Here's a roundup of what people are saying about the Eagles' acquisition of linebacker DeMeco Ryans from the Texans.
I offered my quick take here.
Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com thinks the Eagles definitely got the better of the deal:
It's a home run for the Eagles. They badly needed a middle linebacker; Ryans is a natural 4-3 man in the middle. He stops the run and calls the plays. The Eagles needed leadership at a position where their young players struggled in 2011.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk agrees:
DeMeco will be that “mike” for the Eagles, and there’s no reason to think he won’t perform like he did in past years. While both teams can declare victory on this one, the Eagles likely will see the move directly translate to more victories comes September. And whether it’s from buying a player low or selling him high, the Eagles once again emerge from a trade with the apparent upper hand.
ESPN.com's Dan Graziano likes the move too:
Ryan will turn 28 years old in July and is signed through 2015 at about $6.5 million per year, although none of the money is guaranteed past this season. He immediately becomes the best linebacker on the Eagles' roster and is as strong an option as any they would have found on the free-agent market. It's an excellent pickup for the Eagles, who needed as much help as possible at the position, and to answer a lot of people's first question, no, I do not think it precludes them from getting another linebacker or taking someone such as Boston College's Luke Kuechly in next month's draft.
Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle printed a bunch of texts from current and former Texans players:
"WTF!! You know what they are up to?"
"Damn, man, and they talk about loyalty."
"Cold-blooded, man, cold-blooded. But Meco will be better off for it. He’s going to dominate in Philly."
"They don’t what leadership means, do they? Bet they won’t finish No. 2 in defense next season."
"It’s an ugly business. We’re not the same team without him. Gonna take a lot to replace Meco."
Jason Lisk of The Big Lead argues that 28 is older than you think for a middle linebacker:
Here’s a list of the middle/inside linebackers since the merger who had 40+ starts by age 25, and made at least one pro bowl. Willis, Beason, and Mayo are all younger. Ray Lewis is a freak of nature. Jonathan Vilma turns 30 this year, and is rumored to be on the cut list in New Orleans. Lofa Tatupa didn’t play last year, and is trying to make a comeback, he’s also under 30.
Among the guys either retired or over 30 (Lewis and Urlacher), the median age in the last season they started more than half the games for a team was 30.5. The median age for the last pro bowl season was 28.5. Given that Ryans missed most of a season with injury two years ago, and looking at the other players on the list, you might lean under on Ryans.
Bleeding Green Nation transcribed some thoughts from NFL Films' Greg Cosell during an interview with the Eagles' Web site. Cosell likes the addition, but says Ryans is a different player than he was before the Achilles injury. He also says Ryans is more of an instinctive linebacker than a physical linebacker.
Tremendous video here on NFL.com of Ryans when he was mic'd up. Make sure you listen to what he says at the 59-second mark. I think he and Hunter Pence are going to get along well.