Just got an email from Adam Schefter, who reports the following:
"Philadelphia reached agreement with former Tennessee Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Babin on a five-year contract, according to a league source. Last season in Tennessee, playing for now Eagles defensive line coach Jim Washburn, Babin had 11.5 sacks. He now teams with Trent Cole to give the Eagles one of the league's best end combinations."
So, that earlier item about the idea that the slow pace of the Kevin Kolb trade talks might have been holding up the Eagles' offseason plans ... yeah, never mind.
With Brandon Graham still working his way back from his surgery, Washburn wanted a pass-rushing end to play on the opposite side of the line from Cole. The Eagles appear to be installing a new defense, under Washburn and defensive coordinator Juan Castillo (a converted offensive line coach), that will rely more on the front four and pressuring the passer where the Eagles' defenses of years past relied on seeking and forcing turnovers. The question is whether Babin can be the player he was last year in Tennessee again. Washburn is well respected as one of the best defensive line coaches in the league. Babin is not his only success story. Washburn, Babin and the Eagles have reason to believe he can repeat his 2010 success in 2011, especially with the excellent Cole drawing attention on the other side.