Perhaps inspired by the Phillies' Cliff Lee homecoming, the Eagles went out and signed one of their former stars yesterday, in a move that will generate just slightly less attention.
Defensive end Derrick Burgess joins a defense that retains Quintin Mikell, the only Eagles player he has played with. He left in free agency in the wake of the 2004 Super Bowl season.
Burgess, 32, will wear No. 73 and replace first-round rookie Brandon Graham, who went on injured reserve after suffering an ACL tear Sunday night at Dallas.
Burgess, who signed a 2-year deal, is an oddity, a player who left the Andy Reid-era Eagles as a free agent and then had his best years. Burgess parlayed a two-sack game against then-Falcons quarterback Michael Vick in the NFC Championship Game into a 5-year, $17.5 million contract with the Raiders.
With Oakland, Burgess made two consecutive Pro Bowls after registering back-to-back double-digit sack seasons (16 in 2005, 11 in 2006). He appeared in 56 games (52 starts) in four seasons with Oakland (2005-08), posting 170 tackles, 38 1/2 sacks, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
Burgess, a third-round Eagles draftee in 2001, notched six sacks as a rookie, then missed the 2002 and 2003 seasons with injuries. He went down in the 2002 opener.
The Raiders traded Burgess to the New England Patriots in 2009 and he played in all 16 games (six starts) that season, finishing with 35 tackles, five sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He spent the 2010 preseason with the Patriots but was released in the preseason.
Burgess played in 29 games (15 starts) with the Eagles, recording 96 tackles and 8 1/2 sacks. His four career sacks in six playoff games rank tied for first in Eagles postseason history with Hugh Douglas and Reggie White.
It will be interesting to see how much of a role Burgess plays - if he is active on game day ahead of third-round rookie Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, for example. So far, Te'o-Nesheim would have to be considered the underachiever of this large and productive Eagles rookie class.
Graham, meanwhile tweeted yesterday to thank well-wishers. He vowed, "Look out for me next year because it's going to be so much trouble."
DJax still wants new deal
DeSean Jackson appeared on the "T.Ocho Show" on Versus last night and talked about his desire for a new contract. There were no new revelations, but Jackson discussed the matter in a much more open and engaging way than he adopts when asked about it by mere reporters.
"This is like my third year. I officially have 1 year left," Jackson said in a preview clip provided by a publicist. "We've talked so far with my agent, Drew [Rosenhaus] and the Eagles. We're just seeing how it can go now. The 30-percent rule, the [collective bargaining agreement] and all that, and the new year coming up next year and us being locked out, there's a lot of ins and outs that go into it."
Jackson said the Eagles will "have to do something - the way I'm puttin' it in, something gotta happen, baby."
The Eagles have agreed that Jackson is underpaid, but seem unwilling to address the situation until the new collective bargaining agreement arrives. In the clip, Jackson did not put a time limit on his quest.
"I'm going to set the bar high," Jackson promised Owens, who can be a free agent at the end of this season. "I'm going to set it high for you and I'm going to set it high for everybody else, as well."
Former Eagle Kevin Curtis has signed with the Miami Dolphins. Curtis played in only three games last season with the Eagles because of a knee injury. He has not played because of a fight with testicular cancer. He worked out with several teams last month, but was not signed . . . According to the NFL, DeSean Jackson's 210 receiving yards against Dallas are the most in league history by a player with four or fewer catches.
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