The Philadelphia Eagles have signed defensive lineman Cedric Thornton to a one-year contract.
Thornton emerged as one of the league's best defensive ends against the run in 2013. The former undrafted free agent from Division II Southern Arkansas led Philadelphia's linemen with 78 tackles and had one sack.
The 25-year-old Thornton would have been an exclusive rights free agent so he signed for the third-year player minimum.
Monday's move was the first on defense for the NFC East champions. The Eagles re-signed or gave contract extensions last week to wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper, left tackle Jason Peters and center Jason Kelce.