The Philadelphia Eagles signed defensive end Cedric Thornton to a one-year contract Monday.

Thornton, who started all 17 regular-season and playoff games for the Eagles last season, was an exclusive-rights free agent, which prevented him from signing with another team once free agency begins March 11.

Thornton, 6-foot-4 and 309 pounds, enjoyed a breakthrough season for new Eagles coach Chip Kelly and defensive coordinator Billy Davis in 2013.

The 25-year-old finished the season with 78 tackles, including five for losses, while also collecting a sack, a forced fumble and a safety. His 60 solo tackles, according to team statistics, were the most by an Eagles defensive lineman in a season since Trent Cole, then a defensive end, had 61 in 2007.

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