The Eagles have released veteran linebacker DeMeco Ryans, the team announced today (via Twitter). As a vested veteran, Ryans will immediately be eligible to sign with a new club, rather than having to wait to pass through waivers.
Ryans, 31, spent the last four seasons in Philadelphia after playing for the Texans for his first six years in the NFL. A two-time Pro Bowler in Houston, Ryans had two strong seasons with the Eagles before an Achilles injury and a reduced role slowed him down a little over the past two years. In 2015, he recorded 49 tackles to go along with an interception, a forced fumble, and five passes defended.
With Mychal Kendricks, Jordan Hicks, and Kiko Alonso all in the mix at linebacker for the Eagles, Ryans had become more expendable as he entered the final year of his contract. By cutting him instead of allowing him to play out his deal, the Eagles create $3.5MM in cap savings, reducing his cap number from $4.5MM to $1MM.
Ryans’ base salary for 2016 would have become guaranteed on March 11th if he had remained on the roster. Instead, he’ll get a head-start on free agency, with an extra two weeks to talk to potential suitors and perhaps make a visit or two to interested clubs.
When PFR’s Connor Byrne previewed the Eagles’ offseason earlier this month, he identified Ryans as perhaps the team’s most likely cap casualty.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.