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OLB Connor Barwin Tops Off Eagles Second Free-Agent Haul of Offseason

Mar 14, 2013, 11:15 PM EDT

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The Eagles signed five players on the first day of free
agency, and while none insignificant, the group lacked a certain pizzazz. Howie
Roseman’s second act on the other hand, that brought out a few of the big names.

Previously we covered Cary Williams and Kenny Phillips, a
pair of Super Bowl-champion defensive backs with proven track records,
instantly restoring a sense of credibility to the Birds’ secondary. Shortly
thereafter, the team announced it had come to terms with Connor Barwin, a
26-year-old outside linebacker who racked up 11.5 sacks two seasons ago for the
Houston Texans.

While each of the Eagles’ recent free-agent deals were for one-to-three
years in length, the coveted Barwin struck it rich with a lengthy six-year contract
worth $36 million that can grow to $40 with incentives. However, the terms were
also organization-friendly, with just $8 mil guaranteed over the first two
seasons.

A second-round pick out of Cincinnati in 2009, the 6-4, 268-lbs.
Barwin followed up his breakout season with a disappointing campaign,
registering just 3.0 sacks in ’12. Obviously whether or not he can regain his
2011 form will determine how good a signing this actually is, but the talent is
there. The Eagles needed a pass rusher with experience in a 3-4 alignment, and
the price was right.

With Barwin, Williams, and Phillips now in tow, along with
Isaac Sopoaga, Bradley Fletcher, Jason Phillips, and Patrick Chung, the Eagles
defense suddenly has a lot of new toys to play with. And unlike the 2011 haul,
these are mostly young, versatile, hungry players departing from winning
programs.

It’s exciting, and who knows whether the team is even
finished yet.

>> Eagles agree to six-year deal with Connor Barwin [CSN]