Skip to content
Eagles sign their top pick McDougle
Only Duce is still loose.
The Philadelphia Eagles signed first-round draft pick Jerome McDougle to a contract Thursday, leaving veteran running back Duce Staley as their only training camp holdout.
McDougle the Miami of Florida defensive end the Eagles selected after trading up from the No. 30 slot to No. 15 in the 2003 NFL draft agreed to a six-year contract. The club declined to reveal financial terms of the deal, but reportedly has incentives that could push its total value to more than $12 million and void the sixth year.
''It was a nice job of getting things done by Joe Banner and Jerome's agent ,'' Eagles coach Andy Reid said. ''They worked it out, and we look forward to getting Jerome in here and having him get some reps.''
McDougle is expected to become the Eagles' top pass rusher, replacing Hugh Douglas, who signed with Jacksonville as a free agent after leading Philadelphia with 121/2 sacks last season. Overall, Douglas had 511/2 sacks as an Eagle from 1998-2002.
Thursday's announcement and McDougle's expected training camp debut today increases the likelihood McDougle will succeed Douglas sooner rather than later.
The 6-2, 264-pound McDougle made 110 tackles, 13 sacks and 30 stops for losses in two seasons as a starter at Miami. He recovered three fumbles and forced four others. Those are all indications of an aggressive style of play that should mesh well with Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson's attack-minded philosophy.
The rest of the Eagles' 2003 draft class Rutgers tight end L.J. Smith, Virginia wideout Billy McMullen, Miami's ''other'' defensive end Jamaal Green, Southern Mississippi offensive lineman Jeremy Bridges and LSU safety Norman LeJeune signed ahead of last Friday's reporting deadline for rookies and selected veterans to report to Eagles training camp. The rest of the squad joined the early arrivals on Monday, and began two-a-day workouts on Wednesday.
''He will have some catching up to do,'' Reid said. ''It was a good thing he was in the minicamps and got his work in there. He needs to get in playing shape. We are already in pads and hitting, and he hasn't done that at this level.''
Johnson expressed concern over McDougle earlier in the week.
''This camp is for rookies, guys learning the system,'' Johnson said. ''He is missing important stuff, but you go on and, hopefully, he will catch up. But he will struggle a little bit, but we will have to see when he gets in.
It is amazing how much you forget in a month .''