Updated March 20, 2012 @ 11:45 p.m. ET
A week after losing Mario Williams to the Bills, the Texans have traded another of their top defensive players, sending ILB DeMeco Ryans to the Eagles for a 2012 fourth-round draft choice that had been acquired from Tampa Bay. In addition, the teams swapped third-round picks, with Houston moving up 13 places.
Ryans must pass a physical before the trade is completed.
Ryans has started all 16 games in five of his six NFL seasons, including in 2011. Last season for the AFC South champions, he recorded 64 tackles and had a forced fumble. He eclipsed 110 tackles in each of his first four seasons in the league when Houston played a 4-3 defense, similar to what the Eagles do now.
PFW previously reported that the Texans were hoping to persuade Ryans to take a pay cut from his $5.9 million salary for next season.
Philadelphia had issues at linebacker last season and was looking to upgrade the position this offseason. It is expected Ryans will come right in as its starting middle linebacker.
The way we see it
The Eagles won't disappoint their fans when they don't select a linebacker in Round One. That's because they have swung the trade for Ryans, who has played his best ball as a 4-3 middle linebacker in a scheme similar to the one the Eagles will be running. He's 28, won't cost the Eagles a ton and is an instant upgrade over any linebacker the team has on the roster. He attacks well when shielded and should rack up the tackles. The Eagles were undisciplined at the position last season and lacked leadership. Ryans is a strong voice in the locker room and should join players such as Cullen Jenkins as the most respected players in the defensive huddle. The Eagles still want to add another linebacker, likely one to play the strong side, but this is a big addition that should have immediate results.