"We appreciate everything that Jason has given this team over the last couple of years," Reid said. "We wish him all the best as he continues his career. By releasing him today, this gives us an opportunity to give more playing time to some of [the] younger guys in the defensive line rotation."
The 32-year-old Babin followed defensive line coach Jim Washburn to the Eagles in 2011, signing a five-year, $27.5 contract after posting a 12.5-sack, Pro Bowl season with the 2010 Tennessee Titans. Babin instantly rewarded the Eagles, posting a team-high 18 sacks, which ranked third in the NFL and earned the well-traveled former first-round pick out of Western Michigan a second trip to the Pro Bowl.
Through 11 games in 2012, Babin has made 11 starts, played in 60.61 percent of the team's defensive snaps and has a team-high 5.5 sacks. The 40 snaps Babin logged in Monday night's 30-22 loss to the Carolina Panthers were his highest total since playing 56 snaps during a Week 6 loss to the Detroit Lions. Eagles second-round defensive end Vinny Curry was active for the first time on Monday night, recording five tackles in 21 snaps, and the club plans to give Curry more playing time down the stretch.
Because the trade deadline has passed, all NFL players, including vested veterans (players with four or more accrued seasons), are subject to the waivers process. Babin is earning $5.575 million in fully guaranteed base salary and whoever claims Babin's contract off waivers will be responsible for the $1,639,706 that remains on his 2012 salary. That team will also take on the three years and $16.65 million in non-guaranteed base salary that remains on Babin's current contract, which also contains $2.025 million in base salary escalators.
According to salary cap data maintained by Shutdown Corner, the Eagles had over $142 million committed to their 2013 salary cap. With the salary cap expected to remain in the $121 million range in 2013, even with over $20 million of space from 2012 they could "roll over" into next season, the Eagles may need to do some trimming to be in compliance next March. By releasing Babin, the Eagles have saved $3.725 million in 2013 cap space and, perhaps more importantly, $4.625 million in cash.
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