PHOENIX -- After the 2016 NFL season ended, Eagles vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said the Eagles were done signing expensive free agent Band-Aids.
Then on Tuesday, the team brought in DE Chris Long and CB Patrick Robinson on two- and one-year deals, respectively.
Don't they look an awful lot like Band-Aids?
"I think we're at the stage in free agency, where we're constantly looking at values," Roseman said on Tuesday at the owners' meetings in Arizona. "Talk about this guy and what he brings to the table on and off the field. I understand when we talked in January, we said no Band-Aids, but from our perspective, there are opportunities to get value in free agency, certainly at this time of year and we're looking for ways to improve our football team.
"We are trying to build this for the long time, but at the same time, when we see opportunities to improve our football team and the competition level and the depth, we're going to take those opportunities."
Roseman spoke at the Biltmore Hotel on Tuesday after the team agreed to terms with Long, just an hour and a half before the team announced the deal with Robinson.
But the explanation would have likely been the same after. The Eagles thought they found value in these two guys and didn't need to spend a ton to fill some immediate (and desperate) needs. And signing a 32-year-old Long and a 29-year-old Robinson shouldn't change the team's outlook as it heads into the draft in April.
"I wouldn't say it gives us any more freedom, per se," Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas said. "To touch on what Howie said, Chris gives us another pass rusher. We need as many pass-rushers as we can, especially in this division. I still think we're still going to look at best player available in the draft at the end of the day."
While Roseman spoke before the team officially announced the deal with Robinson, he alluded to the possibility that the team wasn't yet finished with the dwindling free agent market.
"We're value shopping for sure," he said. "Every day, Joe (Douglas) and his staff are going over the list and re-watching guys, seeing if there's opportunities to improve our football team. If there are and we can go into the draft without even having more pressure on that, we're going to look to do that. Do I think we're going to go out and sign three or four more players in free agency? I don't, but there a couple guys we're looking at, at this stage, that we're surprised are still available.
"We understand where we are financially and understand that we have the opportunity we take on these guys matches where we are from a cap perspective. But we gotta look at any ways to improve our football team as we go into the draft and add competition so that we're having a position of strength as we get to August."
The Eagles have been in a tight salary cap situation all offseason -- even with the release of Connor Barwin and his big contract -- so these moves won't make it any easier. And it brings the likelihood that the team will need to continue to be creative while trying to manage its cap number.
According to the NFLPA, the Eagles came into the day with just under $3 million in cap room before picking up two more players. The numbers don't quite seem to add up, but Roseman is a wizard when it comes to manipulating the salary cap.
"Oh, it's challenging right now, there's no question about it," Roseman said about the Eagles' cap situation. "And our conversations are 'what is this guy going to add? And can we rationalize the situation we're in?' Connor's a big loss to our football team. … But when we were able to get a guy that brings a lot of the same qualities on and off the field and things that we value, we thought it made us better. Not only now, but the legacy he could have going forward with the players on our team."
When Long posted on Instagram to announce that he wouldn't be returning to the Patriots, he said, "I'm thankful for my role this year, but as a competitor, I'm itching to do what I do best." So it would appear he had his mind set on finding a starting job. In Philly, it seems more likely he'll be a rotational player but will still play a decent amount.
In 2016, Long actually played 65 percent of the Patriots' snaps during the regular season, but those numbers dwindled until he played just 15 snaps in the Super Bowl win.
"I think that our conversations with Chris have been about we have young players at that position," Roseman said. "He's very excited to come aboard and help contribute and no promises have been given. At the same time, we have high expectations, certainly with [Brandon Graham], Vinny (Curry) leading that group. Marcus (Smith), his second year in the system. Steven Means, Alex McCalister. We're always going to prioritize the lines, so I think this is another step to show that our actions are in conjunction with our words."