Roughly 80 hours before the NFL Draft kicks off, the Philadelphia Eagles have taken a step towards filling one of their biggest remaining needs by acquiring outside linebacker Ernie Sims from Detroit for a 2010 fifth-round draft choice.
ESPN's Adam Schefter and NBCSports.com are both reporting that the Eagles will get Sims from Detroit in a three-team deal also involving the Denver Broncos. To complete the circle, the Birds will send their fifth-rounder (No. 137 overall) to the Broncos, who will ship tight end Tony Scheffler and a 2010 seventh-round pick (No. 220 overall) to the Lions.
The 6', 225-pound Sims was the No. 9 selection by the Lions in the 2006 NFL Draft. While he had a down year in 2009 (notching only 49 tackles in 11 games) and seemed to fall out of favor, Sims started every game during his first three years in the league and averaged 124 tackles per season on the weak side.
Sims, who turned 26 in December, is in the final year of a five-year, $13.57 million contract and will likely step in as the starter at the WILL position, where incumbent Akeem Jordan struggled at times in 2009.
The acquisition could mean that Jordan and Omar Gaither, both restricted free agents who recently signed their one-year tenders, could get a look behind Moise Fokou at the SAM position.
The Eagles have now addressed seemingly all of their big needs (at least in part) this offseason, and still have 10 selections in this weekend's draft.