The Eagles continued a commitment to locking up their young talent to long-term deals on Tuesday night when they agreed to a five-year contract with defensive end Vinny Curry that could keep him in Philadelphia through 2020.
The deal will pay Curry $46.25 million with $23 million guaranteed, according to a league source. Curry was set to become a free agent next month, so this deal ensures the 27-year-old, 2012 second-round pick is off the open market.
He will discuss the new deal during a news conference on Wednesday.
The Eagles committed a significant salary to a player who has never started a game and has not played more than 35 percent of the team's snaps in any of his four seasons. But Curry is a skilled pass rusher who could flourish when the Eagles transition to a 4-3 defense under new coordinator Jim Schwartz.
Curry, 27, was a 2012 second-round pick. He has 16.5 sacks in 52 games. He was most productive in 2014, when he finished with nine sacks in a part-time role.
The Eagles drafted Curry to play in a Wide-9 defensive front, and he seemed out of place when the team transitioned to a 3-4 defense after Chip Kelly became head coach and Bill Davis became defensive coordinator in 2013. Curry carved a niche on passing downs, and the team was pleased with his production in that role. But they couldn't get him on the field for the majority of the snaps. He played 35 percent of the defensive snaps last season, 32 percent in 2014, and 26 percent in 2013. He took only eight percent of the snaps as a rookie in 2012.
The former coaching staff experimented with Curry at outside linebacker last season to expend his playing time, but that did not work. He is an ideal fit for the scheme the Eagles are expected to play under Schwartz. Curry will likely join Brandon Graham and Connor Barwin as the team's top edge rushers, but there is still no official word on position changes.
The contract also gives Curry security with the team he grew up rooting for in Neptune, N.J. Curry had been the subject of trade rumors each of the last three seasons. Even he admitted he became used to them. The Eagles are thankful they never sent him elsewhere.
Curry is the latest player to receive a new deal this offseason. Tight end Zach Ertz signed a contract extension last week, and tight end Brent Celek and Lane Johnson both signed new contracts. Ertz and Johnson are both tied up through 2021; Curry, center Jason Kelce, and cornerback Byron Maxwell are all under contract through 2020.
The contracts for Ertz, Johnson, and Curry combine for a maximum value of 151.75 million. But the next one that could come will trump all their deals: An extension for defensive lineman Fletcher Cox. Although Cox is under contract through 2016, a new deal would continue the trend of locking up the team's young talent before they become free agents.