The Eagles have completed their first major signing since the start of free agency agreeing to a five year deal with defensive end Jason Babin. The deal is reportedly worth $28 million with $5-6 million in guaranteed money. Babin spent one disappointing season with the Eagles in 2009, but then went to Tennessee and had a breakout season registering 12.5 sacks and making his first pro bowl.
Babin attributes much of that success to defensive line coach Jim Washburn, who left Tennessee for Philadelphia this past offseason. Babin said earlier this year that the presence of Washburn with the Eagles was a major draw for him.
“[Jim Washburn] is the guy that gave me the chance,” Babin told The Tennessean newspaper. “He’s the guy who poured water on me, let me have sunshine, gave me fertilizer, and really let me grow. It would be hard for me not to contemplate it if he said, ‘Jason, I want you in Philly.’ He resurrected me. I’d have to at least give that serious consideration.”
Babin is an interesting case, having his breakout season at 30 years old and getting his first big free agent contract at 31. The Eagles are banking on Babin continuing to flourish under Washburn and that his one 13 sack year was not a fluke.
However, the Eagles did protect themselves on the downside. With only a reported $5-6 million guaranteed, the team isn’t locked into the deal long term and could likely get out of after two years with minimal cap pain if Babin wasn’t living up. For now. however, the Eagles will install the guy who led 4-3 defensive ends in sacks last year to start opposite Trent Cole, which should make for a set of fearsome pas rushers to deal with for opposing defenses.