Eagles Release Jason Babin

In what can certainly be perceived as a shot across the bow, the Eagles released defensive end Jason Babin Tuesday.

“We appreciate everything that Jason has given this team over the last couple of years,” said Andy Reid in a statement. “We wish him all the best as he continues his career. By releasing him today, this gives us an opportunity to give more playing time to some younger guys in the defensive line rotation.”

Though there’s obviously much more to it than that.

It has been a rather dramatic fall for the 32-year-old after an equally sharp ascent. Teamed with Jim Washburn in Tennessee in 2010, Babin racked up 12 1/2 sacks after posting no more than five sacks in a season over his first six years in the NFL. He followed his defensive line coach to Philadelphia and had 18 sacks last year, earning a trip to the Pro Bowl in the process.

He had 5 1/2 sacks this season through 11 games. There is much more to the game and the position than sacks, of course, and one criticism of Babin is that he would sell out and neglect gap and run responsibility in the name of getting to the quarterback. He appeared to be out of position a good bit in Monday’s game against the Panthers.

Babin signed a five-year, $27 million deal in 2011 and was making a base salary of $5 million this season. The deal included just a $1 million signing bonus. According to multiple reports the Eagles do not owe Babin anything, as termination pay is a one-time benefit, and Babin collected when he was cut by Seattle.

With plenty of bodies at defensive end, the Eagles were going to part with Babin anyway this offseason in all likelihood. As the Reid statement suggests, this is a way to get more of the young guys, like Vinny Curry, some more playing time down the stretch.

However, it can also serve as a sign that nobody’s job is safe and that there will be consequences if a certain level of play is not reached.

Things have not been completely harmonious on the defensive front during this seven-game slide. According to a source, a frustrated Trent Cole walked out during a defensive line meeting recently. Behind the Wide-9, the defense compiled 50 sacks a year ago. This season they have just 18 — the same number Babin got all by himself last year.

Some players were apparently rubbed the wrong way by the Washburn-Babin relationship, feeling that he was treated a bit differently than the rest of them. Babin is now gone. And it’s very possible Washburn will be as well in the near future.

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  • NYCbirds

    Good riddance. Dude was the defensive end equivalent of Dave Kingman. He also was very likely a locker-room scourge.

    • I’m thinking it was the latter that got him released today. There r plenty of eff ups on D Mr. Wanna Flex His Muscles and Jaw in Folk Face But Can’t Tackle and Hasn’t Met a PA Fake He Doesn’t Like Kurt Coleman could easily (and deservedly) earned the ax. So the fact that it was Babin and it happened now suggests there was more wrong than his inability to get sacks this year.

      • Also thinks it spells the end of Washburn since Babin was his guy

        • Kimbafuzz

          It needs to be the end of Washburn and that ridiculous wide-9 crap.

          • Dolomite

            Amen to that, worst scheme ever.

      • Though I agree there are plenty of players who will not be back next year, they can’t cut them all mid-season! This is simply a depth move- with Babin out, the young guys can get more snaps. Cutting someone like Coleman would simply hurt the safety depth too much- though I wouldn’t mind him being benched.

      • CJ

        I’d like to see Kurt stick around, he’d a good special teams guy. Not a starter tho

  • Joe D

    One down. Many more to go. I hope Coach Wash can catch on somewhere else to try to make this guy relevant again. Oh wait no I don’t hope for that.

  • Rage114


  • Docboy

    Well…. That took balls…but ship already sinking… Throwing the heavy stuff first…

  • Run Eagles Run

    too little too late andy

  • Kristopher Cebula

    let the heads roll!!!

  • limodriver2750

    yes..long overdue yet unexpected (@lesbowen)

  • morgan c

    eh, while babin was a one-dimensional player, and didn’t even do that very well this year, he is more productive than anyone on the defense not named demeco ryans, michael kendricks, and fletcher cox. not saying this is a bad move. but just too little too late, and not really enough. nnamdi should be released instead / in addition.

    • Joe D

      If Nnamdi is next I will consider this season a success.

    • Roasty

      Brandon Graham is quietly having a much better year than Babin. Maybe not with sacks but given the amount of chances he has hurried more and provided significantly better run support in my opinion. This gives him and Curry more opportunity to develop.

