posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 07:29 PM
The biggest name in unrestricted free agency has flown (to) the coop, with free agent defensive end Jevon Kearse reaching a contract agreement with
In a deal that makes Kearse the highest-paid defensive lineman in NFL history, he will sign an eight-year contract worth $66 million. The pass-rush
terror nicknamed "The Freak" will receive a signing bonus of $16 million. There are additional roster bonuses of $2 million each in the first two
seasons, essentially guaranteeing $20 million of the deal.
Kearse, 27, will earn $24 million in the first three years of the contract.
Having appeared in three straight NFC title games, and lost all of them, the Eagles seem more intent than ever in capturing a Super Bowl berth in
2004. The addition of Kearse will immediately upgrade the front four, provide a big-time pass-rush threat to a unit that collected 38 sacks in 2003
but didn't have an individual player with more than 7½ sacks, and give innovative coordinator Jim Johnson another weapon for his arsenal.
League sources contended Wednesday afternoon that the Eagles might also explore the possibility of trading for San Francisco wide receiver Terrell
In five seasons with the Titans, Kearse had 192 tackles and 47½ sacks, with 19 forced fumbles and 19 pass deflections. The former University of
Florida star, a first-round pick in 1999, averaged a dozen sacks in his first three seasons, including a league rookie record 14½. But foot injuries
in 2002 sidelined him for all but four regular-season games. He missed four games in 2003 with a variety of leg injuries.
This is a big signing for the Eagles, the only downfall is his history of injuries.