PHILADELPHIA (WTXF/AP) - The Philadelphia Eagles released a player the team says “epitomized what every team wants to find on the open market” when it let defensive end Connor Barwin go. They signed wide receiver Torrey Smith, who has a Super Bowl ring. The organization also signed wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. According to the Philadelphia Eagles, Jeffery has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Thursday morning’s decision on Barwin came hours before free agency gets underway. It also saved the team $7.75 million in salary cap space.
According to the team, Barwin was signed away from the Houston Texans in 2013 as an outside linebacker to help its transition to a 3-4 defense.
He registered 31.5 sacks and 38.5 tackles for loss in four seasons with the Eagles, including career highs in both categories, as well as an NFC-highs of 14.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss in 2014.
Also, he never missed a game as an Eagle, and played more than 1,000 snaps in his first three years.
The Eagles say this past year, they returned to a 4-3 defense and Barwin changed sides, lining up in a 3-point stance on the right side as opposed to the left side as an outside linebacker. Plus, his playing time was scaled back.
Still, he earned the team’s endorsement: “When free agency opens at 4pm, teams can only hope to add players like Barwin, who performed on the field, led by example in the locker room, and made the community better than before he arrived.”
Barwin leaves Philadelphia tied for 13th in team history with 31-1/2 sacks.
While here, he established his Make The World Better foundation and hosted three concerts to raise $685,000 to revitalize South Philadelphia parks.
Barwin took to Instagram to say farewell to the Philadelphia Eagles. He wrote the following:
"Thank you Philadelphia from the bottom of my heart for welcoming me and for being the amazing city you are.
Laura and I want to thank Jeffrey Lurie, the entire Eagles organization, and all the fans for their support. It has been an honor and a privilege to play for this historic franchise.
The Make The World Better Foundation, will continue it's work to revitalize parks in the city. Our current projects at Smith Playground and Waterloo Playground are moving forward and very exciting. I hope to see many of you at our concert this year.
I have learned from and cherish every experience I have had in the great city of Philadelphia and every snap I played as an Eagle. From the Lurie's, to my coaches, teammates, mtwb partners, and fellow septa riders thank you! Go Philly, Go Eagles . . . hope to see you in the playoffs!"
Later Thursday morning, the Eagles announced a three-year-deal with wide receiver Torrey Smith.
The team says during his six-year career, Smith totaled 266 catches for 4,521 yards and 37 touchdowns. He also averaged 17 yards per reception in his career. Since entering the NFL in 2011, Smith made 25 receptions of 40-plus yards.
Smith -- 6”0’ and 205 lbs. -- was originally a second-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens out of Maryland in the 2011 NFL Draft. He won a Super Bowl with the Ravens in 2012, but played his last two seasons with the San Francisco 49ers.
He has also made a significant impact off the field through his Torrey Smith Family Fund, which provides support for at-risk youth who face physical, educational and financial challenges.