Eagles, Thomas To Sign New Deal Friday

The Eagles will make their first move in free agency Friday when they announce a deal with defensive end Juqua Thomas. The deal keeps Thomas out of free agency and on the Eagles defensive line.

Juqua Thomas was one of the most consistent players on the Eagles defense down the stretch. The defensive end saw increased playing time because of the absence of Jevon Kearse and made the most of the opportunity. From what they saw on the field, the Eagles decided to target Thomas as one of their priorities heading into free agency and looked to get a deal done preventing him from negotiating with other teams. Because Thomas made the league minimum last season, the deal can't be officially signed or announced until Friday, but team sources say it's done and ready to go.

With Thomas done, the Eagles are now focusing on Quintin Mikell and hope to have a deal done with him before free agency begins on Friday to keep him from having the chance to head elsewhere. Jeff Garcia is officially out of the picture and wide receiver Donte Stallworth is all but gone and isn't expected to receive an offer from the Eagles.

While not a starter, Thomas has played in all 32 games for the Eagles since signing with them as a free agent prior to the 2005 season. Thomas started his career with the Tennessee Titans, signing with them as a rookie free agent in 2001. This past season, Thomas finished second on the team with 10 hurries and a career-high 6 sacks.

Free agency begins on Friday and Mikell is the only other player that the Eagles are likely to sign before the free agent signing period begins.

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