, he is a run-stuffer in the middle of the defense. Having played eight years in the NFL, Sopoaga will slide right into the Nose Tackle position. The Eagles will likely groom a Nose Tackle behind the aging veteran.
Bradley Fletcher could start at CB in the holes vacated by Nnamdi and DRC. Fletcher started all 16 games in 2012 for St. Louis, recording 28 tackles. He notched two forced fumbles, and one interception. Fletcher is a much stronger tackler than the two he will succeed, and adds physicality to the Birds’ defense.
LB Jason Phillips is also a four-year ace on Special Teams. He can tackle, and will serve to bolster the Eagles’ coverage unit.
Word is that the Eagles are bringing in Ricky Jean-Francois tomorrow, and will try to work a deal. Philadelphia would sure up the D-Line with that signing, and can proceed from there. This group of free agents is a better version of ’11. Instead of signing a swarm of big-name misfits, the Eagles kept calm. They selected players who fit their system, and can become starters or solid role players without breaking the bank. The goodbyes to Nnamdi Asomugha symbolize goodbyes to the gloomy past. The new era is truly underway.