The Philadelphia Eagles have now signed S Kenny Phillips, CB Cary Williams and OLB Connor Barwin on Day 3 of the 2013 free agency signing period. That makes for a total of eight free agents, so far, and includes seven on the defensive side.
Phillips, Williams and Barwin join Day 1 signees S Patrick Chung, CB Bradley Fletcher, NT Isaac Sopoaga and LB Jason Phillips as defensive reinforcements. All players are expected to contribute, but how many will be actual starters?
My guess is that the secondary will have all new starters — which is something I’ve been hoping would happen — with K. Phillips at FS, Chung at SS, and Fletcher and Williams at CB. That’s what it seems like right now, pending any other moves and what happens in the draft.
Sopoaga may get listed as a starter but I can’t foresee him being more than a part-time player.
Jason Phillips will be a backup and special-teamer.
The best question will be how much playing time Barwin will get. With Trent Cole and Brandon Graham as the OLBs, Barwin doesn’t seem slated to be a starter. He seems to be a rotational/backup/nickel package/pass-rushing specialist kind of guy.
Either way, the defense is going to look a lot different in 2013…and that’s a good thing. With the exceptions of Phillips and Fletcher, it’s quite evident that the Eagles are bringing in defensive players who have experience playing in a 3-4 scheme.
Therefore, now we can safely assume the 3-4 will probably be their base defense, then switch into the hybrid 4-3 under.
Should be interesting, to say the least.
Today’s signings make me feel a little better about Tuesday’s ho-hum signings. If the Eagles can add an offensive lineman (Sebastian Vollmer maybe?), this will turn out to be a pretty good overall free agency.