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DeMeco Ryans Trade: Why It Changes The Philadelphia Eagles Plans

More: Greg Cosell likes the Ryans trade

The Philadelphia Eagles pulled off a great trade on Tuesday, dealing a 4th round pick and swapping third round selections with the Houston Texans to acquire DeMeco Ryans.

Ryans is a two-time pro bowler who is not only a leader, but one of the more productive middle linebackers in the NFL since his rookie year of 2006. A perfect 4-3 fit, Ryans will bring the talent and tenacity this unit needs.

However, the Eagles did more than just fill a need. By attaining Ryans, they now open up possibilities with their first round pick.

Before, most felt Philly was handcuffed to taking a linebacker if one was available. However, Andy Reid and co. can now explore other options including the offensive line.

The only risk in this trade is whether or not Ryans returns to his pre-injured form. Ryans tore his Achilles tendon in 2010 and only recorded 64 tackles last season in 16 games. It also must be pointed out that he was playing in a 3-4 for the first time though as well, so the adjustment couldn't have been easy.

Previous to 2010, his lowest tackle total was 112. No matter what, the Eagles took a gamble they simply couldn't turn down.

For more on the Eagles, be sure to check out Bleeding Green Nation and SB Nation Philly for all the latest news and updates.