    • daytoday

      Nnamdi should be released based on what? were you saying that when he held calvin johnson to 1 catch threw 3 quaters? btw calvin is the best WR in the NFL

      • JofreyRice

        Did you watch how scattershot Matt Stafford was in that game? You’re going to cherrypick 3 quarters of football against the Lions and ignore the other 25 & a quarter lousy games he’s played as an Eagle? The dude is giving up a 110 QB rating when throwing at him, can’t run, looks like an idiot trying to make open field tackles, and likes to interfere when the game is on the line. Come on now. Dude is cooked, toast, finito. Give up the ghost, invest in a new fathead, guy gets fried by Tandon Doss & Jacoby Jones; pitiful!

        • daytoday

          – i could point out the cardinals game were he was targeted 1 time for no catches, or the dallas game, again no catches, i could keep going….

          – like i said EVERY CB gets beat on plays, what world do you live in were that doesnt happen? cuz i want to visit, revis gets beat, EVERYONE does

          – but like the national media says, philly fans are dumb, and here we are living up to the hype…the 2 bum safteys are the problem on the defense NOT the cbs…but lets all blame the highest paid and highest profile guys

          • Sb2bowl

            Nnamdi is good on big, physical WR. He even held Mike Wallace in check when we played the Steelers.

          • daytoday

            yea ur right…. he is the BEST press man to man CB in the NFL….problem is when we play zone he is depending on our safties to be there, and when they are not, it makes Nnamdi look bad…i keep trying to talk sense into peoples heads

          • Dynamite

            Nnamdi was signed under the assumption that the Birds would be contending for championships. Thats the reason you risk that huge contract on a 30 year old free agent. The potential overpay for an aging player at the back of the deal is acceptable because you are contending for a ring at the front end of the contract. Obviously, the Birds are headed in a very different direction. You have a way out of the contract, so you get out of it and use the money to rebuild with younger players.

          • daytoday

            so you dont think that if we had a healthy o-line (with the added depth that we have developed this yr due to the injurys) , a big number 1 WR, healthy vick, and 2 new good safties, this wouldnt be a better team? you would rather just blow up a team that is acouple pieces away from contending?
            – philly fans are so knee jerk its crazy! all im going to say is be careful what you wish for…remember all the ppl saying nick foles was going to light it up, cuz i do…

          • Dynamite

            A healthy o-line would make a huge difference. HUGE. Very fair point. But I fear you’re drinking the same Kool-Aid this team has been drinking about the talent. Nnamdi is not as good as expected, and he will only get worse with age. Hes just not worth what the back end of that contract.

            And its not knee jerk on this roster… I’ve watched Maclin half ass his way thru games for 3 years now. From his obvious mailing in of punt returns as a rookie cause he didn’t want to do it to his constant blocking penalties to his pulling up on routes. Hes never, EVER, been defended on a play without jumping up screaming for a flag.

            Vick? I actually like him, and don’t have the hate that some Eagles fans do. But hes behind the curve on reading defenses (hes admitted himself that he never studied during the first part of his career), he holds the ball a tick too long (which is MASSIVE in terms of NFL speed and throwing windows), and the only consistent thing about his career is injuries.

            Cullen? Overrated and getting more so as he ages. DRC? Come on man. This dude is an upgrade over Asante? He can’t tackle OR cover. Kurt and Nate, bums. Celek? Overrated, and has been for years. Cole? Love dude, but everybody gets old and maybe he has hit that point in his career. Desean quit about 4 weeks ago and it was only a matter of time before he got hurt jogging around the field. And has a history of mailing in games.

            So, what exactly is it that you like so much about this team? Why is it so crazy to dump DRC, Nnamdi, Vick, and Cullen Jenkins? What are they bringing to the team that you are gonna miss so much?

          • daytoday

            if we can restructure some of these dudes contracts and keep them, like nnamdi, then i dont see the point of cutting talented players like that, if we get 2 good safties DRC and Nnamdi will play much better……there is a reason so many people picked the eagles to be in the superbowl, cuz even last yr when we had problems, we still could have easily went 12-4, we blew many games in the 4th quater….i dont think blowing the team up would be a smart thing 2 do…..as far as desean and maclin, thats why i think we need a big number 1 guy, this summer i wish we traded for brandon marshall, desean and maclin and the rest of the guys we have would complement a number 1 guy sooo well

          • laeagle

            This all could be part of a scheme on Nnamdi’s part to drag us down to the level of play he was used to in Oakland. Maybe he got comfortable with that and misses it.

