The Eagles signed defensive tackle Derek Landri, a key contributor down the stretch last season, to a one-year contract, the team announced Monday.
In 12 games Landri recorded 43 tackles, eight tackles for loss, two sacks and a blocked field goal.
Despite a strong season, Landri did not get the long-term deal he sought in free agency. The Eagles added the former Carolina Panther last training camp, but he was cut before the first game. After Antonio Dixon tore his triceps, however, the Eagles brought Landri back in early October.
Landri, during a conference call, said that he actually had an offer from the Eagles for longer than one year two weeks ago, but that it fell through when left tackle Jason Peters ruptured his Achilles tendon on March 27.
"I actually didn't think I was going to be back" with the Eagles, Landri said. "But both sides had cools heads and we ended up getting something done."
Landri, 28, was asked if there were any hard feelings when the Eagles had to pull their initial offer.
"You can't let something like that pull you down," Landri said. "But don't believe for a second I won't be using that as fuel for the way I play football."
Landri's playing time in defensive line coach Jim Washburn's defensive tackle rotation seemed to increase with each game. As a result, Trevor Laws saw less action. The signing of Landri makes it all but certain that Laws' days with the Eagles are over.
The Eagles now have five defensive tackles under contract -- starters Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson, Landri, Dixon and Cedric Thornton. Patterson had surgery on his brain to correct an AVM this off-season. He is expected to make a full recovery by the start of training camp.
"We were the defensive line in the NFL last year," Landri said. "I think we have the potential to be better than what we did last year."
Despite the numbers, the Eagles should still be in the market to take a defensive tackle high in the draft with Jenkins 31 and Patterson 29 before the start of the season. They have brought LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers and Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe in for visits. Mississippi State's Fletcher Cox is also believed to be on the Eagles' radar.
Landri said he wasn't concerned about how he might fit in the rotation if the Eagles did in fact select a defensive tackle early in the draft.
"I'm a ball player, not a worrier or a business guy right now," Landri said. "Maybe after I'm done playing football I'll worry about business and where everything fits in."