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Free Agency Preview: Defensive Line

Posted Mar 4, 2016

Looking at the Eagles’ roster as it currently stands, the defensive line appears to be an area of strength.

From top to bottom on the depth chart, the defensive line is the deepest position group on the Eagles’ roster. Fletcher Cox finally got the recognition he has deserved for years, as the first-time Pro Bowl selection has evolved into one of the top defensive players in the entire NFL. Meanwhile, Bennie Logan has blossomed into another talented run-stopper who has gotten better and better every season.

Under former defensive coordinator Bill Davis, Connor Barwin, Brandon Graham, Marcus Smith and at times even Vinny Curry, played as outside linebackers. With Jim Schwartz now in charge of the defense, those players will likely all slide into the defensive end positon. Curry was recently signed to a four-year contract and though he’s only been a rotational player to this point in his career, it’s likely that his role will take a huge leap forward in 2016.

One of the biggest questions about the defensive line is Cedric Thornton, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. A former undrafted free agent, Thornton has been a consistent run-stopper for the Eagles, so time will tell if the Eagles bring Thornton back into the mix.

On The Roster

Beau Allen, Brandon Bair, Connor Barwin, Fletcher Cox, Vinny Curry, Brandon Graham, Taylor Hart, Bennie Logan, Travis Long, Steven Means, Travis Raciti and Marcus Smith

*Note: Under new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, it’s likely that Connor Barwin, Brandon Graham, Travis Long, Steven Means and Marcus Smith  will be listed as defensive ends.

Scheduled To Become An Unrestricted Free Agent

Cedric Thornton

Top Free Agent Defensive Linemen According To

1. Malik Jackson, Broncos

2. Olivier Vernon, Dolphins (transition tag)

3. Jason Pierre-Paul, Giants

4. Mario Williams, Bills

5. Jaye Howard, Chiefs

6. Chris Long, Rams

7. Nick Fairley, Rams

8. Derrick Shelby, Dolphins

9. Charles Johnson, Panthers

10. Robert Ayers, Giants

Top Defensive Linemen Contracts from 2015 Free Agency

1. Ndamukong Suh, Dolphins (6 years, $114.375M, $59.955M guaranteed)

2. Jared Odrick, Jaguars (5 years, $42.5M, $22.5M guaranteed)

3. Dan Williams, Raiders (4 years, $25M, $15.2M guaranteed)

4. Stephen Paea, Redskins (4 years, $21M, $7.85M guaranteed)

5. Michael Johnson, Bengals (4 years, $20M, $4.5M guaranteed)

6. Kendall Langford, Colts (4 years, $17.2M, $2.5M guaranteed)

7. Greg Hardy, Cowboys (1 year, $11.3M, $0 guaranteed)

8. Jabaal Sheard, Patriots (2 years, $11M, $5.5M guaranteed)

9. Corey Peters, Arizona (3 years, $9.15M, $4M guaranteed)

10. Vince Wilfork, Texans (2 years, $9M, $5M guaranteed)

*Contract data is according to

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