Eagles Keep Making Moves, Cut Two Overpaid Veterans

Written By Bob Cunningham On Thursday, March 18, 2010

Curtis and Howard join a line of players cut loose.

Over the past week or so, the Eagles have signed Marlin Jackson, have a pending offer sheet on Mike Bell, released Shawn Andrews, and traded Chris Clemons and a fourth-round pick to Seattle for defensive end Darryl Tapp.

And if you thought they were done, you were wrong.

The Birds have cut defensive end Darren Howard and wide receiver Kevin Curtis, both of whom were in their 30's and not performing up to their contracts. Each had one very good season, but in the end the Eagles didn't feel they had another one left and decided to part ways.

Howard's season came in 2008 when he led the team in sacks with ten, and was a force all year as he was consistently making plays on the offense's side of the ball. It was what the Eagles had been waiting for out of him since they gave him a pretty hefty deal as a free agent out of New Orleans.

He seemed to back it up again last season with 6.5 sacks, but his $3.4 million price tag was simply too much for a situational pass-rusher at 33 years old.

Howard could continue to play, but it will have to be the right situation for him on a defense that will allow him to attack around the edge and, if at all possible, play across from a big-time end. Off the top of my head, I'm thinking a place like Minnesota, New York (Giants), and Atlanta may fit that need.

Curtis, on the other hand, is a bit more difficult to peg. He had a very productive season in 2007 (77 receptions for 1,100 yards and six touchdowns), but a lot of those numbers came against inferior competition and he really didn't show up in the big games.

But is that because he's just not that good of a receiver, or because the Eagles had him playing out of position?

Curtis made his money in the slot during his time in St. Louis, but the Eagles took him and made him a split-end, which may have hampered his play a little bit. Playing slot receiver as compared to split-end is as different as playing corner on the outside, or playing the nickel.

They're different animals, and I've always had the feeling that Curtis would benefit from a move inside.

If there's a team out there in need of a slot receiver, it wouldn't be too much of a gamble to target Curtis. He's 31 years old, but he appears to be making his way back from injuries and could still have a few productive seasons left in him.

It looks like the Eagles are dumping any guy they feel has a bad contract, and more cuts could still come. Cutting Howard just makes the need for a defensive end even greater, and now with Curtis gone they will need to establish some depth at receiver.

The Eagles could be major players in the draft, which is going to make this month-long wait even harder to bare.

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