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Ricky Watters, Troy Vincent, Asante Samuel, Eagles

Eagles: 5 best free agent signings in Philadelphia history

The Philadelphia Eagles made noise this offseason by trading with the Detroit Lions for Darius Slay. They immediately signed Slay to an extension. The Eagles have also been linked to Jadeveon Clowney but nothing has happened yet.

When big names are signed, it brings to mind all of the other home run signings over the course of history.

Here are the top five free agent signings in Eagles’ history.

5. Asante Samuel, CB

Samuel was viewed as one of the top cornerbacks in the league after being named a First-Team All-Pro member with the New England Patriots. The Eagles entered free agency with Samuel at the top of their list and they made it known with their offer. Philly offered Samuel a six-year deal worth $57 million and $20 million guaranteed. Samuel made it clear that he was interested in interceptions.

That is exactly what he did with the franchise. Samuel finished with 23 total interceptions and led the league in 2009 with nine. He was a three-time Pro Bowler with the Eagles. Samuel was criticized because of his tackling but he made up for it by picking off opposing quarterbacks.

4. William Fuller, DE

Fuller spent just three seasons in Philadelphia but he was a game wrecker. He had 35.5 total sacks as an Eagle. He finished his Eagles’ career with back-to-back 13 sack seasons. Fuller joined the team on a three-year deal after spending eight years in Houston with the Oilers.

Fuller made the Pro Bowl in all three of his seasons with the Eagles. He left in free agency once his three-year deal was up and joined the San Diego Chargers.

3. Jon Runyan, OT

There was a time where the Eagles had one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. Runyan was the main reason. Philadelphia signed Runyan to a six-year, $30 million deal in 2000. At the time, this was among the highest contracts in history for an offensive lineman.

Runyan ended up spending nine seasons with the Eagles. He brought a toughness to the offensive line during the early years under Andy Reid. Runyan never missed a game as an Eagle and proved to be one of the most consistent players in franchise history.

2. Ricky Watters, RB

Watters was a workhorse for the Eagles over three years. He brought a diva attitude to the locker room but this did not stop his production on the field. Watters averaged 325 carries per season during his tenure in Philly. This includes the 1996 season where he led the league in carries (353), touches (404), and scrimmage yards (1,855).

The Eagles snagged Watters away from the reigning Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers. They offered him a three-year, $6.9 million offer sheet and the Niners were unable to match it. He was selected to two Pro Bowls as an Eagle. Watters racked up 3,794 rushing yards, 1,318 receiving yards, and 31 touchdowns in Philly.

1. Troy Vincent, CB

Vincent is highly regarded as one of the first major defensive signings for the Eagles and the best player in franchise history to wear No. 23. He came over from the Miami Dolphins in 1995 and would quickly make an impact for his new team. Vincent led the NFL in interceptions in 1999 with seven and earned his first Pro Bowl appearance as an Eagle. This would be the first of five in a row.

The Eagles became a powerhouse beginning in 2000. Vincent turned into one of the best cornerbacks in football. Led by their defensive star, the Eagles would win the NFC East three times and make three straight NFC Championship Game appearances from 2000-2003. Vincent would earn All-Pro honors from 2000-2002 including a First Team selection in 2002.

Vincent ended his career ranked fourth on the Eagles all-time interception list with 32. He is the best signing that the franchise has ever made.