Gerald McCoy Dion Lewis

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) grabs Philadelphia Eagles running back Dion Lewis (28) during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Chris O'Meara

The Philadelphia Eagles continued their extremely active offseason Thursday by trading running back Dion Lewis to Cleveland for linebacker Emmanuel Acho.

Acho, 6-foot-1 and 240 pounds, becomes the 17th player to join the Eagles since Chip Kelly was named head coach Jan. 16. He is the 10th defensive player to be added to the roster and is expected to compete for playing time at inside linebacker with veteran DeMeco Ryans in defensive coordinator Billy Davis' 3-4 scheme.

"Appreciate y'all for the opportunity (in Cleveland)," Acho said Thursday via Twitter. "With that being said, EXTREMELY excited to join the Eagles and continue my career there!"

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The deal marks a reunion of sorts for Acho and Davis, who served as the Browns' linebackers coach the previous two seasons. Acho joined the Browns as a sixth-round draft pick last year out of the University of Texas but sat out his entire rookie season after being placed on injured reserve with an unspecified leg injury. Ironically, his last game action came in a preseason game against the Eagles last August.

Acho's older brother, Sam, is a linebacker with the Arizona Cardinals.

Lewis, 5-9 and 195 pounds, enjoyed a promising rookie season in 2011 as a kickoff returner and backup running back but failed to show much progress last season. He lost his job as a returner to cornerback Brandon Boykin and fell behind Bryce Brown on the depth chart as the top backup to starting running back LeSean McCoy.

As a result, Lewis had just 13 carries for 69 yards and a TD last season and only one kickoff return for 33 yards.

All of the acquistions and returning players will be participating in a three-day minicamp next week. The regular-season schedule is also expected to be announced Tuesday.

The Eagles also currently have nine selections, including the No. 4 overall pick, in the NFL draft that will be held April 25-27. The Eagles have not had a top-five pick since 1999, when then-rookie coach Andy Reid chose quarterback Donovan McNabb at No. 2.

Extra points: The Eagles also released four players Thursday: linebackers Ryan Rau and Marcus Dowtin, wide receiver Ron Johnson and cornerback Chris Hawkins.

Rau spent most of last season on the practice squad before being promoted to the active roster for the final four games. Johnson spent the entire season on injured reserve with an ankle injury suffered in training camp. Dowtin spent a week on the Eagles' practice squad last season. Hawkins was signed Jan. 4.

Contact David Weinberg:


EAGLES ADDITIONS SINCE CHIP KELLY NAMED COACH Linebacker Emmanuel Acho Linebacker Connor Barwin Wide receiver Arrelious Benn Tight end/fullback James Casey Safety Patrick Chung Quarterback Dennis Dixon Cornerback Bradley Fletcher Defensive end Clifton Geathers Quarterback G.J. Kenne Defensive end/linebacker Chris McCoy Wide receiver Ifeanyi Momah Linebacker Jason Phillips Safety Kenny Phillips Defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga Tackle Ed Wang Cornerback Cary Williams

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