Eagles Sign Sopoaga, LB Jason Phillips

The Eagles stayed away from high-priced free agents on the first day of the league year, and instead bought in bulk.

To recap: They signed cornerback Bradley Fletcher to a two-year deal; tight end James Casey to a three year deal; safety Patrick Chung to a three-year contract; linebacker Jason Phillips to a two-year deal; and defensive lineman Isaac Sopoaga to a three-year deal.

More on Chung here, Casey here and Fletcher here.

Sopoaga (6-2, 330) provides the nose tackle that the Eagles’ roster is currently missing. At 31, he’s not an ascending player, but Sopoaga would be a two-down interior lineman, capable of anchoring the Eagles’ line. He only played in 32.2 percent of the 49ers’ snaps last season and was originally a fourth-round pick in 2004. He was credited with a sack and six tackles in the Niners’ playoff run this season.

The American Samoa native has amassed 447 tackles and 7.5 sacks in 125 career games (80 starts). He has experience at both defensive tackle and nose tackle.

The Eagles might not be done picking at San Francisco’s D-line. Niners defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois (6-3, 295) will visit the Eagles in the next few days, according to Adam Caplan. The 26-year-old brings versatility to the table, with his ability to line up in multiple spots up front. Jean-Francois is young, but only played in 25.6 percent of San Francisco’s defensive snaps last year, according to Pro Football Focus. His most obvious fit would probably be as a 3-4 defensive end.

The Eagles obviously have a connection to both 49ers players through their new vice president of player personnel, Tom Gamble.

Phillips (6-1, 240) looks like he was signed primarily with special teams in mind. The 27-year old has served as a reserve linebacker and special teams contributor for both the Ravens and Carolina Panthers in his four-year career. He led Carolina with 16 special teams tackles last season.


Earlier, we detailed several big-name defensive backs who are unlikely to land in Philly. Apparently, you can add LaRon Landry to that list.

Mike Silver of Yahoo Sports reports that the Eagles have no interest in Landry.

Tim McManus contributed to this report.

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  • FMWarner

    Best news here is no LaRon Landry.

    • xlGmanlx

      Exactly, basically a jacked version of NA, I never thought he was worth the hype.

  • Token

    Good additions if it happens. Rookies dont typically step right in and anchor a line at NT. So this guy is a bridge to whoever they draft. Ricky seems like a nice versital guy to have on the line. Not splashy but needs.

  • Jmkrav

    Any news on OL? Would love to see them grab a tackle like Winston or Cherilous and move Herrimans inside

  • http://www.facebook.com/luke.mrzljak Luke Ivan

    What’s the possibility of us signing both NT’s from San Fran?

    • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

      One down.

      • ICDogg

        another in town as we speak

  • ICDogg

    I like it

  • JofreyRice

    Great, Chung will make a decent tandem with Vaccaro. Sapoaga can play his role and they can take a dev NT. Hope they take a dev. Safety late, too.

  • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

    Sopoaga’s deal is easy to escape after one year. Good thing, since he is an older, declining player.

    LEO: Cole/Graham
    3: Cox/????
    1: Sopoaga/Dixon
    5: RJF/Thornton

    ^ Projecting for now.

    • D3Keith

      I don’t think the Birds are done on the DL, but I do see you have RJF in there. Looks better than it did yesterday though, I’ll grant that.

      • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

        It’s just an OK group. The important thing is not getting locked into many new expensive veterans. That way there is flexibility going forward and time to see how the Reid holdovers transition to the new scheme. Eventually they are going to need to add another young stud to the mix to pair with Cox.

        • D3Keith

          I get the sense that RJF could develop into something, but the important thing is there are starters in the mix now, and when the draft approaches (or the later days of free agency), the Eagles can add, but shouldn’t feel like they have to.

          Part of the fun of this season is going to be watching all these new players and getting to know a new system.

  • BrickSquadMonopoly

    CK places great emphasis on a strong special teams so if nothing else i GUARANTEE special teams will be much improved compared to andy reids schwag

  • morgan c

    This guy at the Nose, along with Cox and hopefully RJF at the other end spot, would make a nice 3-4 line. With Cole, Graham, Ryans, Kendricks and Curry, we have a solid looking front 7… see how it plays out. Signing RJF would be HUGE.

  • Kwhite422

    I like all the move so far ESP if they rjf that will give us a nice front 3 for a 3-4. I hope they make a push for barwin he is young and dynamic of the edge. I also believe we should explore the market for Trent cole to get an extra pick or two d end is a needed position for some teams and he can still play in a 4-3. They still need another starting corner and safety I do not want Milner not at 4 anyway.