Darren Howard Signed, Sealed and Delivered

Determined not to let Darren Howard out of town without putting his autograph on a contract, the Eagles put a pretty attractive offer on the table for the defensive end and it worked. Howard signed the deal to become the third free agent signing for the Eagles.

The proof of how good Darren Howard is isn't in his numbers from 2005. It was one of those seasons that a player wants to forget. Not only did Howard see his sack numbers fall way off, but he missed the last four games of the season with a knee injury. All of this while enduring the season as a member of the New Orleans Saints.

Now, with finding a winning team to play for as his top priority, Howard has signed a six-year deal with the Eagles. At a press conference on Sunday, Howard talked about being with a winning organization and emphasized that, much like his season personally, he didn't see the Eagles 2005 season as the true story.

Andy Reid, Jim Johnson and new defensive line coach Pete Jenkins spent Sunday with Howard talking football and showing him around the Eagles facilities, which Howard came away impressed with. Howard also stressed to the Eagles that his bad right knee, which cost him time not only last season, but in 2004, is ready for more wear and tear. He did admit though that the knee isn't perfect, although the Eagles believe that as part of a four-man defensive end rotation, Howard is in good enough shape to be a force for the team.

The Eagles were able to get the jump on Howard because they were interested in him two years ago, but decided to go with Jevon Kearse instead. Their renewed interest was flattering to Howard, who looked forward to a different outcome and came to Philadelphia ahead of visits to Kansas City and Seattle. Those other visits have of course, been cancelled.

Howard is the third free agent to sign in Philadelphia, following former Chiefs' linebacker Shawn Barber and Bengals' tight end Matt Schobel.


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