Vinny Curry grew up an Eagles fan in Neptune, N.J. It was a dream come true in 2012 when they drafted him, and it was a dream come true for him Thursday when the 30-year-old defensive end re-signed with them.
“We had a couple of different offers on the table,’’ Curry said after signing a one-year, $2.25 million contract with the Eagles. “But home is home. This just felt right. This felt like the right situation. I think it was just time for me to get back to Philadelphia.’’
The Giants also were interested in Curry, and reportedly offered a little bit more money than the Eagles. But this wasn’t about money. This was about coming back home.
“I missed the guys in the locker room,’’ said Curry, who spent last season with the Tampa Bay Bucs after the Eagles released him. “Some of my best friends are here. These guys are truly like my brothers. I love them.
“Anytime you go on a Super Bowl run like that, you kind of just miss that morale. I’m happy to be back. My family is happy to be back. My teammates are happy to have me back.’’
Curry’s signing would appear to be an indication that the Eagles don’t expect Chris Long to return. Long, who turns 34 next week, had 6 ½ sacks last season, which was his most since 2013.
But he has said that he doesn’t want to come back just to be a “locker room guy.’’ The Eagles’ re-signing of Brandon Graham, along with the signing two weeks ago of defensive tackle Malik Jackson, and the likelihood that they’ll also be taking a d-lineman fairly early in next month’s draft, would seem to make it almost certain that Long would be looking at less playing time in 2019.
The 6-3, 279-pound Curry spent six seasons with the Eagles the first time around. He played both as an inside rusher in sub-packages and as an end.
He had a career-high nine sacks in 2014 when the Eagles played a 3-4 scheme under then-defensive coordinator Bill Davis. Curry parlayed that a year later into a five-year, $46.2 million deal from the Eagles on the eve of free agency. The deal included $23 million in guarantees.
Howie Roseman has made a lot of smart decisions since returning from his two-year broom-closet exile. That wasn’t one of them.
Curry had just 2 ½ sacks in 2016 and three in 2017. Even though his total pressures were respectable, his sack numbers weren’t nearly good enough to justify an $11 million salary cap number. So he was released.
The Bucs signed him to a three-year, $23 million contract with $6.5 million in guarantees. But he suffered a high-ankle injury in the fifth game of the season and missed four games. He finished with just 21 tackles and 2 ½ sacks and was released in mid-February.
“I was in a hard cast for a while and had to use one of those little carts with wheels,’’ Curry said. “God dang thing gave me blisters on my knee.
Graham and 2017 first-round pick Derek Barnett, who missed 10 games last season with a shoulder injury, are expected to be the Eagles’ two starting defensive ends. Curry likely will be used both inside and outside by defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.
Curry said he’ll do whatever Schwartz needs him to do.
“I chose to come back to Philadelphia because this is home,’’ he said. “When it comes to my role, anything they ask me to do, I’m going to do it to the best of my ability.
“Whether it’s inside or outside. If they want me to play wide receiver, I’ll play wide receiver. Whatever they need me to do.’’
They don’t want him to play wide receiver.