          • JofreyRice

            He wasn’t even on Mike Wallace for more than a few snaps, they had DRC on him, because they knew Asomugha can’t run anymore. Nnamdi was busy getting lit up by Antonio Brown. Please rewatch that game if you don’t remember.

            Aso has been bad since he got here, and not just in zone coverage. He might have been the “best press man CB” in the game at one point, but he’s never been that in Philly. NEVER.

            People can bend over backwards to makes excuses for Asomugha. Unfortunately, it’s a hell of a job, because you’ve got to work to disprove the video evidence, the statistics, and the most highly respected minds in the game (Greg Cosell among others has described Aso as a “below average CB”) on a weekly basis. We’ll see what happens in the offseason.

          • Sb2bowl

            if by “busy getting lit up” you mean 7 total receptions for 86 yards and a long of 20, then yup, he got “lit up”.

            Nnamdi spent a good part of that day on Wallace; Brown is actually more explosive, thus DRC got the assignment off and on throughout the day.

            He hasn’t been the player we thought we were getting; I was ecstatic when we signed him; now I’m more like “meh”.

          • JofreyRice

            I never claimed Brown wasn’t a good receiver, but he’s a more shifty lateral-explosion player than straight burner. Nnamdi is not capable of running with burners, is the point.

            He was targeted 7 times, and let up 6 completions in that game, giving up a QB rating of 93. You can try and minimize the overall yardage, but situationally, he wasn’t able to fulfill his responsibility, to help the team. Late in the second quarter, after getting beaten by Brown on what would have been a deep TD that Rothelisberger made a bad throw on, Nnamdi blew a coverage on Brown on 3rd and 4, and missed the tackle, letting the Steelers get in postion for a chipshot field goal at the end of the half. Those kind of plays are what translate into close losses. Getting beat or giving up a PI on 3rd down, has been his hallmark as an Eagle.

          • Sb2bowl

            I think the play you are referring to is when they ran a pick on Boykin; Brown was lined up in the slot, and the WR to his right ran left into Boykin’s area, creating seperation.
            I’m not defending Nnamdi as a burner, or even what we thought we were going to get; my point was to say that Brown had 7 receptions, for less than 90 yards- that’s not bad.

          • JofreyRice

            Nope, not that play. The play I’m referring to is the one I described. 18 yard pickup by Antonio Brown on 3rd and 4 with :49 seconds left in the second quarter. Two plays earlier, Nnamdi had just been beaten long, for what should have been a TD, except for a bad throw. Maybe that’s why he was playing 11 yards off the LOS and let Brown get a completely uncontested catch underneath. Straight man coverage, but Asomugha was totally out of position on the play. Boykin was covering Sanders on a drag route to the other side of the field, Allen had coverage on Miller & DRC was on Wallace. It was like taking candy from a baby for RBerger and Brown, and had nothing to do with the defensive coordinator, safeties, d-line pressure, O-line, scheme, lack of leadership, or any other red-herring. What compounded the error was the horrible attempt at a flailing tackle in the open field that let Brown pick up a huge chunk of yardage and make it an easy FG. Now, Brown makes a lot of people miss tackles, but once again, if your opponents are making plays in big situations, and you’re not, you’re going to lose games.

            He’s had a few good moments in Philly, but the guy has been beaten in big situations consistently. The context is really more important than the overall numbers, anyway, but in this case, the numbers incriminate Aso. If he had given up 10 catches for 120 yards, that would have been much different?

          • Sb2bowl

            On your last point, yes, I believe so. Looking at just the stat line, Brown doesn’t have many games with a long catch of 20 yards.
            However, there have been way too many times where Aso is out of position, or just simply too slow. Its like he forgot how to run fast, or just can’t do it anymore. Too bad he can’t hit; I’d love him as a safety.

          • JofreyRice

            Brown’s got a 20 yard reception in 6 of the 8 games he’s played in. Not following…

            I honestly don’t even know if Aso starts at CB for an NFL team next year. He’s a guy that can only play press-man, but has now lost a step, and is absolutely a liability against anyone that has even above average speed. He’s lost in zone coverage–you saw the way he mindlessly passed Aldrick Robinson off to no one in the Redskins game, expecting Nate Allen to cover center field. I’m not putting that TD entirely on Aso, but he had no receivers in his third of the field, and Allen’s blown coverage meant Robinson was running free. Aso realized that, and tried to catch up with him, but it was way too late. So if he can’t press-man anymore, plays zone coverage like an automaton, and can’t make open field tackles, where does that leave him?

