NFL free agency: Barkley joining Eagles as Swift departs for Chicago

The Philadelphia Eagles have reportedly agreed a three-year deal with Saquon Barkley, with the former New York Giants running back replacing D’Andre Swift as he joins the Chicago Bears.

The headline moves came on the first day of free agency as the Eagles look to return to Super Bowl contention following January’s stunning 32-9 wild-card defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

According to ESPN, Barkley has agreed a contract worth up to $46.75 million with the Eagles after leaving the Giants, who picked him second overall out of Penn State at the 2018 draft.

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Kirk Cousins: Quarterback leaving Vikings for Falcons in shock move

Barkley played the 2023 season on an adjusted franchise tag after failing to agree a new long-term deal with the Giants, who went 6-11 to miss the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years.

Missing three games due to a high ankle sprain suffered early in the campaign, the two-time Pro Bowler rushed for 962 yards and six touchdowns.

As one of the premier backs set to hit free agency, he had been linked with a number of teams including the Baltimore Ravens. He joins an Eagles offense which rushed for 128.8 yards per game last year, the eighth-best figure in the league.

Writing on X, formerly known as Twitter, as news of his move broke, Barkley wrote: “Thank you to everyone who has shown me love and support over the past six years… forever grateful! Excited for the next chapter.”

Philadelphia’s move for Barkley comes after it was confirmed that Swift had agreed a three-year, $24.5m deal with the Bears earlier on Monday.

Swift returned to his hometown last April, with the Eagles sending a 2025 fourth-round pick and an exchange of seventh-round picks to the Detroit Lions.

He managed a career-high 1,049 rushing yards in 2023, putting him fifth among all players in the league behind Christian McCaffrey (1,459), Derrick Henry (1,167), Kyren Williams (1,144) and James Cook (1,122).

Henry looks likely to be the next star back on the move in free agency, after the Tennessee Titans agreed a three-year deal with former Dallas Cowboys man Tony Pollard.

The Ravens have repeatedly been touted as a potential landing spot for Henry, who has expressed his desire to play for a championship contender next season.

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