The Eagles announced they’ve re-signed defensive end Cedric Thornton, who was a restricted free agent (Twitter link via Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Enquirer). The club had tendered Thornton at the second-round level, so he’ll earn $2.356MM for the 2015 season.
The 26-year-old Thornton started all 16 games for the Eagles last season, posting 36 tackles, one sack, and three fumble recoveries, one of which he returned for a touchdown. The Southern Arkansas alum graded as the league’s 20th-best 3-4 defensive end, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), and was especially proficient against the run, where his +11.3 grade placed him eighth at his position.
Thornton has become a key cog in defensive coordinator Bill Davis‘ 3-4 scheme, starting 32 games over the previous two seasons. The club clearly values him, as a source told Mark Eckel of NJ.com on Friday that the Eagles were working on a long-term extension with Thornton. Whether or not Thornton signing his tender means the two sides couldn’t come together on a multi-year pact is unclear, but they’ll now have a year to try to work something out.
Running back Chris Polk, who was assigned the lowest RFA tender, is Philadelphia’s only remaining restricted free agent who remains unsigned.