PFTAnd so for a mere fourth-round pick and the flip-flopping of third-round selections, the Eagles get something they badly need: a middle linebacker for their 4-3 defense. “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,” Eagles head coach Andy Reid said in a statement. “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,” added G.M. Howie Roseman. “We’d like to thank 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.” While it may have been a good outcome for the Texans, given that they cleared $5.9 million this year and $6.6 million next year in base salary off the books, it has the potential to be a great outcome for the Eagles. In 2011, defensive coordinator Juan Castillo could never find a linebacker alignment that consistently worked, in large part because no one could successfully handle the responsibilities of being the “mike.” DeMeco will be that “mike” for the Eagles, and there’s no reason to think he won’t perform like he did in past years.

Without a doubt Howie Roseman is climbing quickly in my own personal Jewish power rankings. Finished last week decidedly ahead of Michael Rappaport but still has a ways to go before seeing Seinfeld, Bar Refaeli, or Bernstein Bears territory. Think about what we (YUP — I’m in “we” mode) just did. Howie just traded a fourth round pick and 12 spots in the third round for a two-time Pro Bowl MLB. It’s like Garage Wars. It’s like the Texans stuffed Demeco Ryans into a storage unit after the season and forgot he was there…until one day we offered up a fourth round pick, bolt cutter’d the locks, and landed a new defensive leader for peanuts.

Some people will say that Demeco Ryans isn’t what he used to be since his achilles injury in 2010, and to some extent these people are right. But there are plenty of sources out there that say his play improved back to his once great level near the middle-end of last year, which if true equals a complete steal for the Birds. Houston needed to dump cap and Ryans didn’t fit in their new 3-4 scheme. This is as big a trade win as a fan can hope for because if it doesn’t work out — so what? If this were in Madden you’d be like “For a FOURTH?”  then laugh all the way to the Starting MLB Bank.

Extra credit to Howie for waiting for the shadow of the Manning signing to hit so you don’t get even a quarter of the scrutiny. Keeping it quiet this year. Lovin what I’m seeing, Howie.

Your move, Ruben.