          • Sb2bowl

            What I meant to say is that holding Brown to a long catch of 20 yards was good, said it wrong.
            I’d keep him for $4million next year, nothing more than to keep him to mentor younger guys- I really don’t think he’ll be here though.

          • morgan c

            um cardinals game? you mean where he just literally stopped running with fitz knowing once he saw safety blew his coverage, just so it would become apparent it wasn’t his fault? literally, that play and the julio jones play, and the should have been touchdown to torrey smith, haha oh and what about that other play where he also expected help against dez bryant i think it was, didn’t get it, and instead of continuing to bust his ass in an attempt to break up the play, he literally stopped running and gave up. i don’t care about his one good game against calvin johnson. the guy doesn’t care and doesn’t play hard (don’t get me started on his tackling). this alone is why he should be cut. but those plays where he just lets his guy go once he’s been beat, and totally gives up and starts jogging… i mean, look, i know he’s supposed to get help, but you do what you can do, don’t stop because someone else fucked up. he would rather make it clear that it’s not his fault, rather than make a play. he’s a total fraud / loser. i’d be happier playing with marsh or hughes, if they show they at least give a shit.

  • Bob A

    Yessir… Wash’s handpicked stiff is gone! And soon his useless position coach will be gone with him.

    • Sb2bowl

      Wash is on his way out; Babin excelled last year, but this year not so much. I’ll be happy when we get rid of the Wide 9; I’m honestly okay with a 2 gap system, but we’ll need the personnel for that again…….

  • Guest

    He’s the first, won’t be the last.

  • The Guru

    Had this been a month ago, might have sent more of a message. Nnamdi….you’re on notice Dog # 2!

  • Roasty

    It’s about time. He just spun in circles flailing his arms around

  • Myke Lowery

    BURN IT TO THE GROUND! 24 up next

  • Justin

    The house cleaning begins!

  • Kimbafuzz

    I’m a bit stunned by this. I mean, he was definitely someone who wasn’t returning next season, but still… WOW. Oh well.

  • Ken

    Shake up the safety position next.

    • There’s nothing there to shake up. They simply need to invest.

  • Dynamite

    I feel better already…. Now…. Lets a form a nice orderly line here. Nnamdi, Cullen, Kurt, Nate… come on down. Mr. Vick, Mr. cole, nothing personal, but line up too. We’re blowing this thing up

    • LostInChiTown

      Let’s not get too carried away here. Cole and Jenkins bust their butts on every play and hate to lose. And we only carry three safeties, so Nate’s here to stay. Besides, he was actually pretty good in 2010. You could put some of his struggles this season on scheme (if we have one) and coaching.

      As far as Nnamdi goes… it’d be nice to see what Marsh or Hughes has to offer…

      • 1972

        did you see how many times cole ran to the running back when he didnt have the ball? another idiot with no awareness.Him and babin should have been gone on the same bus outta here

        • Sb2bowl

          was the scheme; DL chases Rb, LB cleans up Qb

          • 1972

            yeah i actually like that scheme , but if u notice cole is never blocked on these plays so he has to read it better. the o line men let him run up field like a chicken with his head cut off and take out the lb every time. watch curry in there and u can see the difference in the two players.. cole is done!!!!

          • Sb2bowl

            but its his responsibility (from what I can tell and watching the other DE) to go for the RB. The Lb cleans up the QB if he keeps the ball.

            Now, on plays other than options, he has to do a better job recognizing play action and delays.

    • Trent Cole’s 2013 cap number will go UP if he’s cut. Doesn’t make sense to do that.

      • Dynamite

        Cullen is overrated. Just cause hes a guy who gives quotes doesn’t make him a good player. Why keep him around for a rebuild? I like Trent too, but if Dawk can get it, so can Trent. No need to have his salary around for rebuilding years. Birds fans need to get the idea of ‘turning this around’ out of their heads and start thinking rebuild. We’re about to enter QB search hell for the next couple years. Or has everyone forgotten the Bobby Hoying days??

