After a comeback 2019 season with the Philadelphia Eagles, why is Vinny Curry still unsigned?
How can this be?
Sure, Curry may never record another 10 sack season again – and by again, I mean ever – but even at 31-years-old, there’s still plenty of treads left on the Neptune, New Jersey product’s tires.
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A scheme-flexible defensive lineman who has found success in a base 4-3 end, a wide-9 end, and even a 3-4 end, Curry’s ability to rush the passer from any technique zero-9 is beyond useful in the modern-day, post-base package NFL. Curry is good enough to be a swing reserve for every team in the NFL and even start for some of the more anemic front sevens in the NFL.
You’re telling me a team like the Seahawks, Cardinals, or Texans couldn’t use a player like Curry who is solid against the run on early downs and an above-average pressure generator against the pass? I know every team across the NFL is jazzed about their latest rookie class but every year there are a ton of teams who got above replacement-level production out of “older” journeymen.
Robert Quinn had his first 10-plus sack season since 2014 for the Dallas Cowboys last fall and he parlayed that career renaissance into a five-year, $70 million contract with the Chicago Bears. I’m not saying Curry is ever going to reach that level but who would have expected it from Quinn?
Sure, maybe some teams are simply focusing their attention on adding – or retaining – Jadeveon Clowney and players like Curry, Everson Griffen, and Ezekiel Ansah will sign new deals once the dust settles. Griffin is reportedly waiting to go on a tour of sorts to various teams interested in his services, so he may remain unsigned until June, July, maybe even longer. If that’s the case, maybe I’m being a bit too eager in my analysis of Curry’s current situation. Still, it’s hard to imagine a player who picked up seven hurries, six QB hits, five sacks, and 18(!) pressures on only 393 (38 percent) defensive snaps being totally unwanted two months into the league year.
I mean seriously, Curry alone had 10 fewer pressures than the entire Detroit Lions‘ defensive line combined in 2019. You’re telling me Matt Patricia’s defensive front couldn’t use Curry as a Michael Bennett-esque inside-out rusher next to Romeo and Julian Okwara?
Heck, even a reunion with the Eagles shouldn’t be completely discounted, even if his role as an interior pass rusher on obvious passing downs would presumably be limited considerably due to the addition of Javon Hargrave and the return of Malik Jackson. Granted, if an external rusher was in the cards for the Birds in the leadup to training camp, it would probably be a longer edge rusher to complement shorter power guys like Derek Barnett and Brandon Graham, and speed rushers like Josh Sweat and Genard Avery, but I don’t think anyone would harshly critique Curry’s return for one more ride with his hometown team.
After a disastrous 2018 season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it’s worth wondering if Curry would even want to play elsewhere if the situation isn’t right.
Whether with the Philadelphia Eagles or elsewhere, Vinny Curry deserves a chance to play football this fall. While he may no longer be suited for an every-down starting role – a role he’s filled only once as a pro – there isn’t a team in the NFL who couldn’t use the 2012 second-round pick in one role or another moving forward.