HOUSTON - DECEMBER 04: DeMeco Ryans #59 of the Houston Texans celebrates after the Houston Texans defeated the Atlanta Falcons at Reliant Stadium on December 4, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
The Eagles strengthened their defense Tuesday by trading a fourth-round pick for Texans linebacker DeMeco Ryans.
The Philadelphia Eagles, after struggling mightily to find any consistency from the middle linebacker spot in the lost 2011 season, believe they've found the solution after they traded with the Houston Texans for DeMeco Ryans Tuesday. Ryans, a two-time Pro Bowler, could be exactly what the Eagles need to live up to last year's lofty expectations. The Eagles send back the Buccaneers' fourth-round pick and the teams will swap third-rounders.
Ryans is 27, but is on a troubling decline in his career. After compiling 155 tackles in his rookie season and more than 110 in each of his next three seasons, he was injured in 2010 and wasn't the same last year. Despite playing and starting in all 16 games, he had just 64 tackles and no sacks for the first time in his career. With other linebackers like Brian Cushing, Connor Barwin and Brooks Reed, the Texans felt Ryans was expendable and would rather stockpile draft picks.