The Philadelphia Eagles released defensive end Jason Babin on Tuesday afternoon. The move came a bit out of left field, but it makes sense for a team that wants to shed salary and is on the verge of blowing things up and getting ready to rebuild.
Naturally, Detroit Lions fans immediately took notice of the move to release Babin. Any time a noteworthy player becomes a free agent, fans wonder if the Lions team will pursue him. In this case, it actually does make sense to consider the possibility of the Lions pursuing Babin for a few big reasons:
- Babin has 5.5 sacks this season and recorded 18.0 sacks last year. Since 2010, Babin has a total of 36.0 sacks.
- With the Eagles, Babin excelled last season in the wide-nine defense. While his numbers are down this year, he seems like a good fit for a system similar to the one the Lions use defensively.
- Babin is from Kalamazoo and went to Western Michigan, so perhaps he would be interested in returning to his home state.
The thing that may complicate matters is that Babin will be exposed to waivers before becoming an outright free agent. If a team claims Babin, it will be responsible for the $1.64 million left on his contract this season, according to Albert Breer. Should he clear waivers, teams will have the chance to offer him a new contract that would likely be worth less money.
Right now, the Lions are 10th on the waiver wire, according to Randall Liu. If they decide that Babin is worth adding to the team, then the Lions may want to take a chance on his contract and claim him. Jason La Canfora expects a team like the Baltimore Ravens to make a run at Babin if he clears waivers, and you would think he would want to sign with a team in contention for a Super Bowl this season.
In any case, Babin is certainly worth a look for the Lions. Although he is 32 years old, the Lions may lose Cliff Avril to free agency in the offseason, and Kyle Vanden Bosch just recently turned 34 years old. Already there is talk about the Lions drafting a defensive end in 2013, and adding someone like Babin may give the Lions the freedom to let Avril walk away as they try to build up their future depth at the position.