Bryce Huff

Eagles free agency grades: Barkley & Gardner-Johnson stand out

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Few teams need a more productive offseason than the Philadelphia Eagles, so the Eagles’ free agency grades in 2024 will be critical to their success this season.

Keep in mind the Eagles suffered a terrible collapse at the end of the 2023 season. There is a lot of doubt and skepticism around the organization right now, so they need a strong offseason to restore the faith.

Grading Philadelphia’s Free Agent Moves

How have the Eagles done so far this offseason? What was the Eagles’ offseason plan? Is it clear that they even had a plan? Well, we know that Philadelphia didn’t use the franchise tag, which wasn’t a surprise. But what about the team’s free-agent signing? Let’s go through all of the big moves they made and the Eagles’ free agency grades in 2024.

Saquon Barkley – 3 Years, $37.75 Million

Let’s face it, Saquon Barkley is an upgrade at running back over just about any other back in the league. Philly managed to grab him on a reasonable contract, promising him $37.75 million over the next three years. Obviously, Barkley has had some injury issues in the past and isn’t coming off his best season.

But at age 27, Barkley should have three good years left in his legs if he can stay healthy. Keep in mind that he won’t have to carry the Philly offense the way he’s had to carry the Giants in recent years. Getting the southeast Pennsylvania native to leave a division rival and come to Philadelphia is the icing on top and makes this a slam-dunk move for the Eagles.

       

Grade: A-

Bryce Huff – 3 Years, $51.1 Million

This seems like a lot of money to pay Bryce Huff, especially when he probably won’t even step into the starting lineup for the Eagles in 2024. To be fair, Huff has done a great job of forging an NFL career as an undrafted player.

But he has a modest 14.5 sacks in four seasons and has dealt with injuries at times. The Eagles are taking a chance by promising Huff this much money when they could have addressed other needs.

Grade: C-

DeVante Parker – 1 Year, $4.69 Million

The only reason this move isn’t a complete disaster is the fact that the Eagles aren’t giving DeVante Parker that much money. However, they didn’t need to spend any money this offseason on a veteran wide receiver.

       

Keep in mind Parker has just one 1,000-yard season on his resume, and it came in 2019. Playing in New England the past two years obviously didn’t help him, so he could bounce back with better players around him. On the other hand, the 31-year-old could just be over the hill, making this move a waste of $4 million.

Grade: C-

C.J Gardner-Johnson – 3 Years, $27 Million

After letting C.J. Gardner-Johnson get away last offseason, the Eagles did a good job of making things right by bringing him back to Philly on a long-term deal. Including the postseason, Gardner-Johnson played just five games for the Lions last season because of an injury.

However, the 26-year-old is a good bounce-back candidate. Given the age of Philly’s other cornerbacks, a young corner like Gardner-Johnson was an ideal move and a sound investment.

Grade: B+

Other Notable Signings

While players like Barkley and Gardner-Johnson are the highlights of the offseason, the Eagles have made several low-profile moves as well. Taking a chance on former Pro Bowler Devin White at middle linebacker is a move that could pay big dividends for the Eagles.

They also added good depth at that position with Zack Baun and Oren Burks while Matt Hennessy was a good depth addition to the offensive line. Also, grabbing Parris Campbell has some upside and could end up being a better signing than Parker.

Overall 

The Eagles weren’t able to completely avoid some head-scratching moves during the offseason. Signing Huff comes with some risk while signing Parker could end up being rather pointless. Nevertheless, signing Barkley could be huge for Philly while adding depth at linebacker and a quality cornerback like Gardner-Johnson is just what the Eagles needed on defense.

It wasn’t the best offseason of any team, but it will put the Eagles in a good position to put last year’s collapse behind them and be a top contender in the NFC in 2024.

Grade: B+

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