        • 1972

          agree dynamite. jenkins is way overrated. He doesnt produce enough,. and trent cole is spent. hes in his 30s and hes unders sized goodbye

        • bsn

          Dawkins wasn’t cut…

    • Haan

      Cole will be fine once we get rid of this damn wide 9 alignment

    • FMWarner

      Let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater. Cole and Jenkins should stay. And Nate Allen should stay, if only because he’s the best we’ve got and you can’t replace all four safeties in one offseason.

    • Zachary Kahn

      Trents the kind of player id like to keep, thanks.

    • Actually should restructure Vick’s contract and keep him. Keep Foles as a backup and draft a QB for 2014. Get an Oline, a big receiver use the two headed monster that is Shady and Brown and the offense will be fine. Defense is where the big shakeup needs to happen.

      • 1972

        why cant we assess foles because of the line, but we can assess vick with the very same line? bunch of hypocrites

      • daytoday

        WOW someone who actualy knows what he is talking about….all this team needs:
        – a healthy o-line
        – a big number 1 WR (dwayne bowe) to go along with desean, maclin, avant, cooper, johnson
        – 2 new starting safteys
        – healthy vick
        – maybe a better OLB
        other than that we are good, this yr was filled with injuries and 2 bum safties blowing coverages for big plays

  • djack10

    this is what happens when you start calling out the fans. bye jason.

  • I have felt safe making the assumption that Babin would be gone for a while now. But what concerns me is Trent Cole turning 30 and not producing. His contract puts the team in a situation where he needs to turn it around over the next couple years.

  • Mike J

    Now…let Nnamdi not cover anybody for someone else!

    • daytoday

      all we need is 2 better safties on this team and we are good, DRC and Nnamdi are fine

  • 1972

    cole, both safties and nnamdi should be next.. oh and nick foles’ ceiling is lower than alex smiths’. this QB is average or worst

  • Nathan Winder

    The Chemotherapy has begun. At least some of the cancer is gone. A lot more to go.

  • Rich from Audubon

    too many outsiders on this team lead to their doom as we can see

  • joeyfootball

    What a joke, anyone with any football acumen, would have known that the wide 9 was a gimmick doomed to fail. Only works if used sparingly as part of a more traditional defensive package. One of the many blunders by Big Red. Stop the madness and get him out of here.

  • The Eagles are picking em off like cherries.

  • T

    I think this whole mess comes down to draft busts and injuries, which is significant, but I think a case can be made that Andy’s gotten a little unlucky. Looking back over the last 10 years of drafts, a lot of the round 1-3 picks were not complete stretches. If just half of them lived up to their billing and didn’t get injured, this team would not have had so many holes, and we wouldn’t see this patch work roster. Everyone knows you build through the draft, and these mishaps killed that possibility.
    2003 – Jerome McDougle (injury) and LJ Smith (bust) were definitely expected to play in the NFL.
    2004 – Shawn Andrews (injury), Matt Ware (bust), JR Reed (injury) were expected to play major roles.
    2005 – Mike Patterson (good), Reggie Brown (bust), Matt McCoy (bust), Ryan Moats (bust) were all exciting picks.
    2006 – I remember being excited for Brodrick Bunkley and Winston Justice. Both were expected to play.
    2007 – Kolb may have been a little bit of a stretch, but Abiamiri (injury), Bradley (injury), and Tony Hunt were expected to play.
    2008 – Aside from Jackson, Laws (bust), Smith (bust), and Demps (underperformed) were expected to bring grit to the defense.
    2009 – Only Maclin and McCoy came before round 5.
    2010 – Graham and Allen were considered very good picks.
    2011 – Watkins was a surprise, but a lot of experts had positive things to say. Jarret may have been a stretch, but he hasn’t even lived up to expectations, and Marsh and Matthews were supposed to contribute.
    2012 is looking positive.
    So try to go back to those draft days (without the 20/20 hindsight) and look at this team. Andrews, Justice, and Watkins on the O-Line. Patterson, McDougle, Bunkley, Abiamiri, Laws, Graham on the D-Line. LJ Smith with Celek at TE, Ryan Moats and Tony Hunt with McCoy at RB. Ware, Reed, Demps, Jarret in the secondary (all projected as hard hitters). Bradley and Matt McCoy at LB (ok, maybe not so great). Instead, Andy’s had to use picks and signings to fill holes.

    • Frederick Douglass

      Good analysis. While Bunk wasn’t an all pro, he was a consistent starter for many years (along side Patterson) and not a wasted pick.