The latest twist in the Eagles' fullback saga took place this afternoon as the Eagles signed Philadelphia native and former Naval Academy star Kyle Eckel.

In order to make room for Eckel, the Eagles released safety J.R. Reed.

Eckel, who attended Episcopal Academy, spent all of last season with the New England Patriots. He was signed from the Patriots' practice squad Oct. 1 and participated in the team's final 12 games and two of the team's three playoff games. Eckel scored two touchdowns and gained 90 yards on 33 carries.

The 5-foot-11, 237-pound fullback originally signed with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2005, but was released at the end of training camp. He signed with the Miami Dolphins, but landed on the reserve/military list.

At Navy, Eckel became the school's third player to have two 1,000-yard rushing seasons.