The Eagles tendered a one-year qualifying offer at the second-round level to their lone restricted free agent Antonio Dixon on Monday.
If the defensive tackle signs an offer sheet with another team before April 20, the Eagles will have seven days to match. If the Eagles choose not to match, they will receive a second-round draft pick as compensation.
With the tender placed on Dixon, the Eagles have Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson and Ced Thornton under contract for 2012. Two of last year's role players at defensive tackle - Derek Landri and Trevor Laws - are set to become unrestricted free agents at 4 P.M. on Tuesday when the new league year (and with it free agency) begins. The Eagles have 11 total players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents, but they placed the franchise tag on one of them - wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
The 6-3, 322-pound Dixon has spent the past three seasons with the Eagles. Dixon is a powerful presence capable of overwhelming opposing linemen, especially in the run game. In 35 games (10 starts), Dixon has 62 tackles, 3.0 sacks, a pass deflection and a blocked field goal.
Dixon's 2011 campaign ended prematurely after he tore his triceps muscle in the Week 4 game against San Francisco. In 2010, Dixon started 10 of the 15 games he played in and had career highs in tackles (37) and sacks (2.0). He earned USA Today All-Joe Team honors following that season.
After a stellar career at the University of Miami, Dixon was signed by the Washington Redskins as a rookie free agent in 2009. He was waived by the Redskins at the final roster cutdown and was quickly plucked by the Eagles.
Born and raised in Miami, Dixon's road to the NFL is an inspirational one as he and his four siblings bounced in and out of homeless shelters while his single mother struggled to provide for his family. In fact, Dixon nearly dropped out of high school as a freshman to help support his family. After receiving a dozen scholarship offers to college, Dixon realized that football provided the best chance for success.
Check out this stellar documentarycapturing Dixon's road to the NFL, which was done by our Eagles Television Network.
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