Eagles add CB Williams, S Phillips, LB Barwin

Revamping a secondary that posted one of the worst statistical

seasons in recent history clearly is a top priority for the

Philadelphia Eagles.

The team signed cornerback Cary Williams and safety Kenny

Phillips on Thursday, giving them four new faces in the defensive

backfield in a three-day span. The Eagles signed safety Patrick

Chung and cornerback Bradley Fletcher on the first day of free

agency on Tuesday.

They stayed on defense later Thursday, signing linebacker Connor

Barwin to a six-year deal shortly afterward.

Gone are former starting cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Asomugha was released in the wake of

two disappointing seasons in Philadelphia. Rodgers-Cromartie signed

with Denver.

Williams agreed to a three-year deal, and is coming off a big

season with the Super Bowl-champion Baltimore Ravens. He started

all 16 games, posting four interceptions and 67 tackles. A

seventh-round pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2008, Williams joined

the Ravens in 2009 and earned a starting role in 2011. The

28-year-old Williams has started all 32 games for Baltimore since


Williams and Fletcher are the leading candidates for the two

starting spots with holdover Brandon Boykin keeping his spot as the

nickel cornerback.

Phillips comes to Philadelphia after five seasons with the rival

New York Giants. A first-round selection of the Giants in 2008, the

26-year-old Phillips had four interceptions and 72 tackles in 2011,

as New York won the Super Bowl. A former Miami Hurricane, Phillips

has battled knee injuries throughout his career.

Phillips will probably compete with Nate Allen to start

alongside Chung.

In four seasons with Houston, Barwin had 109 tackles, 19 sacks

and two fumble recoveries. Barwin was a second-round pick (46th

overall) in 2009. He missed most of the 2010 season with a broken

right ankle, then moved to outside linebacker from defensive end

when Wade Phillips became the coordinator and converted the Texans

to a 3-4 defense.

Barwin flourished in the new system in 2011, leading the Texans

with 11 1/2 sacks. He set a single-game franchise record with four

in a game against Jacksonville. He had only three sacks in 16

starts last season, a dip in production partially due to the

emergence of J.J. Watt.

The Eagles gave up 25 touchdown passes and managed only one

interception in their last 10 games en route to a 4-12 finish that

cost coach Andy Reid his job.

Philadelphia allowed 444 points last season. Only New Orleans

(454) was worse in the NFC.

Asomugha, Rodgers-Cromartie, defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins and

defensive end Cullen Jenkins were the four top defensive

acquisitions before the 2011 ”Dream Team” season. The Eagles

finished 8-8 that year, and now all four are gone.

Sports writer Christopher Duncan in Houston contributed to this