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Eagles Acquire International Defensive End

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Eagles added Khalil Tate on Sunday night, bringing the Eagles roster to 90.

That didn't stop the Birds from adding to their roster, however.

The team announced on Monday that they had acquired defensive end Matt Leo through the International Player Pathway Program.

The program's purpose is to increase the amount of players in the league that are not from the US and Canada.

The NFC East was chosen at random to receive the players this year, so the Eagles' three biggest rivals have also received players through the program.

Earlier this offseason, Leo was in Florida at the IMG Academy this past year training for this opportunity.

He is an Australian-born player who grew up playing rugby, much like fellow Aussie Jordan Mailata.

In two seasons at Iowa State, Leo recorded 33 patches and 11.5 sacks across just 20 games.

He is a long shot to make the roster as he will compete with Josh Sweat, Genard Avery, Shareef Miller, Daeshon Hall and Casey Toohill for rotational and backup spots behind Barnett and Graham.

While he may not make the roster, he is almost guaranteed a spot on the practice squad as the NFL will allow an exemption for him to be on the squad, essentially allowing the Birds an additional practice squad player. The league hopes that that extra time will allow the players to develop more completely and compete for the position in the their second offseason.

Along with Leo and Mailata, the Eagles feature players like Cameron Johnston and the recently drafted Prince Tega Wanogho that are originally from outside North America.


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