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[NFL] Hugh Douglas Returns To The Eagles


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By Len Pasquarelli

ESPN.com

Source: Link

Apparently, even in the NFL, you can go home again.

Nine-year veteran defensive end Hugh Douglas agreed to a deal that will send him back to the Philadelphia Eagles, less than 12 hours after being released by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday, ESPN.com has learned.

Douglas spent five seasons with the Eagles, after beginning his NFL tenure with a three-year stint for the New York Jets, but departed Philadelphia as an unrestricted free agent last summer. He will sign a one-year contract with the Eagles that has a basic value of $850,000 but could be worth as much as $3.4 million if Douglas returns to prior form and reaches a number of incentives.

The signing bonus is $150,000 and Douglas will earn a $700,000 base salary. He will get an additional $150,000 if he registers six sacks, another $700,000 more for 10 sacks and $800,000 on top of that for 12 sacks. A trip to the Pro Bowl would earn him $800,000, and there is a $100,000 bonus for leading the Eagles in sacks.

"He just really wanted to go back to Philadelphia," said agent Drew Rosenhaus, who also represents starting left defensive end Jevon Kearse and second-year end Jerome McDougle, the team's first-round choice in the 2003 draft. "It really gives him a chance to rejuvenate his career in a place he knows and where he is respected. With the injury to [starting right end] N.D. Kalu, it's really good for the Eagles, too. It gives them a solid group of ends."

Kalu suffered a season-ending knee injury two weeks ago.

Douglas, 33, is expected to sign the contract on Tuesday, will report to the Eagles in fairly short order, and begin practicing. It is not yet known if Douglas will play in the preseason finale against the Jets, the team that brought him into the NFL as a first-round pick in 1995, on Friday night.

When the Eagles allowed Douglas to depart last summer, they strongly suggested that he was a player in the early throes of decline. But at the right price Monday evening, they opted to welcome him back, hoping to re-energize him. It is not unlike the reunion of middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter and the Eagles last month. And while they likely will not acknowledge it, the Eagles never really did replace Douglas' undeniable presence in their locker room.

While his production was subpar in 2003, and also during the current preseason, the jettisoning of Douglas by the Jaguars was somewhat surprising, since it leaves Jacksonville thin on the defensive front, with the starting right end job very much unsettled. Paul Spicer has taken over for the veteran Tony Brackens, released a week ago, at left end.

In three preseason games, Douglas recorded only four total tackles and had four pressures but no sacks. Last season, his first in Jacksonville, he started all 16 games but registered just 31 tackles and 3? sacks. Those were his poorest numbers since 1991, when Douglas played in just four games because of knee and biceps injuries.

When the Jags outbid at least three other franchises last summer to land Douglas, it was hailed as a major addition. Douglas was viewed not only as a standout pass rusher but also a veteran presence in the locker room. But he slumped badly, acknowledging that he did not accept the city or its football fans very well, and allowed he spent the year in a deep "funk."

Douglas had vowed in camp to make amends, and return to his previous Pro Bowl form, but demonstrated very little improvement over his performance of 2003. But by Monday afternoon, four teams -- Washington, Philadelphia, Chicago and the New York Giants -- had already indicated interest in Douglas. Tampa Bay and Miami got into the derby later in the day, but Douglas' heart was in Philadelphia, and he probably took a bit less money to return to the Eagles.

The Jaguars signed Douglas to a five-year contract last summer that included a signing bonus of $6 million, and expected him, realistically, to play three seasons. No one could have predicted his Jacksonville tenure would last just one season.

The team will realize a significant cap savings for 2004, but will take a pretty big hit on its 2005 spending limit. Douglas was due a base salary of $3.345 million this season, and all of that will be saved. Douglas will count, however, $3.6 million against the team's 2005 cap.

In nine seasons, Douglas has 345 tackles and 77 sacks in 122 appearances, with 106 of those as starting assignments. He recorded double-digit sacks in 1995, 1998, 2000 and 2002, and his career best is 15 sacks in 2000.

Eagles fans, we can get the Huuuuugh chant going again! Oh man now I am really psyched for the season to start. He will be such a great addition for the D-Line seeing how the Eagles have lost almost every person during preseason. Especially with ND Kalu out we can really use him.

*Edit: Wow, I totally butched his name on the thread topic. It is Hugh, not Hough! ;))

Edited by jmole
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Yeah baby! We're just stocking up on the DLine.

How will we possibly distribute all those sacks!? And where do we fit McDougle in? Anywho. GO BEAGLES!

Jmole, you visit the Hosttown Eagles forums?

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Yeah baby! We're just stocking up on the DLine.

How will we possibly distribute all those sacks!? And where do we fit McDougle in? Anywho. GO BEAGLES!

Jmole, you visit the Hosttown Eagles forums?

Yes I did, but everytime I login, it says I do not have permission to view the forum. I have no idea what is going on.

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