The Philadelphia Eagles acquired defensive end Jason Babin last year from the Tennessee Titans after he posted a career high in sacks with 12.5. Last season was Babin’s second tour of duty with the Eagles. Babin played in twelve games for the Eagles in 2009 garnering just 2.5 sacks.
Before the 2011 season, the Eagles signed Jason to a five year $28 million deal, with $5.5 million guaranteed. Because of his speed rush skill set, the Eagles thought Babin would be a great fit with new defensive line coach Jim Washburn’s aggressive wide-nine technique.
The Eagles’s return for their payout was tremendous. Babin finished the 2011 season third in the NFL with 18 sacks. Only Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings (22) and DeMarcus Ware of the Dallas Cowboys (19.5) had more. Considering DeMarcus Ware signed a new deal that guaranteed him $40 million, the Eagles made out pretty well.
In today’s NFL, sacks are paid at a high premium. Babin is scheduled to make $5.75 million in 2012. Eighteen sacks is a huge number which is why CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora listed Babin as one of the NFL‘s eleven best bargains for next season.
Jason Babin’s contract is “cap friendly” in the fact that it allows the Eagles wiggle room in case of an injury. Babin’s eighteen sacks were garnered while his counterpart on the opposite end, Trent Cole, was playing through injury. Opposing teams knew that Cole was operating at 75%, so the focus was clearly placed on Babin.
Jim Washburn actively lobbied for the acquisition of Babin since he had previously coached him at Tennessee. The Eagles should thank Washburn for his hindsight. The Eagles rarely have had success with defensive free agent signings.