Scheffler to Lions in three-way deal

The Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos and Detroit Lions have pulled off a three-way trade, with the Lions obtaining former Broncos tight end Tony Scheffler and the Eagles receiving ex-Lions linebacker Ernie Sims.

The Eagles sent a fifth-round pick in this week's draft to the Broncos, while Denver sent its seventh-round pick to the Lions to complete the trade on Monday.

In 59 career games, all with the Lions, Sims has been credited with 420 tackles including 2.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and one interception. He was credited with 49 tackles last season.

"Ernie Sims is an impact player at the linebacker position," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "He brings a lot of energy to our already energized defense. We are looking forward to adding him to our team."

Last season, the Eagles tried numerous combinations at linebacker. Seven different players started at least one game at one of the tree linebacker spots. Sims, the ninth overall pick in the 2006 draft, is a versatile player who can play three downs. He played weakside linebacker for the Lions, and likely will compete with Akeem Jordan for the starting job in Philadelphia.

"I've been competing my whole life," Sims said. "I don't expect to come in and just be handed a job. I expect to come in and work for my position."

Detroit seems to have created a void at linebacker, trading Sims and choosing not to re-sign Larry Foote.

But the coaching staff may not view Sims as much of a loss. He struggled to stay healthy last season after starting all 16 games in his first three seasons. When Sims did play, he didn't appear to perform as well as rookie DeAndre Levy.

Denver had been shopping Scheffler since he signed his tender last week. A four-year veteran, he has 138 catches for 1,896 yards and 14 touchdowns, all for the Broncos. He caught 31 passes for 416 yards and two TDs last year.

Scheffler is the latest member of Denver's exceptional draft class of 2006 to depart since coach Josh McDaniels replaced Mike Shanahan 15 months ago. He joins quarterback Jay Cutler, who was traded to Chicago last year, and wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who was traded to Miami last week.

Scheffler was one of several holdovers from the Shanahan era who saw their roles reduced under McDaniels last season, and he was suspended for the season finale along with Marshall because of his attitude.

Still, his departure means the Broncos have a void at tight end, where Daniel Graham is almost exclusively a blocker and second-year pro Richard Quinn, a second-round pick last year, has yet to catch his first NFL pass. Quinn's only contribution his rookie season was returning a single kickoff for 19 yards.

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and The Associated Press contributed to this report.