Texans trade LB DeMeco Ryans to Eagles for 4th rounder

Ryans should immediately help Philadelphia. (US Presswire)
After suffering a ruptured Achilles in 2010 that forced him to miss more than half the season, inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans started all 16 games for the Texans last year. But with a core of young players performing impressively (J.J. Watt, Connor Barwin, and Brian Cushing) and with Ryan’s impact blunted a bit by Wade Phillips’ 3-4 scheme, Ryans obviously wasn’t in the franchise's long-term plans.

After the Texans reportedly asked him earlier this month to take a paycut from his $5.9 million base salary, Houston traded the two-time Pro Bowler to the Eagles on Tuesday night for a fourth-round draft choice. The teams also have swapped third-round picks in the 2012 draft, meaning the Eagles now have the 89th selection overall, while the Texans took the Eagles’ 77th overall pick

Ryans will certainly upgrade a Philadelphia linebacker corps that, for most of last season, was simply terrible.

It was thought the Eagles might go after Stephen Tulloch in free agency, but he re-signed with the Lions on a five-year contract on Tuesday to close off that option.

Ryans -- who signed a six-year, $48 million contract before the 2010 season that guaranteed more than $21 million -- didn’t play well early in the season for Houston, but he started making an impact late and finished with 64 tackles.

“DeMeco is a proven Pro Bowl linebacker in this league and we’re excited to be able to plug him into the middle of our defense,” said Eagles head coach Andy Reid said in a statement. “He’s been the signal caller and a leader on a very good Texans defense for the last several years. He’s a tough, instinctive football player and he’ll be a great fit for our team.”

Said Eagles general manager Howie Roseman: “We’re thrilled to be able to add a young and productive linebacker in DeMeco Ryans. We’d like to thank [Houston general manager] Rick Smith and the Texans. Once we found out that he could be available to us in a trade, we quickly found a way to work together to produce a good outcome for both teams.”

Here's what Smith had to say:

“DeMeco Ryans contributed significantly toward helping us build the foundation we hope will bring a world championship to the city of Houston. His professionalism and leadership cannot be over-exaggerated. This move was mutually beneficial for the Texans immediate and long-term goals, DeMeco’s career, and the Philadelphia Eagles. We appreciate all the hard work and effort DeMeco invested in our organization and wish him only the best moving forward. He is a class act.”

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