Philadelphia Eagles sign linebacker Connor Barwin

New Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin. (Stephan Savoia/AP)

The Eagles made their biggest splash yet in free agency when they announced a six-year deal for pass-rushing outside linebacker Connor Barwin on Thursday.

Barwin, 26, recorded 19 sacks in four years with the Houston Texans, including 11.5 in 2011. The 2009 second-round pick recorded only three sacks last season. His 2011 campaign came in his first year in the 3-4, and the Eagles are expected to play with 3-4 principles next season.

Barwin converted from tight end to defensive end while at Cincinnati, where he was a teammate of Brent Celek and Jason Kelce. Barwin’s experience, athleticism, and age will be an asset to Chip Kelly’s retooled defense, especially because he’s the lone pass-rushing outside linebacker with experience in the 3-4.

Barwin is now the eighth player who has signed with the Eagles since free agency started on Tuesday, joining safeties Patrick Chung and Kenny Phillips; cornerbacks Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams; fullback/tight end James Casey; linebacker Jason Phillips; and defensive lineman Isaac Sopoaga.

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