Eagles released defensive end Vinny Curry, saving $5 million from salary cap

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It was expected that the Philadelphia Eagles would either release or trade Vinny Curry after they acquired Michael Bennett. Curry, 29, would have counted $11 million against the salary cap. By releasing him, the Eagles will save $5 million.

The Eagles released Vinny Curry on Friday after six years with the Eagles in a cost-cutting move that will save the team $5 million in salary cap space.

It was expected that the Eagles would either release or trade Curry after they acquired Michael Bennett. Curry, 29, would have counted $11 million against the salary cap. The Eagles absorb a $6 million salary cap hit, with the rest of the money available for the Eagles to allocate to incoming players.

“We want to thank Vinny Curry for his contributions to our organization over the last six seasons, including the important role he played in bringing our city its first Super Bowl championship,” the Eagles said in a team statement. “It’s difficult to part ways with a player like Vinny who has made an impact on the field, in the locker room and in the community. We wish Vinny and his family all the best moving forward.”

Curry grew up an Eagles fan in Neptune, N.J., and was drafted as a second-round pick by his favorite team in 2012. He played six seasons for the Eagles, transitioning between defensive schemes and only becoming a starter in 2017. He finishes his Eagles career with 22 sacks, including nine sacks as a third-down specialist in 2014. Interestingly, Curry was used less on passing downs in 2017 because of the Eagles’ defensive end depth.

Curry played a career-high 56 percent of the defensive snaps last season and finished with three sacks and 13 tackles for a loss. He was more productive than his statistics suggested — he was especially important against the run — and will likely be appealing elsewhere on the open market. However,  he would have been too expensive to keep in 2018. Curry signed a five year, $46.25-million contract before the 2016 season.

The Eagles will likely start 2017 first-round pick Derek Barnett at defensive end in Curry’s spot with Brandon Graham on the other side. Bennett and Chris Long are the top reserves.

Curry posted a farewell to the Eagles and Eagles fans on Instagram.

“Thank you fans for opening your arms and taking me in as one of your own!” Curry said. “This has been a dream come true for me to have the ability to play for my dream team and bring the Lombardi trophy home to you all!”

Who would’ve thought a small town boy from Neptune, NJ who grew up an Eagles fan, would’ve been drafted to his favorite team and win his and the teams first Super Bowl Championship! All Gods Plan! Philadelphia, Thank You! Thank you fans for opening your arms and taking me in as one of your own! This has been a dream come true for me to have the ability to play for my dream team and bring the Lombardi trophy home to you all! Thank you to the entire Eagles organization, coaching staff and my teammates, MY BROTHERS! UNDERDOGS! Without you guys, none of this would’ve been possible! I love you all from the bottom of my heart! I am humbled by this opportunity and can’t be more proud to call myself an Eagle for life! This experience has been one hell of a ride! I can’t wait to see what the future now holds for me. Thank You Philly!

A post shared by Vinny Curry (FLEE) (@mrgetflee) on