Philadelphia Eagles News

April: Jeanty Was Most Coveted Special Teams Player

It was the type of offseason transaction that quietly went under the radar without much fanfare.

The Eagles signed former Bengals linebacker Rashad Jeanty to a one-year deal on February 20. Jeanty missed all of the 2010 season while recovering from a fractured leg, an injury that he incurred the in the 2009 playoff loss to the New York Jets.

The 27-year-old Jeanty played for four seasons with the Bengals. In 53 games (32 starts on defense), Jeanty had 204 tackles, six pass knockdowns, four forced fumbles and a pair of fumble recoveries. However, Jeanty's biggest impact came on special teams where he led the team with 14 tackles in 2009.

It was Jeanty's play on special teams that caught the eye of the Eagles when he was a free agent a year ago. In fact, special teams coordinator Bobby April thought that there was no better special teams player available on the market.

"When I first got here, he was coming off of his 2009 season obviously, and he had a great season on special teams for Cincinnati. I had him at the top of the list. We were really interested in him," April told PhiladelphiaEagles.com. "I think some things fell through, a little bit more because of his injury. (General manager) Howie (Roseman) and those guys kept checking on his progress because we had him rated as a very, very good player and potentially a starting linebacker, too."

Jeanty also provides depth at strongside linebacker behind incumbent starter Moise Fokou. Jeanty started at strongside linebacker with the Bengals in 2008 and he finished fourth on the team with a career-high 97 tackles. He was also second on the team that season with 15 special teams tackles. In addition, Jeanty was named the team's Ed Block Courage Award winner for that season.

Prior to signing with the Bengals in 2006, Jeanty spent three seasons with the Canadian Football League as a defensive end. He had 13.0 sacks over his final two seasons with Edmonton.

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 3:00 p.m., February 28

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