Lost in the shuffle of the Philadelphia Eagles signing quarterback Trent Edwards to a 1 year contract extension is the fact that defensive end Darryl Tapp took a massive pay cut in order to remain with the team. Tapp accepted a salary decrease of approximately $1.75 million to ensure that the Eagles did not release him. He will be making a meager $825,000 this year, down from the over $2.5 million he was scheduled to make.
The defensive line, and, in particular, defensive end position in Philadelphia is very crowded and competitive. Tapp’s position goes 4 or 5 players deep at all times. Despite not being listed at the top of the depth chart, Tapp felt strongly about staying with the Philadelphia Eagles organization, even if it was not an easy decision. “I definitely had to think about it. You never want to make a decision in a rushed manner…so you definitely gotta sit back and think of everything. But, like I said, being an Eagle is one of my main priorities, man. I’m happy I’m here.”
One thing the Eagles organization has going for them is that Philadelphia is a destination that many players want to call their home. That is part of what allows them to bring in talented free agents as well as retain their own talent. Tapp could have caused quite a stir on the free-agent market, as many teams are looking for quality pass rushers to come off of the end. In the end, Tapp chose to take less money to stay in Philadelphia and play for an organization and teammates that he believes in. He also feels that this year has the potential to be his best yet in Philadelphia, as he has had additional time to work with defensive line coach Jim Washburn.
The Eagles defense is going to be a formidable force this year, getting pressure on the quarterback that has the potential to result in turnovers. Tapp is going to be a key piece of that group as part of a defensive line that can rotate players in and out and remain effective for 60 minutes.