For fans wondering when some of the underperforming stars that have helped doom this Eagles season might be held accountable, there was an answer Tuesday, too little, too late, but better than nothing.
Preening defensive end Jason Babin was released. In a statement, Eagles coach Andy Reid said he appreciated Babin's contributions -- which included making the Pro Bowl last year -- but that cutting him "gives us an opportunity to give more playing time to some of the younger guys in the defensive line rotation." -- Such as rookie Vinny Curry, who saw his first action of the season Monday and led the DL with five tackles in just 21 snaps.
Babin, who had 18 sacks last year, has 5.5 this season. He has rarely made a play other than a sack.
In an NFL Network interview, Babin was asked if he was surprised, when Reid gave him the news.
“Yeah I was definitely surprised by the move. That’s the way football goes. You can never be too surprised. There are crazy things [that] happen every week, every year,” Babin said.
Babin must clear waivers, because the trade deadline is well past. A team claiming him would be on the hook for about a third of his $5 million base for 2012. Babin began his second tour with the Eagles as part of the disastrour free agent signing tour of 2011, when he inked a five-year, $27.325 million deal after a Pro Bowl year in Tennessee under defensive line coach Jim Washburn, who preceded Babin to Philadelphia.
Reid told the Daily News Tuesday evening that Washburn was OK with the release of Babin. Reid said fans shouldn't imply that Babin is the reason for the Eagles' defensive struggles.
In the NFL Network interview, Babin said the players were to blame, in general, not himself specifically.
“Really a lot of it is due to us. If you don’t do what you’re supposed to do – if you’re not covering the right guy, playing the right coverage, in the right gap, getting the right call, not communicating – you’re giving the other team a big advantage to making a big play.”