NFL free agency is underway, and we're keeping track of every major signing, trade and release of the 2022 offseason, with analysis from our NFL Nation reporters and grades from our experts. The first round of the 2022 NFL draft begins April 28 on ESPN.
Tight against the cap the last couple years, the Philadelphia Eagles enter free agency with more money to play with this time around, and are expected to be pretty active. They have roughly $23 million in cap space currently, per Roster Management, the 13th most in the league. Some of that money will go towards the safety position. Both primary starters from last season, Rodney McLeod and Anthony Harris, are free agents. So is cornerback Steven Nelson. That’s a lot of pieces to fill in around Darius Slay. Philadelphia needs edge rushers, too, whether that’s in the form of a traditional defensive end or a pass-rushing linebacker critical to defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s scheme. On offense, quarterback Jalen Hurts could use some veteran experience at receiver to go along with a young, talented group that includes DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins.
Here's a breakdown of every 2022 NFL free-agent signing by the Eagles, and how each will impact the upcoming season:
Haason Reddick, LB
Reddick agreed to terms on a three-year deal worth $45 million, with $30 million guaranteed.
What it means: The Eagles' pass rush, which ranked 31st in the NFL last season with 29 sacks, gets a major boost with Reddick, who has racked up 23.5 sacks over the last two seasons. Some in the organization think Reddick will fill the pass-rushing strongside linebacker role introduced by defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon last season as part of his hybrid defense. Genard Avery and rookie Patrick Johnson manned that position in 2021, with limited success. No matter where he lines up, the Camden, New Jersey, native and Temple alum will be a dynamic presence for his hometown team.
What's the risk? Reddick totaled just 7.5 sacks over his first three seasons, so the high level of production is fairly new. Those quiet early years were in part because Reddick was playing as an off-ball linebacker. He began to thrive when he was turned loose as an edge rusher, so Gannon will have to be careful to play to his strengths. The Eagles spent pretty big money here, but pass rush was the priority this offseason, and it was right for the Eagles to make a splash.
Greg Ward, WR
Ward agreed to terms on a one-year deal.
What is means: Ward, who was a restricted free agent, is back in the fold. The former quarterback-turned-wideout has 88 catches for 768 yards with 10 touchdowns over three seasons. While his playing time and production dropped off last year, he is considered one of the team's leaders and has a good rapport with quarterback Jalen Hurts. He'll be a welcomed presence on the field and in the facility at least through the summer, when final cuts are made.
What's the risk? The Eagles need to upgrade a receiving corps that was generally inconsistent last season outside of rookie DeVonta Smith. But this signing will not stop their pursuit of receivers, making it a low-risk move.
Andre Chachere, CB
Chachere agreed to terms on a one-year deal.
What is means: The Eagles keep a core special teams player on the roster. Chachere played 76 percent of the special teams snaps in 2021 and tied for fourth on the team with five special teams tackles. He added 15 tackles on defense. He is a solid depth piece who, at 26 years old, still has room to improve.
What's the risk? There's little risk involved. Chachere was an exclusive rights free agent, meaning the Eagles had control over the terms of the deal. He'll be playing this year on an affordable contract.
Harris agreed to terms on a one-year deal.
What it means: Part of the safety picture has been filled in. Both of the original starters from last season, Harris and Rodney McLeod, were free agents, making safety a pressing need. Re-signing Harris at least ensures there will be a level of scheme expertise in the back end. Harris, 30, was hampered by hand and groin injuries in 2021 and had a relatively quiet year, finishing with one interception and 72 tackles in 14 games.
What's the risk? They need to keep attacking the safety position. Safety duties were shared by Harris, McLeod and Marcus Epps down the stretch last season, and while it was a serviceable group, it lacked dynamic playmaking on a consistent level. The desire to upgrade was clear, as the Eagles made a run at some big money free agent safeties earlier in the week, but were unable to land one. They need to keep after it.
Boston Scott, RB
Scott agreed to a one-year, $1.75 million deal.
What it means: The Eagles keep a key part of their running back depth in the fold. Scott has made the most of his opportunities in Philadelphia. Last season, he averaged 4.3 yards per carry and scored seven touchdowns on 87 carries. He helps make up a solid group that also includes Miles Sanders and Kenny Gainwell.
What's the risk? The real risk was not tendering Scott, who was a restricted free agent. They were still able to get him back under contract and at a less expensive number. This is a win for Philly.
Zach Pascal, WR
The Eagles and Pascal have agreed to a one-year deal.
What it means: Coach Nick Sirianni gets one his favorites. Sirianni coached Pascal when he was the offensive coordinator with the Colts, and spoke of their strong player-coach relationship during his first year as head coach in Philly. Pascal will help further instill the type of culture Sirianni is looking to build with the Eagles. A gritty player and sound blocker, Pascal’s best season was in 2020 when he posted 44 catches for 629 yards and five touchdowns.
What’s the risk? While Pascal can be a solid part of the receiver rotation, the Eagles still need to improve the cast around DeVonta Smith. This is a good move so long as a bigger splash is coming.
Derek Barnett, DE
The Eagles and Barnett have agreed to a two-year deal.
What it means: The Eagles continue to re-sign their own. Outside of Philly-area native Haason Reddick and WR Zach Pascal, all of the free-agent deals to this point have been for members of the 2021 Eagles team: safety Anthony Harris, Boston Scott, Greg Ward, and now Barnett, the former first-round pick who had a promising rookie season in 2017 but has not had tremendous production since, due in part to injuries.
What's the risk? The Eagles were second-to-last in sacks last season (29) and Barnett didn't help matters much, posting more personal fouls (3) than sacks (2). Coach Nick Sirianni was so frustrated with his penalties, during one game he was caught on camera mouthing, "It's always him." But this is expected to be a relatively inexpensive deal, they did add Reddick and Brandon Graham will be back this season from an Achilles rupture. This move does not preclude them from further addressing the defensive end position.
Kyzir White, LB
The Eagles and White have agreed to terms on a one-year contract.
What it means: The Eagles get some much-needed help on the second level of their defense. White started all 17 games for the Chargers last season, racking up 144 tackles (seven for loss), four QB hits, two interceptions and a sack. He'll help stabilize a linebacker group that struggled at times last season. The revamped group now includes White, T.J. Edwards, Davion Taylor, Haason Reddick, Shaun Bradley, Patrick Johnson and White.
What's the risk? There's little risk involved in this signing, seeing as it's only a one-year deal. Philadelphia has spent the least amount of money on the linebacking position in recent seasons, to its detriment. This is a step in the right direction.
Devon Allen, WR
The Eagles signed Allen to a three-year contract.
What it means: The Eagles are taking a shot on a two-time Olympian with blazing speed. Allen, 27, finished fifth and fourth in the 110-meter hurdles in the last two Olympics. He ran an unofficial 4.35-second 40-yard dash at Oregon's pro day earlier this month, intriguing the Eagles enough to give him a contract.
What's the risk? Allen hasn't played football since 2016, dedicating his time instead to track. He suffered a pair of knee injuries in college that limited him in his final two years with the Ducks. A three-year deal is standard for undrafted free agents. This likely won't be much of a financial commitment, making it a low-risk investment on a world-class athlete.