The Jeffrey Lurie era has never been, or will never be boring. One guarantee is that the Philadelphia Eagles will swing for the fences, bringing top talent to the team to create the best Philadelphia Eagles roster possible.
Top 7 Eagles Free Agent Signings Since 2000
With what looks like a stacked 2022 Eagles depth chart after a tremendous 2022 free agency period, let’s look at 7 of the best Eagles free agent signings since 2000. This list will NOT include the 2022 offseason.
#7: Jevon Kearse, Defensive End (2004)
Ah, many remember the days of “the freak.” Our hearts were full when the Eagles signed Jevon Kearse to an eight-year deal, building even more excitement for 2004. He didn’t duplicate his Titans production but aided an outstanding run defense and pass rush.
He helped the Eagles get over the hump in the championship game against the Atlanta Falcons, containing Michael Vick and Atlanta’s #1 rushing offense. Kearse would only play out four years of that contract and never lived up to his 2004 and 2005 production.
#6: Brandon Brooks, Guard (2016)
The Eagles signed Brandon Brooks to a 5-year deal in 2016, and he ended up being a crucial piece to an elite offensive line. Brooks would start all games in the Eagles’ 2017 Super Bowl season, earning a pro-bowl berth and a ring.
Although Brooks would miss multiple games from 2018 through 2021, his impact was long-lasting. The performance of the offensive line generally suffered without him during his time here, ultimately proving his worth.
#5: Asante Samuel, Cornerback (2008)
Where were you at midnight on February 29, 2008? The Asante Samuel signing rumors flew late that night, and he signed a six-year deal with the Eagles later that day. He will go down as one of the best Eagles cornerbacks of all time.
Through 2011, Samuel would get clutch interceptions for the Eagles in the regular season and postseason. He made the pro-bowl and would also tie multiple Eagles interception records. He brought passion, fire, and a legitimate threat at the cornerback position.
#4: Terrell Owens, Wide Receiver (2004)
Ok, so technically we got T.O. on a 3-man trade, but it all depended on whether or not the Eagles were going to sign him to a new contract before the trade took place. The strategy revolved around getting a big-time player to agree to sign a contract, and for that reason… it’s on the list.
What could have been, huh? We know how the Terrell Owens saga ended, but the level of euphoria Philadelphia felt when the trade with San Francisco went down is indescribable. Despite its ending, this will forever go down as one of the best Eagles free agent signings in history because it brought hope.
Owens was not only one of the best Eagles wide receivers of all time; he is one of the best to ever play in the NFL.
After three straight NFC title losses, it was the move to put us over the top. 2004 was filled with many great McNabb to T.O. moments, and although T.O. was hurt in the postseason, his energy was channeled on the field.
The Eagles would finally break their title game losing streak and go on to face the Patriots in Super Bowl 39. Imagine if Owens had been fully healthy.
#3 Alshon Jeffrey, Wide Receiver (2017)
What looked like a budding bidding war between Chicago and Minnesota turned into an absolute STEAL of a signing for the Eagles. Alshon Jeffrey wanted to gamble on himself, and he did, signing a cheaper “prove-it” deal because he believed in Carson Wentz and what the Eagles were building. Fortunately, this was one of the best Eagles free agent signings of that entire 2017 team.
It was a gamble for him that paid off, as he earned a long-term deal during the season and helped lead the Eagles to their first Super Bowl victory. He did this with a torn rotator cuff and opened things up for teammates Torrey Smith and Nelson Agholor. Despite his production dropping after 2018, Alshon’s ability to fight through the pain and bring it home in 2017 makes him a top Eagles free agency move and legend.
#2: Nick Foles, Quarterback (2017)
Nick Foles isn’t known for lighting up a stat sheet and isn’t a hall of fame caliber quarterback, but his reliability and 2017 postseason make him a top two free agency move. At first, the Nick Foles signing was seen as no more than a reliable backup, but Nick knew the team and offense, and it showed.
His streaky nature was very effective, as he strung together two of his greatest performances back to back against Minnesota and New England, respectfully. When a player directly contributes to the greatest achievement in the NFL, they have earned the right to be considered a top free agent signing. Foles will always be a hero in this town, and the Philly Special will go down as one of the best plays in Eagles history.
#1: Malcolm Jenkins, Safety (2014)
It’s a shame we have to credit Chip Kelly, but the decision to sign Malcolm Jenkins over Jarius Bryd was a franchise-changing moment in Philadelphia Eagles history. Byrd turned out to be a free agency bust, and Jenkins turned out to be a cornerstone to an Eagles defense that would go on to win a super bowl in 2017.
Jenkins also showed his value as a leader in the community and on the field and displayed great humanity in speaking on important social justice issues. He was a force on the field, a role model off the field, and will go down as one of the best safeties in Eagles history.
Jeff Garcia, Chris Long, Patrick Robinson, and Nigel Bradham are some great honorable mentions here.
Which Philadelphia Eagles free agency signings and trades stick out to you over the last 20 years?