On the surface, it would seem that the Houston Texans motivation for moving two-time Pro Bowl LB DeMeco Ryans to the Philadelphia Eagles was based on business. They only got a fourth-round pick (plus the swap of the thirds), but cleared some $6 million in cap space off the books for this year. So while the Texans’ brass may feel like they loosened up their cap situation, many players, according to Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle, don’t appreciate the move.
Here are some texts that he received from players regarding the Ryans trade:
“WTF!! You know what they are up to?”
“Damn, man, and they talk about loyalty.”
“Cold-blooded, man, cold-blooded. But Meco will be better off for it. He’s going to dominate in Philly.”
“They don’t what leadership means, do they? Bet they won’t finish No. 2 in defense next season.”
“It’s an ugly business. We’re not the same team without him. Gonna take a lot to replace Meco.”
And keep in mind these are players that just saw the Texans let Mario Williams walk out of town. They seem to be more upset about this than from losing one of the best pass rushers in the game. Oh, and losing Eric Winston wasn’t exactly a popular move either. But this? DeMeco Ryans? This one seems to have set them off.
Several Texans players took to Twitter as well to go on record with their thoughts:
Owen Daniels: “Seriously? Meco too?”
Brian Cushing: “I wouldn’t be half the player or person I am today without @DRyans59 this one hurts. Philly got a unbelievable player and leader today. #59″
Glover Quin: “Honored to have had the chance to play with and learn from @DRyans59.. True leader and great person… Preciate you bro.”
Eric Winston (to Owen Daniels): “Watch you(r) back kid. @owendaniels you’re the last ’06 guy left.”
So, even if you know nothing about DeMeco Ryans and have never seen him play, you can get a clear sense just from these quotes of what kind of player, person and leader the guy is. The Eagles got a steal, I think that much is clear.
Even if he gets hurt on day 1 and never plays a down for the Birds, this is a great move. Even if he’s a total turd that’s used improperly by Juan Castillo (certainly possible), this is a great move. The upside that comes with this fourth-round pick and swap of thirds is tremendous. What would they have done with that fourth-round pick anyway, take a 231-lb. defensive end from a college that no one has heard of and tell us he’s a fastball coming off the edge? Exactly.
According to Solomon, the Texans rarely release statements on players who are cut or shipped out of town. But, GM Rick Smith did just that, apparently with a team PR person who should be fired.
“DeMeco Ryans contributed significantly toward helping us build the foundation we hope will bring a world championship to the city of Houston,” Smith said in the statement. “His professionalism and leadership cannot be over-exaggerated. This move was mutually beneficial for the Texans immediate and long-term goals, DeMeco’s career, and the Philadelphia Eagles. We appreciate all the hard work and effort DeMeco invested in our organization and wish him only the best moving forward. He is a class act.”
SIDE NOTE: This is why the PR person should be fired (okay maybe that’s harsh). For those of you who aren’t in the public relations field or don’t know how this works, these words never left Smith’s lips. These PR people write up a quote and then run it by Smith to get him to approve it. Smith or his people didn’t catch this error either obviously, but it makes him look stupid. If the term “over-exaggerate” comes out of your mouth in conversation, it’s forgivable. When it’s in a prepared statement, it’s just dumb. You can’t over-exaggerate anything. Exaggerate by definition means you are stretching the truth and overdoing it. These kinds of things bug me. Carry on.
But I digress. If the upside on this deal for the Eagles isn’t obvious, just listen to the reactions of Ryans’ former teammates. They’d know better than anyone. This one goes in the win column for Howie and the rest of the Eagles organization who made it happen.