NFL free agency: Vinny Curry sees similarities between 2021 Jets, 2016 Eagles

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Dave Zangaro
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Vinny Curry sees similarities between these Jets and 2016 Eagles originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Eagles weren’t always great during Vinny Curry’s eight seasons with the Eagles, but they did have plenty of success, including the Super Bowl victory a few years ago.

This offseason, Curry joined a Jets franchise that has had just one winning season in the last decade.

Curry will be 33 by the start of the 2021 season, so he probably doesn’t have a ton of years left in the NFL. So it might seem strange that he’s spending one of his last years in the league with a startup team.

Did he hesitate at all to join the Jets because of their track record?

“No, not at all, not at all,” Curry said to New York reporters on a virtual call earlier this week.

“Just to see (head coach Robert) Saleh and (general manager) Joe Douglas and everybody, just to see where they’re trying to take this ship. I just wanted to be aboard, I just wanted to be on the ship. I’ve seen this ship before. When Coach (Doug) Pederson took over in Philadelphia, so I’ve seen this ship before and I just wanted to be a part of it. So no hesitation at all.”

It’s an interesting comparison, the 2021 Jets to the 2016 Eagles. Pederson was a first-year head coach back then and Carson Wentz was a rookie quarterback. Robert Saleh is a first-year head coach with the Jets and the No. 2 pick will be their quarterback. Wentz was also the No. 2 pick.

Of course, there are some differences, but the point remains. The Eagles were on an upswing in 2016 (even though they ended up with a losing record) and Curry is getting a similar vibe from the Jets right now.

It should be no surprise that Curry signed with the Jets this offseason. He crossed over with Douglas while both were in Philly. That was a big reason Curry signed with New York.

“Just the relationship with Joe and just to see what he was building,” Curry said. “It was kind of like too good to pass up. The excitement around the building when I met some of the staff members. I met a couple of my teammates that I knew just down the road. It was just like a great fit for me, a very exciting opportunity so I just had to do it.”

Curry signed a one-year contract with the Jets worth $1.3 million and will be a nice addition to what looks like a pretty good defensive line.

The Jets actually tried to sign Curry last offseason but Curry instead re-joined the Eagles on a one-year deal. Curry signed with the Eagles late last year because he was still grieving after the death of his brother, Dr. Gerald Gilsson, who died after contracting COVID-19.

“My mind wasn’t there,” Curry said Tuesday. “At that time, I just had so much going on personality.”

Last season it made sense for Curry to basically stay at home with the Eagles, the team that drafted him in 2012 and where he had spent all but one of his NFL seasons. But in 2021, the Eagles are going through a youth movement and it was time for them to move on. Curry had to find a new spot.

With the Jets, Curry will be a rotational member of their defensive line but is also looking forward to acting as a mentor for his younger teammates. He still remembers how players like Trent Cole, Darryl Tapp and Cullen Jenkins filled that role for him early in his career.

“Hopefully, I can be in that same role here in New York,” Curry said, “and just bring experience and things I went through and be like a big brother.”

The Eagles will visit the Jets during the 2021 season.

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