There have been many questions as to why the Eagles weren’t adding to their defensive end depth this off-season. They have answered those questions today by bringing back Vinny Curry.
The story so far
The 32-year-old played in all 16 games last season, notching five sacks and 27 tackles. His five sacks were his most since his nine sack season in 2014. Four of those five sacks came in the team’s last five games, with two coming against the Giants in their first matchup. His late surge in production wasn’t enough to earn the New Jersey native a new deal, but that didn’t stop the Eagles offering him one very late in the proceedings.
With the Curry signing, it looks as though they are set at the position. The depth chart would seemingly be:
- Brandon Graham
- Derek Barnett
- Vinny Curry
- Josh Sweat
- Genard Avery
With Malik Jackson and Fletcher Cox both able to push out to the EDGE position, it looks likely that Shareef Miller, Casey Toohill, and Joe Ostman will be heading to the practice squad. Look for Ostman to push for that final EDGE spot over Josh Sweat.
A familiar face in Curry
Curry was drafted by the Eagles in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft and would go on to carve a role in numerous defensive schemes. After a career-high 9 sacks in 2014, hopes were high and he played his way to a big-time payday in 2016. After the Super Bowl, Curry departed for what he thought were greener pastures in Tampa Bay.
His lone season in with the Bucs was slightly underwhelming, posting just 2.5 sacks and 21 tackles. He did suffer a high ankle sprain early on and never really seemed himself. This drew Howie’s gaze.
After playing in 55% of snaps during the Super Bowl run, that number dropped to 38% in 2019. However, it’s clear that Curry is still of value to the Eagles, both in terms of on-the-field production, and leadership away from it.
The defensive end group is young, inexperienced, and light on depth. The signing of Curry is cheap, cheerful, and brings back a player already familiar with the scheme in a shortened offseason. Something that could be pivotal down the stretch.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports