"Donnie proved he was a great weapon for us last year," said coach Chip Kelly. "He had a really good season for us. I like the fact that we continued our trend of re-signing our core players. He's a good teammate and a player we prioritized during this free agency process."
The 33-year-old was a stud in his first season for the Birds and is a good re-signing, with the deal reportedly being worth up to $6 million.
Sign Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Maragos, Bryan Braman and Nolan Carroll: Just days into free agency, the Eagles have already begun adding to their defense, with a particular concentration on the secondary.
First up for the Eagles free agent signings was safety Malcolm Jenkins. Jenkins, a first-round pick in 2009 out of Ohio State, spent the past five seasons with the Saints. The Eagles signed Jenkins to a three-year, $16.25 million deal. The reports on the 26-year-old say that he is a solid safety, but not the best at tackling. Regardless, Jenkins is definitely an upgrade over Patrick Chung, who was released.
The Eagles signed another safety to a three-year deal as well, agreeing to terms with Chris Maragos. The 27-year-old comes to Philadelphia from the Seattle Seahawks. An undrafted free agent who broke into the league with the 49ers in 2010, Maragos’ deal is reportedly worth $4 million. Maragos didn’t see much time in the powerhouse secondary of the Seahawks, but is a star on special teams and a good addition for the Eagles, especially since Washington was one of the other teams pursuing him.
The Eagles then agreed to a two-year deal with linebacker/special teams player Bryan Braman. Braman spent three seasons with the Texans after going undrafted out of college. The signing is yet another to shore up the Eagles’ special teams, something Chip Kelly puts heavy emphasis on. Braman is such a badass, he doesn’t even see the need to stop playing after losing his helmet (see below).
Earlier today the Eagles agreed to a two-year deal with cornerback Nolan Carroll, who comes to Philadelphia after playing four seasons in Miami. Carroll adds depth to what was a very weak secondary last season and maybe if we’re lucky will take Cary Williams’ job, or at least some of his playing time.
Acquired Darren Sproles: The Eagles traded Isaac Sopoaga and a sixth pick to the Patriots last season after it became evident that Sopoaga was useless. In return, the Eagles received a fifth round pick, and that pick is what they traded to the Saints this morning for Sproles.
The running back, who turns 31 in June, will most likely be used all over the place on offense, likely to help distract the defense from LeSean McCoy. Sproles also will most likely contribute on special teams for the Eagles.
Conclusion: So far the moves the Eagles have made look to be solid. No major, headline grabbing deals yet, but the last time the franchise did that it didn’t work out anyway. The Eagles are in no way done, as free agency has only just begun, so expect some more moves, but in the meantime, the offseason appears to be off to a good start for the Birds.
By: Kyle Babcock
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