Updated: 6:45 p.m.
Phew. Haloti Ngata is an Eagle.
While a report surfaced Thursday morning that seemed to indicate the former All-Pro defensive lineman might not come to Philly after all, Ngata finished his visit to the NovaCare Complex by signing a one-year contract. The deal is worth $3 million, according to a league source.
Ngata, 34, was expected to join the Eagles as of Monday, but the Detroit Lions were reportedly still in the mix as of his visit Thursday morning. Instead of going back to Detroit, Ngata decided to sign with the Super Bowl champions. He'll provide some much-needed interior defensive line depth after Beau Allen left for Tampa Bay in free agency.
Sure, Ngata probably isn't the same guy who went to five straight Pro Bowls with the Ravens, but the big 6-foot-4, 345-pounder might still have some tread left on the tires.
After finishing his season on IR last year with a torn biceps, Ngata didn't want his career to end like that, so he decided to keep playing. He said it added some fire to his wanting to return.
"I love the game," Ngata said. "I love the locker room, being with all the guys. I love everything about football, the studying, the dog days, just film watching, workouts, everything. I love it. Right now, I couldn't imagine myself without it."
In five games with the Lions last season, Ngata made a clear impact on defense. The Lions gave up 74.6 rushing yards with him and 129.7 without him. The veteran defensive lineman said his recovery is going well, so there shouldn't be any lingering issues from the torn biceps.
There's a clear Joe Douglas connection with this signing. The Eagles' personnel chief was in Baltimore for most of Ngata's career and the two have had several conversations recently.
Ngata is one of five former first-round picks on the Eagles' defensive line. He joins Derek Barnett, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham and Chris Long.
He'll also join a team that is coming off a win in Super Bowl LII. Ngata was on the Ravens when they beat the 49ers, 34-31, in Super Bowl XLVII at the tail end of the 2012 season. The chance to get another ring was a big reason he decided to come to Philly.
"It's huge," he said. "Ever since I went, I've always wanted to go back. I haven't been able to go back. But it's the best feeling in the world. Something I want to feel again."