Eagles sign Torrey Smith, release Connor Barwin

March 9, 2017
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The Philadelphia Eagles acted quickly to get a speedy wide receiver they’ve sought for a while.

Torrey Smith agreed to a three-year deal with Philadelphia on Thursday, less than a week after he was released by the San Francisco 49ers. The Eagles cleared cap space earlier in the day by releasing defensive end Connor Barwin, saving $7.75 million.

The 28-year-old Smith caught 53 passes for 930 yards and seven touchdowns in two seasons with the 49ers. He never became the deep threat that he was with Baltimore, where he helped the Ravens beat San Francisco in the Super Bowl following the 2012 season.

Smith had just 20 catches for 267 yards last season before missing the final three games with a concussion.

In six seasons, Smith has 266 catches for 4,521 yards and 37 touchdowns.

The Eagles haven’t had a 1,000-yard receiver since Jeremy Maclin in 2014. They had only one wide receiver catch more than 40 passes in 2016 – Jordan Matthews had 73 receptions for 804 yards.

Smith is expected to allow quarterback Carson Wentz to show off his arm. Wentz ranked 29th with 6.23 yards per attempt in his rookie season. Smith has averaged 17 yards per catch in his career, including an NFL-best 20.1 average in 2015.

Barwin played four seasons for the Eagles after spending the first four in Houston. He had 14+ sacks in 2014 and went to the Pro Bowl.

But Barwin had 12 sacks combined over the past two seasons and struggled last year when he moved from linebacker to the defensive line after the Eagles switched to a 4-3 system.

Barwin started all 64 regular-season games in his four years with the Eagles and leaves Philadelphia tied for 13th in team history with 31+ sacks.

”Connor Barwin is a tremendous teammate, player and an even better person,” Eagles personnel boss Howie Roseman said. ”He represented the Philadelphia Eagles with class and integrity.”

For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP-RobMaaddi

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