When the news broke that the Philadelphia Eagles had released defensive end Jason Babin, fellow defensive lineman Trent Cole had to take a couple of minutes to figure out whether the news was real or not:
"I told him, ‘You're lying. You're lying. Don't tell me that.' I didn't believe him at first. I thought he was playing around. He wasn't."
The two were hanging out at Cole's home when Babin received the call that he had been released. Babin has been playing below expectations this season. Despite starting all 11 games so far this season, he was held without a sack for an entire month and only has 5.5 this season on a defensive line that has recorded the fourth fewest sacks in the NFL.
CSN Philly columnist John Gonzalez wondered the obvious, if this move was made to spark the Eagles:
Cutting such a high-profile player during the season comes with consequences. Mainly, it makes people inside and outside the organization wonder whether the move was made, at least in part, to send a message to a team that has underachieved all year.
Babin saw his playing time dramatically decrease, playing only 33 snaps in their loss against the Atlanta Falcons. The reaction by other players, such as tight end Brent Celek, was that the Eagles have sent their message that anyone can be released:
"I think it's perceived to the players as, listen, you've got to do your job and help this team win around here," Celek said. "And if not, hey, there's the door."
The Eagles next play against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday with kickoff scheduled for 8:20 p.m. The game will be broadcast on Sunday Night Football on NBC.