After locking up three cornerstone offensive players in tight ends Brent Celek and Zach Ertz and tackle Lane Johnson last week, the Eagles turned their attention on Tuesday to the defensive side of the ball.
The team reached a deal with another young player with a great deal of promise, defensive end Vinny Curry, agreeing to terms with the would-be free agent on a five-year deal that will secure his services through 2020. Curry will address the media at Noon on Wednesday at the NovaCare Complex in Philadelphia. Tune in to PhiladelphiaEagles.com or the team’s official app to watch the press conference live.
The 27-year-old edge rusher has spent the past three seasons trying to carve out a niche in the 3-4 defense, logging snaps at both end and outside linebacker while playing primarily on passing downs. In that role, Curry has found a great deal of success, despite his limited playing time. Selected with the 59th overall pick in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft, the 6-3, 279-pound defensive end finished second on the team in quarterback hurries with 21 in 2015 despite being on the field for just 35 percent of the Eagles’ defensive snaps. In 2014, Curry was one of just six NFL players to have nine sacks and four forced fumbles and he played just 32 percent of the snaps on defense.
Curry may see a bigger role in 2016, though, with the arrival of defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. The former Lions head coach will implement a 4-3 front that features aggressive pass-rushing techniques for his linemen, and in his last three seasons as a defensive coordinator - in 2014 with the Buffalo Bills and 2008 and 2007 with the Tennessee Titans - his teams ranked first, fifth and seventh in sacks, respectively. Schwartz’s dedication to generating pressure on the quarterback using his defensive line bodes well for Curry.