Kearse only piece of the puzzle

The biggest reason Philadelphia has not reached the Super Bowl has been its lack of talent at receiver.

Updated: March 5, 2004, 1:42 PM ET
By By Darrell Trimble | NFL Insider
For three consecutive seasons the Philadelphia Eagles have gone to the NFC Championship game only to fall short of reaching the Super Bowl. Knowing that their window of opportunity is getting smaller and smaller, coach Andy Reid, who also wears the hat of Executive Vice President of Football Operations, decided to do something bold to change his team's fortunes.

The Eagles typically pass on big-money free agents, but Reid took a gamble and signed defensive end Jevon Kearse to an eight-year, $66 million contract with $20 million in signing and roster bonuses. As good as Kearse is, he missed all but four games in 2002 with a fractured left foot and didn't register a sack in his last seven games.

Jevon Kearse
Getty ImagesJevon Kearse should bolster the Eagles' pass rush.
Some of his health concerns were alleviated Thursday when he passed a physical to complete the deal. There is no doubt that when healthy he is one of the best pass rushers in the league, and the Eagles certainly needed help off the edge. Of the team's 38 sacks, only 7.5 came from their defensive ends.