“I happened to be with him when they released him,” said Cole. “He was at my house. I was surprised. He said, ‘Yeah they just released me.’ I thought he was playing around, but it’s real.”
The hunting buddies were hanging out in Cole’s garage and Babin was getting ready to head out when he got the call from Andy Reid. Babin told ESPN radio that he laughed when he received the news. Chances are, he didn’t know how else to react.
“This is our livelihood. This is our job. This is the game we love to play,” said Cole. “It was shocking to him. He has a family to take care of, and he had to go home and get things situated. That’s life-turning.”
Babin’s release was the buzz in the locker room Wednesday prior to practice. His former defensive line mates said to a man that they did not see it coming.
“Everybody was surprised. We weren’t expecting anything like that to happen to Jason,” said Fletcher Cox. “Wash [Jim Washburn] talked to us about it. Everyone was surprised. We all wish Jason the best, as Coach Reid wished him the best. We hate it that it happened to him.”
Reid suggested that the move was made so the younger players could get more playing time down the stretch. While that is undoubtedly part of the motivation, it’s hard not to look at it as a stern message to the rest of the team that nothing is guaranteed. Some certainly took it that way.
“It’s getting serious. It’s serious,” said Brandon Graham of his reaction. “It made me look and say, ‘Now it’s your shot, man. Don’t blow it.’ People come and go all the time, now I have to make sure I take full advantage. I promise I’m going to do that.”
Graham is one of the beneficiaries of Babin’s release, as he moves into a starting role. Rookie Vinny Curry, who impressed in his debut Monday night, will also slide up the chart.
There are five games left, and change is on the horizon. As the Babin move shows, everyone is on shaky ground.
“Eyes open, because just when you think you’re safe, you’re gone,” said Graham. “Every day and every week I’m going to take it on like I could be gone tomorrow.”
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