Our man Matt Williamson is grading the performance of each NFL team so far in free agency. Of the 32 teams in the league, only three received an "A," and one of those was the Philadelphia Eagles. Matt likes what they've done in the secondary, especially at safety, and he views Isaac Sopoaga and Connor Barwin as key pieces considering it appears the Eagles will play more 3-4 this year. But he saves his highest praise for the acquisition of tight end/fullback James Casey:
There are few players in the league like Casey, who can line up all over the formation, block, catch and act as a running back with the ball in his hands. I don't think it was an accident that innovative (coach Chip) Kelly was aggressive in the infantile stages of free agency to land Casey.
No, as we've discussed here several times, Kelly wisely seems to be trying to leave himself as many options as possible for designing his offense and defense at the NFL level, and Casey must have jumped off the page to him as a player who could help him no matter what he ends up running.
Matt's grade surprised me a bit, because I feel like the general perception of the Eagles' offseason so far has been "good, not great." But as Matt well knows, free agency isn't about the eye-popping names. It's about being smart, and not going overboard thinking you can solve all of your problems with money. The Eagles were strategic about their additions and have positioned themselves to have a strong draft in which they'll be able to stick to their board because they spent the early part of the offseason addressing specific position needs.