Eagles

Eagles

PHOENIX -- The Eagles added some depth at defensive end on Tuesday while in Arizona for the annual league meetings.

They signed Super Bowl champion Chris Long, the veteran end confirmed with this tweet:

https://twitter.com/JOEL9ONE/status/846752749601607680

The Eagles announced it as a two-year deal. NFL Network had reported the contract is for one year and is similar to the one-year, $2.4 million deal he signed to join the Patriots for 2016.

Long, who turned 32 on Tuesday, was the No. 2 overall pick in 2008 and won a Super Bowl with the Patriots last season. He spent the first eight years of his career with the Rams.

For his career, Long has 58.5 career sacks in 130 games, including four in 16 games with New England last season. Long was a situational pass-rusher with the Patriots last year.

Long is the son of Hall of Famer and former Villanova star Howie Long.

The Eagles had a definite need -- and likely still do -- at defense end following the departure of Connor Barwin. The Eagles cut Barwin to save $7.75 million in cap space as the league year opened on March 9. Even with that cut, the Eagles were still in a tough salary cap situation.

While Barwin had a down season in 2016, he still played 70 percent of the Eagles' defensive snaps. This signing doesn't mean Long will come in and start. The Eagles still have Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry under contract. But, at the very least, this is a depth signing to bring in a veteran locker room presence, like the one they lost when Barwin left.

 

It's important to remember that this move is a depth signing and likely won't affect the Eagles' plan heading into the draft next month. It shouldn't rule out the possibility of the Eagles taking a defensive end in the first round or shortly after.