Posted November 27, 2012

Jason Babin cut as Philadelphia Eagles focus on the future

Philadelphia Eagles

Jason Babin has 36 sacks in his last 43 games. (Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE)

The Philadelphia Eagles cut DE Jason Babin, furthering a reluctant youth movement that had been, to this point, mostly brought on by injuries.

Babin, 32, has been a Pro Bowler for each of the past two seasons and recorded 18 sacks in 2011 for the Eagles, thriving as a pass rusher in the wide-nine defensive scheme; he fell to 5.5 sacks through the first 11 games of 2012. His release should provide more playing time for third-year end Brandon Graham and rookie Vinny Curry — the latter of the two made his NFL debut on Monday night against Carolina after being inactive for Philadelphia’s first 10 games.

“By releasing (Babin) today, this gives us an opportunity to give more playing time to some of the younger guys in the rotation,” Andy Reid said Tuesday, according to Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News.

Claiming Babin off waivers would put a team on the hook for the remainder of the $5.575 million he’s owed this year (approximately $1.65 million), plus $4.225 in 2013 and $6 million in 2014 and ’15. The Bengals and Lions both employ the wide-nine look under which Babin thrived, but he may find other interested parties out there.

The 3-8 Eagles, meanwhile, are headed full bore into preparations for the 2013 season.

It’s likely no coincidence that Curry’s arrival on the game roster coincided with Babin’s eventual release. The Eagles used a second-round pick on Curry back in April, then made him a healthy scratch en route to a 3-7 start. Reid maintained all along that Curry was progressing, but he was stuck behind Trent Cole, Babin, Darryl Tapp and Graham at a crowded defensive end spot.

With Babin out of the picture, Curry should at least stay active for the Eagles’ remaining five games and may wind up splitting time with Graham opposite Cole — Graham saw 31 snaps Monday to Curry’s 22; Babin played 41.

Even with Graham and Curry waiting in the wings, though, Babin’s departure comes as a surprise. The Eagles locked up Cole this offseason through 2017, and they appeared to be set at the defensive end position for the immediate future.

Instead, Cole will now go about his business while the Eagles try to figure out if any of their other DE options can be his sidekick in the coming seasons.

And Philadelphia’s decision to send Babin packing could be another team’s gain, especially if Babin steps in wherever he winds up and provides some veteran punch through the end of the season.

10 comments
ArnoldNewman
ArnoldNewman

This is what a 3-7 team should be doing.  It's what a 5-6 team should be doing too.  Hear that Cowboys?  See what you've got on the roster.  This season is over.

MRMc
MRMc

He will be a Patriot by Thursday...

d3
d3

good.  one positive from this season is he is gone.  on trick pony.  if he didnt have a sack he was either trying to have an affair with the lineman or 20 yards past the play.    no room for his kind on a team

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

Seriously? Babin's 2012 production isn't stellar but he's one of the few guys who has performed in the last 2 years. Guys get big sack numbers typically when their team has stopped the run, is leading, and has forced the opposing offense to become 1-dimensional passing.

 

Philly needs to take a note from their NY Giant NFC East opponents: YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY PASS RUSHERS OR D-LINEMEN. Bad move.

A1
A1

hmmm .... Does anyone need a DE for the last 4-6 weeks of the season ... anyone?  How about you New England?

 

Mike26
Mike26

 @M as in Mancy He's been a good system player for 2 years out of 9 in the league.  He's also an attitude guy....

Rich Turner
Rich Turner

 @M as in Mancy I don't see what the big deal is. He's a system player in a technique that most of the teams in the league don't use. Plus at 32 chances are his best days are behind him. Take into account that his personality ran thin in the locker room and this is a move that had to happen.

eddie577
eddie577

 @A1

 Lot's of teams need a DE, but not many want the $11M price tag.

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

 @Rich Turner

 All those are totally valid points. In fact, his 2011 season at 31 was a total aberration. Maybe the cut had something to do with off-field stuff or salary cap...who knows? But a guy like that is still a good depth option. We've all seen what strong D-line depth and persistent pass rush can do. Still gotta say: bad move.