So much for not making a splash. The Eagles jumped in the deep end Thursday evening and signed three players who could make immediate impacts.
The biggest fish was Connor Barwin, who recorded 11.5 sacks in 2011 (18 in three seasons in Houston). The Eagles inked the 26-year-old to a six-year deal worth a reported $36 million.
Barwin is a proto-typical 3-4 linebacker, further confirming the belief that Chip Kelly will be switching over to a 3-4 defense this season. He is listed as an outside linebacker, but has the speed to rush the quarterback on any down.
While Barwin’s sack numbers were down in 2012, he still impacted the game in many ways. His best season, in 2011, came when he was paired with DeMeco Ryans, his new teammate here.
Earlier in the day, the Eagles filled two other huge areas of need by inking Cary Williams and Kenny Phillips.
Williams, 28, was the starting cornerback last year — all 16 games, plus playoffs — for the Super Bowl champion Ravens. He agreed on a three-year deal worth a reported $17 million, including $10.5 million guaranteed. Williams, who recorded four interceptions in 2012, should be penciled in as the Week 1 starter.
Yes, Williams is the guy who shoved the ref in the Super Bowl. And he’s also the guy who mocked Jeremy Maclin — hello new teammate!
The team also signed safety Kenny Phillips to a one-year deal. The Eagles safe-guarded themselves with a low-risk contract since Phillips has been battling a nagging knee injury. He missed 14 games in 2009 — and underwent microfracture surgery — then played in just seven games in 2012.