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Roseman: Eagles added talent, swagger, toughness to roster

Howie Roseman and Saquon Barkley
Howie Roseman and Saquon Barkley

ORLANDO, Fla. – These have been a productive and extremely active first couple of weeks of the 2024 roster-building season for the Eagles, who have added 13 new players to the roster, retained a handful, extended other contracts, and, as Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman said on Monday at the NFL Annual Meeting in Florida, "It's only March 25."

There is a long way to go, for sure.

So, how has the action for the Eagles matched up to the blueprint?

"It's a good start and we've been able to adjust and see what's going on in the market and not be so narrow-minded to not be able to adjust based on that," Roseman said. "The NFL Draft is always the lifeblood of our team and that's where we are going to find the majority of our players.

"We are not done yet. We're always looking and working and trying to improve our roster. We have a lot of work ahead of us and we're looking forward to preparing for a big NFL Draft weekend."

To this point, though, the Eagles have brought in a lot. Here is what Roseman had to say about the newest Eagles added in this free agency period ...

RB Saquon Barkley

"We think Saquon is a special player. We think he is a special person. They're hard to find, especially on the open market. A guy who can touch the ball 300 times a year, hopefully. There aren't a lot of players, skill-position players, that are touching the ball that many times and have that effect. Obviously, we've looked at the workload. He trains unbelievably, he's a freak. You see that in his testing numbers. You see that in his body, in his GPS speeds, and so we believe in the player. We think that, based on the resources and where you can put resources, that this made a lot of sense for us."

DE Bryce Huff

"One of the things you look for is his skill set and I think one of the things that Bryce wants to show is that he's heavy-handed, he understands leverage, he's got explosiveness in his body. The Jets did an unbelievable job of having that edge rusher position really filled with – I think they had five or six guys when I look at their depth chart – and they were trying to find roles for guys and get guys playing time. We don't play our edge guys 90 percent of the time. We believe in having fastballs off the edge and getting guys in the game. I think this perception that he's (Huff) this liability against the run, obviously, we'll see about that, but we believe that he has the tools in his body to make a difference and we're excited about him."

S C.J. Gardner-Johnson

"Playmaker, ball skills, instincts, mentality. This guy loves to play, loves to practice, loves to compete, and it's hard to find guys who have legitimate ball skills. Has swagger, which was important for us to bring to the team and something we really wanted to add, and he has toughness and is the kind of guy we want for our defense, for our football team. Perfect fit for this city."

LB Devin White

"When you talk about Devin – we've had the opportunity to watch him for a long time, coming out of LSU – just like we didn't have our best year (in 2023), he would admit that he didn't have his best year. Sometimes, you get in situations where you kind of get close to free agency and you're trying to make plays and I think this is a guy who is a captain, who has been a tremendous player and he kind of fits what we're looking for – a guy who is incredibly motivated, understands that there are guys in this free agency class who two years ago didn't have good years and came back two years later and got huge contracts. In terms of Vic (Fangio, defensive coordinator), he's looking for speed, he's looking for explosiveness, which Devin certainly has. He's looking for guys who are versatile and who can play in space, who can play in coverage, who can get after the quarterback, and obviously fill in the run game as well. In terms of Vic and the fit (with White), I think it's a good fit. It's a great opportunity for us and it's a great opportunity for Devin."

LB Oren Burks

"He has been a special teams captain and he also had an opportunity to play in the Super Bowl and probably had the best game of his career under the bright lights when he had to come in when they had an injury. Tremendous character as well."

LB Zack Baun

"Vic (Fangio) had a guy in his defense at Miami with a similar skill set (Andrew Van Ginkle) who hadn't really ascended yet. That guy had the ability to play off the ball, who had the ability to play on the edge, who had these tools in his body really ascend under Vic. We think Zack is a versatile player who can rush from the edge, who can play off the ball, who is a tremendous special teams player. He was a targeted guy for us."

OL Matt Hennessy

"Tremendous twitch, athletic ability, balance, body control. He has position versatility where he can play center and guard. Temple tough. We really liked him in the (2020) NFL Draft and we're excited to get him."

WR DeVante Parker

"Obviously, we had the game in 2019 when it was like The DeVante Parker Show (Parker had 7 receptions, 159 yards, 2 touchdowns in a 37-31 Miami win over the Eagles on December 1, 2019) ... he's a different guy than we have in our receiving corps. Outside receiver, tremendous ball skills, still can get in and out of his breaks. A guy who was actively pursuing coming to Philly and he wanted to play with us and Jalen and we looked at where we were, kind of having to rebuild – after our first two guys (A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith) – our receiving corps a little bit. It was a really good opportunity for us."

WR Parris Campbell

"The vertical speed, he's obviously got that. Coming off a down year in New York. Two years ago in Indianapolis I think he had 60 catches for 661 yards (63 for 623). Parris' speed is real, he's a physical player. He's done some returns as well. Gets a chance to come in and compete. We've also signed some practice squad receivers as futures contracts and I think our personnel staff, in conjunction with our football administration staff, did a great job adding those guys and we're excited about them."

QB Kenny Pickett

"Jalen Hurts is our franchise quarterback. We have tremendous faith and trust in him. We communicate with him about anything we're doing like we do with a bunch of our players. I don't think there is any team that has invested more in the backup quarterback position, as Jeffrey (Lurie, Chairman and CEO) likes to say, the second quarterback. We have tremendous hopes as well for Tanner (McKee). I think Tanner had a phenomenal preseason (in 2023). He's a very talented guy. Kenny is a talented guy that obviously, like all quarterbacks, we do work on. You never know when you will have an opportunity to get those guys to build depth on our roster."

After signing their contracts or extensions, Eagles players showed their personality in front of the camera during an exclusive photoshoot at the NovaCare Complex.

QB Will Grier

"Had experience playing for Nuss (quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier) and Kellen (Moore, offensive coordinator). I'm really excited about our first three quarterbacks but it's the most important position in sports and anytime you can add one and have insurance at that position with a guy who has played in the league, it's important."

DB Tyler Hall

"We saw Tyler play nickel with Vegas and we were kind of interested in him when he was on the practice squad there. The Raiders elevated him and he did well there and he's in the mix for us. He showed some things that we liked and we're going to see what he can do in this system, along with a bunch of guys – veterans and young players – in our cornerback room. We're excited about that group."

DT PJ Mustipher

"A big nose (tackle) – we've got Jordan (Davis), we've got Marlon (Tuipulotu) there and those body types are hard to find. Local kid who played at Penn State that we were trying to sign last year to our practice squad. Still young and a big body with some physical traits."

Get your first look at the 2024 Eagles additions. While they may be sporting different colors now, these players will be wearing Eagles jerseys in 2024!

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