After the 2003 disappointing loss to the Carolina Panthers in the NFCCG, the Eagles went into that off season with big plans. They hit free agency with a bang, and their number one target was defensive end Jevon Kearse. On the first day of free agency they signed “the Freak” for 8 years, $66 million. This was the biggest defensive contract in NFL history(at the time), and included $16 million in guaranteed money.
Everybody envisioned Kearse to be causing havoc to QBs in an Eagles uniform for a long time. After two mediocre season, and one season on the injured reserve, that investment was not paying off.
After a slow start Jevon was benched for the more productive Juqua Thomas. Now it appears he may never play in an Eagles uniform again.
For the second time this season, Jevon Kearse will be deactivated. This will not be due to any injury though. Andy Reid has decided to play second round pick Victor Abamiri more, and will make Kearse a healthy scratch.
You can guarantee that Kearse will be cut sometime in the off season. He is due $8.5 million next year, and would save about half of that if they release him. This signing will go down as a huge bust for the Birds. He has never lived up to expectations, and is one of the many reasons for the Iggles poor season.
If only Andy Reid, and Tom Heckert had only known that Derrick Burgess could thrive at left defensive end, his natural position. He played right end for the Eagles, and never felt comfortable playing that position. During the playoffs in 2004 Burgess had a sack in every playoff game including the Super Bowl.
It is all in hindsight, but Burgess has been nothing short of great for Oakland. He has 32 sacks in less than three seasons as a Raider. How good would the Eagles defensive line be with Burgess lined up with Trent Cole? They would get a lot more pressure than they do now.
Kearse was on top of the world in Philadelphia a a few years ago. They were in the Super Bowl, and many thought things would only get better. This case is just yet another reminder that the NFL truly is the Not For Long league.