The Philadelphia Eagles announced they have agreed to terms in acquiring two-time Pro Bowl MLB DeMeco Ryans from the Houston Texans in exchange for a fourth round draft choice in 2012. That fourth round pick (4th overall selection in that round) was originally acquired by Philadelphia from Tampa Bay. The Eagles and Texans also swapped 3rd round choices in 2012. The Eagles now possess the 89th selection overall, while the Texans have the Eagles’ 77th overall pick.

“DeMeco is a proven Pro Bowl linebacker in this league and we’re excited to be able to plug him into the middle of our defense,” said Eagles head coach Andy Reid. “He’s been the signal caller and a leader on a very good Texans defense for the last several years. He’s a tough, instinctive football player and he’ll be a great fit for our team.”

“We’re thrilled to be able to add a young and productive linebacker in DeMeco Ryans,” said general manager Howie Roseman. “We’d like to thank [Houston general manager] Rick Smith and the Texans. Once we found out that he could be available to us in a trade, we quickly found a way to work together to produce a good outcome for both teams.”

Originally a 2nd round pick of the Texans in 2006 (33rd overall), Ryans has played and started in 86 games, earning Pro Bowl honors following the 2007 and 2009 campaigns and an Associated Press All-Pro selection in 2007. The 27-year-old linebacker and team captain leaves Houston as the Texans all-time leader with 637 tackles while also contributing eight sacks, six forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries and two interceptions in his six-year career.

Ryans (6-1, 247) was immediately plugged into the starting lineup in 2006 and was named AP Defensive Rookie of the Year that season after leading the team in tackles (156) and adding 3.5 sacks and an interception. He went on to start all 16 games and amass over 100 tackles in each of the next three seasons. In his sophomore campaign of 2007, Ryans garnered All Pro, Pro Bowl, and team MVP honors. In 2009, he earned his second trip to the Pro Bowl and was voted as a team captain in 2010.

In 2011, Ryans again started all 16 games at middle linebacker in their newly installed 3-4 scheme and helped contribute to a Texans defense that ranked among the league leaders in many categories including points per game (17.4 – 4th), yards per game (285.7 – 2nd), passing yards (189.7 – 3rd), rushing yards per game (96.0 – 4th), and sacks (44 – 6th). Ryans was voted by his teammates as the team’s recipient of the Ed Block Courage award and also helped the Texans earn their franchise’s first playoff berth and victory.

A native of Bessemer, AL, Ryans played collegiately at Alabama, where he earned first-team All-America honors in 2005. He was a teammate of Eagles left guard Evan Mathis with the Crimson Tide. While in the NFL, Ryans has been a leader on and off the field and his work in the community has been highly regarded in the Houston area.

In 2007, the DeMeco Ryans Foundation was formed with a mission to create innovative programs that provide access to educational, recreational, and healthy living initiatives designed to positively aid in the development of youth. Since that time, his foundation has offered young people educational support through the DeMeco Ryans Leadership Academy, football/cheerleading camps, as well as an annual scholarship competition through which 10 deserving students receive partial scholarships at their respective colleges.

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