Philadelphia Eagles Land Linebacker DeMeco Ryans in Trade with Texans
McClain reported the trade on Twitter:
Texans are trading MLB DeMeco Ryans to Eagles for undisclosed draft choice. The trade is contingent on Ryans' passing a physical Wednesday.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) March 20, 2012
Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer provided further details:
Texans get #Eagles 4th rd draft choice. Eagles and Texans also swapped 3rd round choices in 2012. Eagles get 89th pick Texans get 77th.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) March 20, 2012
Ryans was the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2006, and he was chosen for the Pro Bowl in 2007 and 2009.
What It Means
In 2011, the Eagles' biggest weakness on defense was a lack of a stud middle linebacker who could clean up after their defensive line. Their rush defense suffered, especially early on in the season.
That problem has been solved.
Ryans is a guy who can collect tackles in bunches. He racked up over 100 tackles in each of his first four seasons with the Texans, and was well on his way to collecting over 100 tackles again in 2010 before he tore his Achilles.
On the Eagles, Ryans will be back in a 4-3 defense after spending the 2011 season playing in Wade Phillips' 3-4 scheme. All of his early success came playing in the 4-3.
What Happens Next
Hats off to the Eagles for going out and finding the middle linebacker they should have found last year. Their defense becomes much stronger with the addition of Ryans.
Do the Eagles need another linebacker, or are they set?
The question now is how this acquisition will affect Philly's plans for the draft. The Eagles could have chosen to use the No. 15 overall pick in the draft on a middle linebacker (i.e. Luke Kuechly), but now their options are wide open.
The Eagles could still draft a linebacker in the first round on draft day, but this trade sends a clear message that they don't want to take any chances when it comes to addressing their middle linebacker issues. They swung and missed at that spot last season, but this year they mean business.
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