Grading Eagles' free agency: Bennett legal matter complicates things

A breakdown of the initial wave of free agency for the Philadelphia Eagles:

Overall grade: B. The Eagles may have upgraded an already top-shelf defensive line with the additions of Haloti Ngata and Michael Bennett, though the legal situation surrounding Bennett has complicated matters. They were able to keep their top free-agent priority, linebacker Nigel Bradham, and replaced speed receiver Torrey Smith with Mike Wallace. Pretty strong work overall, even if Philly did let one of the best slot corners in the game, Patrick Robinson, get away. How things unfold with Bennett will impact the way this free-agency period is viewed.

Most significant signing: Bradham. He had 88 tackles (five for loss) with a sack and eight passes defended in 2017 for the Super Bowl champions. The 28-year-old stepped up in play and leadership when middle linebacker Jordan Hicks was lost for the year with a ruptured Achilles. Given Hicks' injury history and the fact that fellow linebacker Mychal Kendricks seems to live on the trade block, the Eagles did right by securing Bradham -- and doing so with little long-term commitment when you break down his deal, which is technically a five-year, $40 million contract.

Most significant loss: Robinson. The Eagles were close to re-signing him but couldn't quite close the deal before the New Orleans Saints swooped in. Cornerback might not be a pressing need with Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby and Sidney Jones all in the fold, but Robinson played a specific role as slot corner and played it well, pacing the Eagles with four picks and 22 passes defensed in the regular season. He also came up with one of the biggest plays of their Super Bowl run, returning an interception for a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game. Part of the spring and summer will be about identifying his replacement.

Player they should have signed: RB Dion Lewis. It would have been a homecoming -- Lewis played his first two seasons in Philadelphia -- and would have filled a couple of needs. With leading rusher LeGarrette Blount now with the Detroit Lions and Darren Sproles still a free agent, they'll have to add to a running back group that includes Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement. Lewis averaged 5 yards per carry and ran for six touchdowns for the New England Patriots last year. The Eagles could also use a boost to the return game; Lewis had a 103-yard kick return for a touchdown in 2017. He wasn't cheap, signing a four-year deal with the Tennessee Titans that included $11.5 million in guarantees, but would have flourished in this offense.

Additions: DE Bennett, DT Ngata, LB Corey Nelson, DB Daryl Worley, WR Wallace.

Losses (by release/trade/signed elsewhere): TE Brent Celek, TE Trey Burton, RB Blount, CB Robinson, DE Vinny Curry, DT Beau Allen.

What’s next: With Burton and Celek no longer on the team, the Eagles need to bulk up at tight end. Marcedes Lewis is arguably the top free agent on the market. They got Robinson on the cheap during the second wave of free agency last year and might try to do the same this time around in pursuit of a slot corner. Coach Doug Pederson said there is mutual interest in Sproles returning for another season. The 34-year-old is coming off a torn ACL and broken arm.