The Eagles have made their first significant move of the offseason, coming to terms with defensive end Jason Babin. The former first-round pick had been rumored to be interested in returning to the Eagles ever since the team hired his former defensive line coach, Jim Washburn earlier in the offseason.
Babin produced the best season of his career under Washburn, notching 12.5 sacks while starting all 16 games for the Titans last season. His previous career in sacks was five, which came back in 2006 with the Houston Texans. He earned his first career Pro-Bowl selection in 2010.
Babin spent the 2009 season with the Eagles, appeared in 12 games, but only accumulated 2.5 sacks. He made the team after an impressive training camp and preseason, but was inactive for nearly half of the season, dressing for just one game in the first six weeks.
Babin was finally given an opportunity to work his way into the defensive end rotation in Week 7 when Victor Abiamiri had to miss some time with an injury. In the three weeks that he saw extended action, he was productive, picking up his 2.5 sacks in Weeks 7 through 9. When Abiamiri returned against the Chargers, Babin saw his snaps decrease. He remained active on gameday for the rest of the season, but didn’t see many snaps the rest of the way.
When given a chance to start, and the opportunity to work with an excellent defensive line coach, the 31-year old defensive end was able to enjoy the best season of his career. The Eagles will be banking on the idea that Babin’s success was not a one-year wonder, and that he can finally be the answer at the other defensive end position, and force teams to take some attention away from Trent Cole.