Eagles 2023 free agency tracker: Terrell Edmunds bolsters safety group

NFL free agency is off and running, and we're keeping track of every major signing, trade and release of the 2023 offseason, with analysis from our NFL Nation reporters and grades from our experts. The new league year began Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET, which means free-agent signings could be made official after that. The first round of the 2023 NFL draft begins April 27 on ESPN.

Coming off of their Super Bowl LVII loss, the Philadelphia Eagles lost several starting players to free agency -- C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Marcus Epps, T.J. Edwards, Kyzir White among them.

Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota reached an agreement with the Eagles on a one-year, $5 million deal worth up to $8 million, a source confirmed to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Mariota is expected to be the Eagles’ No. 2 QB behind Jalen Hurts.

The team initially planned to release cornerback Darius Slay, but the sides managed to hammer out an extension, sources told Schefter. Slay agreed to a three-year, $42 million extension that includes $23 million fully guaranteed.

The Eagles also agreed to a deal with running back Rashaad Penny, as Miles Sanders moved on from Philly and signed with the Carolina Panthers.

Here's a breakdown of every 2023 NFL free-agent signing by the Eagles, and how each will impact the upcoming season:

Terrell Edmunds, safety

What it means: The Eagles continue to rebuild the safety position after losing starters C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Marcus Epps in free agency. Edmunds has started 75 games since coming into the league in 2018. He had 70 tackles, zero interceptions, five passes defensed and two sacks in 15 games for the Steelers last year. He'll have a good chance of earning a starting spot and has been a contributor on special teams over his pro career as well.

What's the risk: Edmunds is a solid, versatile player who comes in on a one-year deal. There's not much downside to the move. It's more about whether the group the Eagles are assembling at safety -- they also signed Justin Evans to compete with players like Reed Blankenship and K'Von Wallace -- can match what they had last year when Philly boasted the No. 1 pass defense in the NFL.

Nicholas Morrow, linebacker

What it means: The Eagles start building up the linebacker room after losing starters T.J. Edwards and Kyzir White in free agency. Second-year player Nakobe Dean is in good position to secure one of the vacant starting spots but the other is up for grabs, and Morrow is expected to be in the mix.

What's the risk: Morrow had a career-high 115 tackles and 11 tackles for loss last season for the Bears while starting all 17 games but had modest production before that during his time with the Raiders. He missed 2021 with an ankle injury. Philadelphia needs to continue to add to the position.

Justin Evans, safety

Following the departure of C.J. Gardner-Johnson to the Detroit Lions, the Eagles announced a one-year agreement with former New Orleans safety Justin Evans.

What it means: The Eagles add depth and competition to a position that needs a lot of work. Both of their 2022 starters, Marcus Epps and Gardner-Johnson, left in free agency. Second-year player Reed Blankenship has a chance to step into a bigger role but the Eagles will need to look to the outside for an overall talent infusion. Evans has started 15 games since coming into the league in 2017, including four last year.

What's the risk: Injuries have been a major part of his professional career to this point. He tore an Achilles in 2019, spent most of the 2020 season on the physically unable to perform list, and was out of football in 2021 before returning this past year with the Saints, where he registered 29 tackles and two passes defensed. He had a productive rookie year in Tampa Bay (3 INT, 6 passes defensed). The Eagles are hoping he can return to form now that he's healthy.

Marcus Mariota, quarterback

What it means: It's Mariota to Philly, at last. Back in 2015, then-head coach Chip Kelly aggressively tried to trade up in the draft to select his former Oregon QB, to no avail. Now he lands with the Eagles as Jalen Hurts' backup on a $5 million deal worth up to $8 million, according to Adam Schefter. The Eagles put considerable value on the No. 2 quarterback position, and find a solid option in Mariota, who has plenty of game experience and similar enough qualities to Hurts that the game plan won't have to be overhauled if he's called into duty.

What's the risk: The real risk would have been leaving the cupboard bare after Gardner Minshew left to play for the Indianapolis Colts. Mariota does have a rather extensive injury history, including a knee injury that required surgery last season. But he's a good No. 2 option that can win if called upon for a stretch.

Greedy Williams, cornerback

What it means: The Eagles didn't stop after re-signing standout corners Darius Slay and James Bradberry, adding Williams to the mix. The former second-round pick will have a chance to compete for the No. 3 outside corner role with Zech McPhearson and Josh Jobe. He is also a special teams contributor, playing a personal-high 115 special teams snaps last season.

What's the risk: Minimal. Williams started 20 games over his first two seasons but was limited to one start last year in Cleveland while playing behind Greg Newsome and Denzel Ward. The Eagles are taking a shot on a player with upside and are not breaking the bank to do it.

Fletcher Cox, defensive tackle

What it means: A longtime staple of the Eagles defense returns. Cox’s presence helps ease the loss of Hargrave, who signed a big free-agent deal with the 49ers. He’ll join Jordan Davis and Milton Williams in the middle of the Eagles defense, and at a reduced price compared to his $14 million salary in 2022.

