Free Agency Recap: Eagles reload on defense after key departures

- We knew the Eagles weren’t going to be able to get the band back together after their Super Bowl win.

The Birds felt that drain with the coaching staff, and it was inevitable that they’d lose players in the off-season. While the Eagles have said goodbye to some fan favorites, the new faces they’re bringing in look to be aligning with the current culture and could bring around the same result.

So as we’re in the midst of NFL Free Agency, here’s a look at where the Eagles stand.

Let’s start with the players the Eagles are losing.

Brent Celek’s farewell sparked a lot of tears from Eagles fans. The longest-tenured player on the team finally won a Super Bowl after 11 years in Philadelphia. But he’s moving on. Although per TMZ Sports, he says he’ll likely be back in midnight green 'in some capacity' at some point.

Trey Burton was another beloved Eagle that’s leaving the nest. The “Philly Special” quarterback signed a four-year deal with Chicago. Defensive lineman Beau Allen signed a three-year deal with Tampa Bay. Joining him there, defensive lineman Vinny Curry on a three-year contract. Defensive back Patrick Robinson is headed back to New Orleans, where he started his career, on a four-year contract. Running Back LeGarrette Blount is on to his third team in three years. He signed with the Detroit Lions on a one-year deal.  Finally, kicker Caleb Sturgis is headed to the Chargers on a two-year contract.

The Eagles will look different. But their new additions look to bolster an already deep roster.

First off, the Birds re-signed the free agent they had to keep. Linebacker Nigel Bradham. He took over as the play caller for the linebackers when Jordan Hicks went down. He admits he and defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz are “best friends.” The Birds need his voice on defense.

Joining Bradham, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, defensive end Michael Bennett, defensive back Daryl Worley and linebacker Corey Nelson. All defensive pieces, all likely with big roles in 2018.

Howie Roseman, the Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the Eagles, has been a wizard creating more cap space by restricting players’ contracts. More than anything, he’s been true to his word.

At the NFL Combine, Roseman said his “intention is to keep all good players.” He’s doing just that, and more importantly, keeping that winning chemistry intact. 

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