Eagles Sign Veteran Linebacker to One-Year Deal

Written By Bob Cunningham On Sunday, February 20, 2011
The Philadelphia Eagles announced this morning that they have signed veteran linebacker and ex-Cincinnati Bengal Rashad Jeanty to a one-year deal.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it was likely somewhere near the veteran minimum.

Some quick background stuff on Jeanty per the Eagles' official team release:

"The 27-year-old Jeanty played in 53 games (32 starts) as an outside linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals from 2006-09, recording 215 tackles. In 2008, Jeanty posted a career-high 97 tackles as he started 15 regular season games and earned the team’s Ed Block Courage Award from his teammates.

Jeanty (6-2, 243) led the Bengals with 14 special teams tackles in 2009 but suffered a fractured fibula on the opening kickoff of an AFC Wild Card game vs. NY Jets. That injury forced him to miss the entire 2010 season as he rehabilitated.

From 2003-05, Jeanty played for Edmonton in the Canadian Football League as a defensive end. He posted 49 tackles and five sacks for the Eskimos in 2004.

A product of Carol City High School in Miami, FL, Jeanty starred at Central Florida, logging 9.5 sacks and 137 tackles in 22 games. He was a college teammate of Eagles CB Asante Samuel."

The Eagles' PR team does a decent job of talking up every guy the Eagles sign, but the bottom line is this move is nothing more than providing the team with some depth at linebacker.

It makes sense considering the fact that Omar Gaither, Akeem Jordan, Stewart Bradley, and Ernie Sims could all have new places to call home next year. Should all those guys walk, the team would be left only with Jamar Chaney, Moise Fokou, Keenan Clayton, and anyone acquired through the draft.

At worst, Jeanty is a guy who provides some depth and competition in training camp but doesn't make it past the final round of cuts. At best, he's a guy who stays on to provide depth, continue pushing this young group, and is a contributor on special teams.

In short, there's no real downside to this signing.

But, per usual, there's a small fire to put out.

This is not the Eagles trying to get a starter at bottom-barrel prices because he was injured last year and this is not going to be an excuse for Andy Reid and Howie Roseman to avoid drafting a linebacker.

Had they given him a three-year, $15 million deal then I could see the issue, but this is a one-year deal for a guy who can back up at multiple positions at an area that's starting out thin and could get thinner because of free agency.

Given the current situation and uncertain status of the league moving forward, the Eagles are doing a decent job of trying to improve the team with the parameters given.

UPDATE: According to sources, Jeanty can earn up to $1.25 million on his one-year deal. That number is likely the ceiling of several incentives.

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