The Philadelphia Eagles announced Tuesday that they acquired two-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans from the Houston Texans in exchange for a fourth round pick in 2012 NFL Draft. The fourth round pick (4th overall selection in that round) was originally acquired by the Eagles from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to the team’s press release. The Eagles and Texans also swapped third round choices for this year’s draft. The Eagles now possess the 89th selection overall, while the Texans have the Eagles’ 77th overall pick.
“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. “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.”
The highly-energetic Ryans was originally selected in the second round (33rd overall) by Texans in the 2006 NFL Draft and immediately was instituted into the starting lineup. The 6-1, 247-pound linebacker was named AP Defensive Rookie of the Year after registering a team-high 156 tackles, along with 3.5 sacks and an interception.
Ryans has played and started in 86 games, as he earned Pro Bowl honors in 2007 and 2009. The 27-year-old All-Pro linebacker leaves the Texans as the team’s franchise leader in tackles with 637, while also recording eight sacks, six forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries, and two interceptions in his six-year NFL career.
The Alabama native was the Texans’ team captain and in 2011, Ryans started all 16 games at middle linebacker in the team’s newly 3-4 defensive scheme, installed by defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.
The Texans’ defense ranked among league leaders in many categories – fourth in points allowed per game (17.4), second in yards allowed per game (285.7), third in passing yards allowed (189.7), fourth in rushing yards allowed per game (96), and sixth in sacks (44).
The Eagles’ defense just got even better, as Ryans will bring another fiery presence to the huddle – and humor to the sideline.
“We’re thrilled to be able to add a young and productive linebacker in DeMeco Ryans,” said Eagles’ general manager Howie Roseman. “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.”
In addition, Ryans will rejoin his former college teammate from the University of Alabama, left guard Evan Mathis who re-signed Saturday.