With a plan in place, the Eagles put the wheels in motion weeks before free agency began. They took care of some of their own players, retaining wide receivers
A young player who is on the rise, defensive end
When free agency began, the Eagles moved quickly. They released safety Patrick Chung and re-signed punter
One day after Jenkins, the Eagles addressed special teams with the additions of
On Thursday, Day 3 of free agency, the Eagles had a strong 1-2 announcement: they traded a fifth-round draft pick in May to New Orleans for running back/receiver/kick returner
Sproles -- who a day later signed a contract extension through the 2016 season -- is the kind of player who upgrades the Eagles on special teams and on offense. He's a playmaker with special skills who can be used in a variety of ways. Is he is running back? Is he a receiver? Is he both? Chip Kelly is going to have fun working Sproles into the offense, and special teams have an immediate threat with Sproles on kick return duty.
Next was cornerback Nolan Carroll, who said he was told by Kelly that he is here to compete for a starting job. That's what you want to hear at every position. The Eagles want competition across the board, and with Carroll in at cornerback,
After a quiet weekend, and with safety market thinned out considerably, the Eagles brought back
Free agency is not yet over, but the marquee additions are most likely done for the Eagles. They still have holes on the roster, as Kelly said when he spoke to reporters late last week and so it's possible the Eagles could add another player or two as the market continues.
The Eagles are playing it smart. It's been a productive last few weeks as the Eagles have used a combination of retaining their own players, playing the free-agent market wisely and using an asset (a fifth-round draft pick) to acquire a dynamic talent in Sproles.
In the process, the Eagles have continued to distance themselves in the NFC East. None of the other three teams acquired any difference-making talent, so it appears -- at this juncture, and there is a long way to go -- that the Eagles are the class of the NFC East. They are a building team.
They didn't reach in free agency. They didn't compromise any of their long-range plans. They stuck to their blueprint and helped the roster in every phase of the game, and the Eagles still look forward with the remainder of free agency here, smart decisions potentially to be made in terms of adding more talent, and then turning full attention to May's draft.
It has gone the way the Eagles expected it to go. They moved quickly when needed, backed off when necessary, and plied the trade route until they saw something they couldn't refuse. It's all added up to a better roster as the Eagles build for the present and the future.