What already figured to be a busy week for Eagles general manager Howie Roseman started with a bang on Monday when the team announced it had acquired linebacker Ernie Sims from the Detroit Lions as part of a three-team trade to kick off NFL Draft week. The Eagles send a 2010 fifth-round pick to the Denver Broncos, who sent tight end Tony Scheffler and a 2010 seventh-round pick to the Lions. The Lions then sent Sims, the ninth overall pick in the 2006 draft, to Philadelphia.
"We've looked at Ernie Sims for a couple years here," said Roseman. "We've talked to Detroit on him. He's a fast, aggressive football player, fits our style of defense. We're excited to get him."
Sims started all 16 games in each of his first three season with the Lions, playing mostly as a weakside linebacker, but Roseman said that Sims has the ability to play both on the weak side and the strong side, and added that Sims is likely to be in the 2010 opening day starting lineup.
"He can play both positions, both outside linebacker positions, and we're just trying to increase competition and get good players," Roseman said. "We do (view him as a starter). He's a starting player in the National Football League, but we're trying to create competition. We have a lot of starters on our defense, on our offense and we think he brings that."
Hampered by shoulder and hamstring injuries, Sims missed games for the first time in his career in 2009 and started eight of 11 games. Roseman believes that Sims is not a question mark physically and that he'll be ready to step onto the field right away.
"We feel confident that he's going to be fine and that he's going to play for us," Roseman said. "He's started a lot of games in this league. This is the first year that he missed some games and we're just excited to have him."
Roseman also said that he expects Philadelphia fans to warm to the 6-foot, 230-pound versatile linebacker immediately.
"He's going to have an opportunity to make plays, the kid's a playmaker," Roseman said. "He's been that way in college. He's been that way in the National Football League, just flying around and I think he's going to love our defense.
"I'll tell you what, you just love watching him play. He just plays so fast and physical; he throws his body around. I think the fans of Philadelphia are going to love Ernie Sims."
So now Roseman turns his attention back to his first draft as general manager. When asked if the acquisition of Sims changes any of the team's plans going into a draft in which they own 10 picks, including five of the top 87, Roseman replied in the negative.
"We've always been consistent," he said. "We're trying to get the best players on this team. We thought it was an opportunity to add a really good football player who plays our style of defense and that's why we did this trade."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 4:05 p.m., April 19