Eagles news

Roseman breaks from tradition again, signs linebacker Devin White

The Eagles finally addressed the linebacker position by reportedly agreeing to terms with Devin White.

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Oh, did somebody say the Eagles need a linebacker?

Howie was listening.

The Eagles on Thursday evening agreed to terms with former Pro Bowl linebacker Devin White on a one-year free agency deal worth up to $7.5 million including incentives. The move was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and confirmed by NBC Sports Philadelphia.

White, who just turned 26 last month, was the fifth pick in the 2019 draft and a five-year starter for the Buccaneers. He was a 2nd-team All-Pro in 2020 and made the Pro Bowl in 2021.

White was on the Buccaneers team that beat the Chiefs in Super Bowl LV in Tampa and also played in playoff wins over the Eagles in 2021 and 2023.

Although it's only a one-year deal, it's still a significant move for a general manager who rarely spends much more than minimum wage on off-ball linebackers. The last one was Nigel Bradham, who got a five-year, $40 million extension in 2018. He only played two of those seasons.

In five seasons in Tampa, White started 76 of a possible 83 games and had three interceptions, 21 pass deflections, 23 sacks, 566 tackles, 40 tackles for loss and 64 quarterback hits.

One of his two interceptions last year came in Week 3 off Jalen Hurts inside the Bucs' 20-yard-line in a game the Eagles won 25-11 in Tampa.

If you never thought you’d see an offseason where Roseman spent money on a Pro Bowl running back and a Pro Bowl linebacker, get in line. 

But desperate times call for desperate measures and after the Eagles collapsed last year, Roseman knew it was time to do some things differently than he has in past years.

On Monday, the Eagles agreed to terms of a three-year, $37.75 million contract with Saquon Barkley, the first long-term big-money contract Roseman has give to a running back since he extended LeSean McCoy in 2012.

White requested a trade before training camp last summer after he and the Bucs were unable to negotiate a new contract. But with the Bucs sitting at 2-0 in late September, he had a change of heart.

“This defense is so fun to be a part of,” he wrote on social media. “I'm stupid for trying to leave!”

You always take Pro Football Focus grades with a little grain of salt, but White last year ranked 64th of 66 off-ball linebackers who played at least 500 snaps with a 46.0 overall grade.

But the Eagles are desperate for linebacker help after cycling through six starters last year – Nicholas Morrow (12 starts), Zach Cunningham (10 starts), Nakobe Dean (four starts), Shaquille Leonard (three starts) and Christian Ellis and Ben VanSumeren (one start). Of that group, only Dean and VanSumeren are currently on the roster.

The Eagles ranked near the bottom in virtually every defensive category last year, including points allowed (30th, 25.6 per game), passing yards (31st, 253 per game) and total yards (356 per game), first downs (21 per game, 29th) and 3rd-down conversions (30th, 48 percent).

The Eagles haven’t had a Pro Bowl off-ball linebacker since Jeremiah Trotter in 2004.

White is the fourth defensive addition Roseman has made since Monday. The Eagles signed edge Bryce Huff to a three-year, $51 million contract, edge/linebacker/special teamer Zack Baum to a one-year deal, d-back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson to a three-year deal worth up to $33 million and also re-signed Brandon Graham to a one-year deal.

Their defensive losses so far include Fletcher Cox, who retired, and defensive backs Kevin Byard and Avonte Maddox, who were released. Morrow signed with the Bills, although the Eagles had no interest in bringing him back. 

On offense, the Eagles have signed interior lineman Matt Hennessy and receiver DeVante Parker in addition to Barkley.

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