The signing Thursday evening of former Texans outside linebacker Connor Barwin capped a hectic afternoon of signings for the Eagles, and might have marked their final significant foray into 2013 free agency.
General manager Howie Roseman talked to reporters minutes after Barwin became the team's eighth free agent signee, seven of them on defense. (Tight end James Casey, also from the Texans, is the lone exception). A source close to the situation said Barwin, 26, 6-4, 268, is guaranteed $8 million for the first two years. If he's here three years, he gets $13.5 million, $36 million if he plays the entire six-year contract.
"You're talking about a guy who has dropped in coverage, he'll set the edge and he's able to play standing up (in a 3-4) or with his hand down. "This is a guy who plays with his hair on fire. He has the characteristics we look for in a defensive player."
Barwin had 11.5 sacks in 2011, only 3 last season. Roseman said the Texans used him differently, accounting for much of the difference.
Just as the Eagles prepared to introduce safety Patrick Chung and corner Bradley Fletcher to reporters Thursday, the team announced the signings of another corner and safety who might make this quartet the new starting secondary.
Former Ravens corner Cary Williams signed a three-year deal said to be worth $17 million, and ex-Giants safety Kenny Phillips, a star who has struggled with injuries, signed a one-year contract for an undisclosed sum, which means it wasn't a lot.
The Eagles clearly see Williams and Fletcher as their starting corners this season, and if Phillips is healthy, it's pretty likely he and Chung are the safeties.
The Eagles also have added a nose tackle in Isaac Sopoaga, and a reserve linebacker in Jason Phillips.