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The Eagles make their first free agent signing of the Chip Kelly era on the opening day of NFL Free Agency on Tuesday by bringing another weapon for his fast paced offense.
The Eagles have signed former Texans TE/FB James Casey to a 3 year contract on Tuesday. The 29 year old started nine games in 2012 coming off career highs in catches(34), yards(330) and TDs(3) for Houston. He is a guy that does a lot of things of Chip Kelly’s offense. What is most intriguing not just by the Eagles but around the league since there were reports that “at least 14 teams” contacted Casey about his services.
The 6’3” 240lbs Casey brings the Eagles tremendous speed and gives the Eagles some flexibility at the tight end position to work in more two tight end sets with Brent Celek in the passing game and is also a solid blocking tight end. He also brings the Eagles versatility with his ability to play the full back position and be that “H” back to add another dimension to this Eagles offense catching the ball out of the backfield and with the read option to add deception to give the Eagles another weapon for defenses to worry about. This means probably the end of the Stanley Havili era in Philadelphia since Kelly seems to not use a traditional FB in his system which is the reason for the Casey signing.
The Eagles now have Brent Celek, James Casey, and Clay Harbor on the roster at the tight end position and hopefully this is a sign for things to come but from what I hear, the Eagles at this time won’t be big spenders in some of the top free agents right now and looking to add great value for their roster instead of over paying for a player. They are currently letting the market set itself for help in the secondary since they aren’t flying off the board just yet. But we know how this usually turns out…
Eagles Schedule Visits with 49ers Linemen
-As free agency continues and teams are wheeling and dealing trying to swoop under the radar to grab some talent, the Eagles are looking to pick up some talent that helped their former team reach the Super Bowl. Reports on Tuesday surfaced that the Eagles have scheduled visits with San Francisco DL Ricky Jean-Francois and NT Isaac Sopoaga.
The 26 year old Jean-Francois started 3 games in 2012 recording 22 total tackles and two sacks. And the 31 year old Sopoago started 9 games recording 27 total tackles and one sack. Both players provide tremendous depth and versatility to an Eagles defense that is trying to find the prototypical nose tackle as both can play tackle or defensive end in a 3-4 scheme.
Both bring tremendous size(Jean-Francois- 6’3” 295lbs; Sopoaga-6’3” 330lbs) to anchor that defensive line and get off blocks to close gaps in the running game and get a push up front to get to the quarterback. There really isn’t any “real” nose tackles left in today’s NFL like a Tony Siragusa or that sort but these two have done a tremendous and would make a big boost to a slim Eagles defensive line to fit the personnel on this roster.