What's the risk: Cox is 32 years old and while still effective, has not been as dominant in recent years. The Eagles will have to hope he and fellow veteran Brandon Graham can perform at a high level in 2023 as the younger players on the roster develop.

James Bradberry, cornerback

All-Pro cornerback James Bradberry is returning on a three-year deal worth $38 million, including $20 million fully guaranteed and another $6 million in incentives, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Tuesday.

What it means: A lot of the defensive talent has left the building, but the Eagles retain a key player in Bradberry, who was named second-team All-Pro this past season after posting 17 passes defensed and three interceptions. He is a smart, solid corner. His presence will help fortify a secondary that ranked first in pass defense last season.

What's the risk: Bradberry turns 30 in August. It's always interesting to see if a player is able to sustain a high level of play the year after turning a prove-it one-year deal into a larger payday. But Bradberry has been largely healthy (he's played 109 out of a possible 114 career games) and consistent as a pro. It's the kind of track record a team can feel pretty good about when handing out an extension.

Boston Scott, running back

Scott will be back with Philly on a one-year deal, a league source confirmed to ESPN.

What it means: The Eagles' backfield is rounding into shape. With the addition of Rashaad Penny and the re-signing of Scott, there will be healthy competition in a room that also currently includes Kenneth Gainwell and Trey Sermon. Scott is efficient with his touches (4.3 yards per carry, 16 touchdowns on 282 career carries) and comes in particularly handy against the Giants. He's scored 10 touchdowns against the New York Giants in eight career games.

What's the risk: It's not expected to be a significant investment, so not much risk in retaining Scott, who has proven to be a productive and reliable player. The bigger concern is whether the group currently assembled can help offset what Miles Sanders brought to the table, assuming Sanders isn't back.

Rashaad Penny, running back

The Seattle Seahawks running back agreed to join the Eagles on a one-year contract, a league source confirmed to ESPN.

What it means: The Eagles take a swing at a high-upside back who, when healthy, could help make up a powerful backfield duo alongside Jalen Hurts. Penny, 27, averaged 5.7 yards per attempt during his five seasons in Seattle. He will bring depth and competition to the room but the Eagles likely aren't done addressing the position. The move does seem to signal the end of Miles Sanders' time in Philly. Sanders posted a thank you to the city on social media Tuesday afternoon.

What's the risk: Penny has been hurt quite a bit since being selected in the first round of the 2018 draft. Including playoffs, he missed 43 of a possible 87 games. A broken leg he suffered last October required surgery and cost him most of the 2022 season. He's a dynamic, intriguing player, but history suggests his availability will be a concern.

Jason Kelce, center

A day after announcing he would be back for another season, center Jason Kelce agreed to a one-year, $14.25 million deal, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

What it means: One of the most impactful players in team history is coming back for a 13th season. Kelce helps set the tone in the locker room, teams with offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland to formulate the game plan up front and is still one of the best in the game when he hits the field. This is great news for quarterback Jalen Hurts as it allows for continuity along the offensive line.

What's the risk: Kelce is 35 years old, has played through innumerable injuries and is getting paid handsomely to hold off retirement for another year. His heir apparent, second-year player Cam Jurgens, will have his takeover of the center position delayed, and is likely to slide over to right guard in the meantime. But teammates and coaches alike had their fingers crossed Kelce would return. This development is welcomed by all.

Brandon Graham, defensive end

Graham agreed to terms on a one-year deal to stay with the Eagles, declining to enter free agency out of loyalty to the organization, he told ESPN on Friday.

The deal is worth up to $6 million, according to a source.

What it means: The Eagles get a key locker room presence and on-field contributor back, and Graham gets a chance to finish his career in Philadelphia. Graham was expected to garner interest in free agency but directed his agent to bypass that process and get a deal done with Philly, he told ESPN, saying he didn't want to miss out on the opportunity of making another championship run. Graham is coming off a career-best 11 sacks and is a tone-setter with the players for coach Nick Sirianni with his high-energy, positive approach.

What's the risk: Graham turns 35 in April, so it's fair to expect a decline in play before long. But he was used more as a rotational player last year -- he was on the field for 43 percent of the defensive snaps -- and is expected to be deployed in a similar fashion in 2023, which helps keep the wear and tear down. Graham wants to retire an Eagle, and hopes to play one more season after this.

Brett Toth, offensive tackle

What it means: The Eagles re-signed Brett Toth after releasing him last week. He's a reserve lineman who has appeared in 17 games (one start) since joining the Eagles in 2019 out of the United States Military Academy. He has some position versatility and can provide depth to the O-line room assuming he makes the team out of training camp.

What's the risk: It's likely to be reasonable compensation so there's not much downside here.