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Eagles add to defense, sign DE Chris Long, CB Patrick Robinson

PHOENIX -- In need of pass-rushing help, thePhiladelphia Eaglesreached a two-year deal with veteran defensive end Chris Longon Tuesday.

Philadelphia also added help for the secondary, agreeing to a one-year contract with cornerback Patrick Robinson.

Both signings potentially fill major needs for the Eagles.

The Eagles finished this past season tied for 16th in sacks with 34. Their inability to consistently get pressure on the quarterback with their front four -- a must in defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz's system -- held the unit back. The front office opted to part ways with starting defensive end Connor Barwin this offseason, furthering the need to add to the position.

The Eagles are in need of two new starting corners after releasing Leodis McKelvin and losing Nolan Carroll to the Dallas Cowboys in free agency. Robinson, at a minimum, adds some depth to a very thin cornerback group.

The Eagles are expected to target the corner position in the draft this April. This move will not change those plans.

Long, who has 58.5 career sacks, announced before the start of free agency that he wouldn't be returning to the New England Patriots.

On his Instagram account, Long thanked Patriots fans and expressed his admiration and appreciation for teammates and coach Bill Belichick, before writing, "This has zero to do with money. ... It's the right move in my heart because I want to get back to being the player I was before. I'm thankful for my role this year, but as a competitor, I'm itching to do what I do best."

The 6-foot-3, 270-pound Long had signed a one-year contract with the Patriots on March 18, 2016, choosing New England primarily for the chance to compete for a Super Bowl championship after never having been a part of a winning season in the first eight years of his career with the St. Louis Rams.He brought a level of professionalism to New England that earned him widespread respect among teammates in the locker room.

He played in all 16 regular-season games, as well as all three playoff games, opening the year as a starter and finishing as a situational pass-rusher.

Long, 32, totaled 35 tackles and four sacks in the regular season. In Super Bowl LI, he made the most of his 15 defensive snaps, drawing a critical holding penalty that helped push the Atlanta Falcons out of range when they had been in position to kick a field goal late and possibly increase their lead to 11 points. The Patriots won34-28 in overtime.

"We've always admired his level of play," Howie Roseman, the Eagles' executive vice president of football operations, said of Long. "And when you turned on the tape and watched him, he's a pleasant surprise, the way he plays, and it really fits what we're trying to bring and build in Philly.

"... When we were able to get a guy who brings a lot of the same qualities [as Barwin] on and off the field and things that we value, we thought that it made us better not only now, but the legacy he can have going forward to the players on our team."

The Indianapolis Colts released Robinson on March 10 after he completed just one season of a three-year, $13.5 million contract he had signed in 2016.

He only played seven games last season due to an assortment of injuries.

Robinson, 29, played the first five seasons of his career for the New Orleans Saints and spent 2015 with the San Diego Chargers. He has 10 interceptions and 59 passes defensed in seven NFL seasons.

ESPN's Mike Reiss and Mike Wells contributed to this report.

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