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    Best Philadelphia Eagles Free Agent Signings of All Time: From David Akers to Nick Foles

    The Philadelphia Eagles have made plenty of notable additions in free agency, yet five signings standout among the others in franchise history.

    The Philadelphia Eagles are a historic franchise founded in 1933. Throughout the franchise’s history, the team has made plenty of notable mistakes in free agency.

    While everyone is quick to highlight the embarrassing signings of Nnamdi Asomugha and DeMarco Murray, it’s easy to forget about some of Philadelphia’s best signings.

    Ranking the Greatest Free Agency Additions in Philadelphia Eagles’ History

    Although the Eagles have existed for nearly a century, many of Philadelphia’s best free agent additions have come in the last few decades. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has been in the building for several of the team’s historic signings and has been instrumental in Philadelphia’s last two trips to the Super Bowl, both of which were heavily powered by his acquisitions.

    Players such as Brandon Brooks, Alshon Jeffery, and Rodney McLeod could all easily make a list like this one. Yet, when sorting through the expanse of Eagles’ history, I wanted to focus on a few factors.

    It was important for these players to establish a legacy in the City of Brotherly Love. Longevity or sustained dominance doesn’t necessarily equate to leaving a legacy somewhere. It’s entirely possible to leave a legacy after just one historic run, as the Philadelphia faithful have seen.

    Let’s take a deeper look at the five greatest Eagles signings of all time!

    5) David Akers

    David Akers enjoyed quite a chaotic start to his professional football career. Akers went undrafted in the 1997 NFL Draft, bouncing between multiple teams for a few years. He spent time with the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, and Washington before eventually being claimed by the Eagles in 1999.

    Philadelphia noticed Akers with the Berlin Thunder in NFL Europe. A strong performance overseas helped earn him the starting kicker job and a new home with the Eagles.

    Akers repaid the Eagles for giving him an opportunity by simply becoming the greatest kicker in franchise history. During his 12 seasons in Philadelphia, he was named to the Pro Bowl on five occasions. He was also named a first-team All-Pro once and second-team All-Pro four times during his Eagles tenure.

    Although Jake Elliott could eventually challenge Akers for the title of greatest kicker in franchise history, the crown still belongs to the latter. Akers made a whopping 294 field goals during his career in Philadelphia, a franchise record that will be hard to top.

    4) Jon Runyan

    While Jon Runyan is remembered as a member of the Eagles, many forget that his NFL career didn’t begin in Philadelphia. The Houston Oilers drafted Runyan in the fourth round of the 1996 NFL Draft, and he was the last active player to have played for them.

    Runyan started 48 games at right tackle during his career with the eventual Tennessee Titans and was named a second-team All-Pro during his final season with the team in 1999.

    Runyan then hit unrestricted free agency and signed a six-year, $30 million deal with the Eagles, making him the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history at that time. Named to the Pro Bowl in 2002, the deal would quickly prove to be a steal as Runyan became a mainstay at right tackle for Philadelphia.

    MORE: Ranking the Best Philadelphia Eagles Teams of All Time

    Runyan eventually signed a three-year contract extension in 2006. He played a vital role for Philadelphia during the franchise’s most dominant run of success and held an absurd streak of starting 190 consecutive regular-season games.

    Following his retirement, Runyan was enshrined in the Eagles Hall of Fame and named to Philadelphia’s 75th Anniversary Team.

    3) Troy Vincent

    Selected No. 7 overall by the Miami Dolphins in the 1992 NFL Draft, Troy Vincent entered the NFL with high expectations. Vincent started 55 regular-season games with the Dolphins while grabbing 14 interceptions. But once he played out his rookie contract with Miami, Vincent hit unrestricted free agency and decided to return home.

    Vincent signed with the Eagles in 1996 and quickly became a pivotal piece for Philadelphia’s fearsome defense. He spent his prime there and became one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL during his eight-year tenure.

    Vincent received several accolades — named to the Pro Bowl five times, an All-Pro twice, and also named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year in 2002.

    Although Vincent didn’t begin his NFL career with the Eagles, he’s remembered as one of the best cornerbacks in team history. He finished his career with the seventh-most interceptions in franchise history.

    Vincent currently serves as the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations.

    2) Malcolm Jenkins

    Malcolm Jenkins began his NFL career with the New Orleans Saints after being selected No. 14 overall in 2009. Jenkins primarily played slot cornerback in college and CB during his rookie season in New Orleans.

    In his second season, Jenkins switched to safety and ascended to new heights. When he hit unrestricted free agency in 2014, he received interest from several teams but opted to return close to home and sign with the Eagles.

    Many fans were initially upset when Philadelphia signed Jenkins, as Jairus Byrd was their preferred target. Jenkins, however, would prove to be the best defensive signing that the Eagles ever made.

    KEEP READING: 5 Breakout Candidates on the 2024 Philadelphia Eagles

    Upon his arrival, Jenkins took his game to the next level and established himself as one of the elite safeties in the NFL. He was a leader both on and off the field and was a key cog in the Eagles winning their first Super Bowl in 2017.

    During his six seasons in Philadelphia, Jenkins was named to the Pro Bowl three times. His legacy and importance to that championship-winning team will never be forgotten in the City of Brotherly Love.

    1) Nick Foles

    Nick Foles was drafted by the Eagles with the 88th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. He began his career in Philadelphia as the backup QB behind Michael Vick but started six games as a rookie due to Vick dealing with multiple injuries.

    Foles put together a historic performance during his second season in Philadelphia, throwing 27 passing touchdowns and just two interceptions. While it appeared that Foles was the Eagle’s quarterback for the future, he was inconsistent in his third season. Therefore, he was eventually traded to the St. Louis Rams in 2015.

    Foles continued his mediocre play in St. Louis and spent another year with the Kansas City Chiefs before hitting the open market once again in 2017.

    Philadelphia decided to bring Foles back. The decision to sign him would prove to be the greatest free agent signing in franchise history.

    When starting quarterback Carson Wentz went down during the regular season, it seemed like all hope was lost. Yet, Foles came off the bench and led the Eagles on a historic run. He played at an elite level, which included outdueling New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in Super Bowl 52.

    Foles ultimately played the game of his life and led the Eagles to the first Super Bowl victory in franchise history. Despite his inconsistent career up until that championship run, Foles cemented his legacy in Philadelphia with one of the most epic performances in football history.

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