WR Kevin Curtis, age 33, is one of many vets released by Eagles this past week...
Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer's Birds' Eye View blog said it best: "Aging Eagles with expensive contracts are an endangered species in Philadelphia right now..."
Swept out in just the last few days:
OL Shawn Andrews (see Alex' article below)
WR Kevin Curtis
DE Darren Howard
DE Chris Clemons
These cuts come on the heels of the earlier releases of LB Will Witherspoon and RB Brian Westbrook, the trading away of WR Reggie Brown, and the refusal to match the offer DE Jason Babin just received from the Titans.
In the cases of Andrews and Curtis, it was more about the injuries than the money...although the Eagles stand to save at least $4 million
in contractual obligations by dumping Andrews, and at least another $4 million in combined roster bonus and salary by jettisoning Curtis.
Andrews gave us two All-Pro years at Right Guard in 2006 and 2007... and then essentially disintegrated, as Alex wrote. Back injuries, mental depression, and pain medications took a combined toll. His older brother Stacy remains on the team.
Curtis gave the Eagles a fabulous year in 2007 after coming here from the Rams, with 77 catches for 1100 yards and 6 TD's...He then suffered a series of nagging neck, shoulder and leg injuries which sidelined him for most of 2008 and 2009.
Releasing Darren Howard is probably a signal the Eagles intend to rebuild their Defensive End position through the upcoming Draft. Howard can still play, and in a part-time rotation he got 6.5 QB sacks last season and 10 the year before. However, Darren's 33 now, and at $3.5 million per year, he was considered expendable.
Clemons is still relatively young at 30, but after coming up huge in two big games near the end of the Eagles' NFC playoff run in 2008, he seemed to disappear from the Eagles' DE rotation. More needs to be revealed on why Clemons faded away in 2009...especially since the Eagles were desperate for pressure from the edges all season long. I think he'll catch on with another team...but dumping him saves the Eagles another $2 million for now.
As for Babin, he made the Eagles as a free agent "camp body" in 2009 by sheer willpower... but then we hardly ever saw him in a meaningful part of a regular-season game. I guess Jason was "insurance", and that policy cost the Eagles the league minimum pay of $310,000......But good for Babin, he just signed a $1 million, 1-year deal with the Tennessee Titans which the Eagles declined to match.
Jeff McLane again sums it up beautifully: "The Eagles formula right now--- with the uncapped year, and potential for a labor lockout in the NFL in 2011---Dump all nonproductive players with long-term escalating deals..."
DUMPING COMMENCED...CLEAN SWEEP IN PROGRESS...But good wishes to the departed. At least Andy Reid had nice things to say about them all. The Eagles may be The Terminator at the moment...but they smile as they kill...and you do get a nice NFL pension.