The former Eagle is one of the players we mentioned as a potential option in wake of the news that Tim Jernigan is expected to be out for at least four to six months (if not longer).
Thornton, who turns 30 in June, originally signed with the Eagles as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2011. He went on to play in 61 games with Philadelphia (48 starts). Thornton was a really solid two-gapping run-stuffer as a 3-4 defensive end in the Eagles’ old defensive scheme.
The Eagles allowed Thornton to walk in free agency after the 2015 season as Philly was changing back to a 4-3 format thanks to the arrival of Jim Schwartz. Thornton ended up staying in the NFC East by signing a four-year, $18 million contract with the Cowboys. Dallas ended up releasing him after one season where he played in 13 games (zero starts) and only had 12 tackles and 1.5 sacks. (Fun fact: Thornton STILL counts $2.5 million against the Cowboys’ cap in 2018.)
Thornton landed with the Bills in 2017. He appeared in 15 games (three starts) and logged 18 tackles and a career single-season high of two sacks. That right there tells you all you need to know about his pass rushing prowess. Thornton played a total of 389 snaps, which was good for 35% of Buffalo’s total defensive plays.
Signing Thornton would give the Eagles some more veteran depth at a position where they could afford to add some at an inexpensive cost. Ideally the Eagles could bring in Swamp on a deal that allows him to compete with the young guys for a roster spot. He could potentially end up as this year’s version of Beau Allen, the Eagles’ former trusty No. 3 defensive tackle. Or he could be cut again if the likes of Elijah Qualls and Bruce Hector beat him out.
Should the Eagles sign Cedric Thornton?
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