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Kearse out, Thomas in vs. Miami Sunday

Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Jevon KearsePhiladelphia Eagles defensive end Juqua ThomasOnce considered one of the premier pass rushers in the National Football League, according to Len Pasquarelli of ESPN, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Javon Kearse will be benched in favor of DE Juqua Thomas when the Eagles host the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

Because of the lack of production by Kearse, he has seen his role reduced in the past several weeks, including last Sunday when he was used mostly in goal-line situations.  Asked about Kearse’s role this Sunday, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson told ESPN, “I haven’t decided that yet.”  This is yet another setback for Kearse, who again, because of a lack of production due to a string of injuries, is on the downside of his career.  This season in nine games, Kearse has 12 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks.

The Eagles signed Kearse to a big 8-year, $66 million contract back in 2004 after he spent 5 seasons with the Tennessee Titans, where he had his best seasons.  It appears that at this juncture, this will more than likely be the last season for Kearse with Philadelphia.  His high salary plus his diminished role with te team will probably enough just cause for the Eagles to let him go after the 2007 season.

Meanwhile, Thomas, who is 2 years younger and makes considerably less money than Kearse, has 13 tackles and recorded 4 sacks, playing mostly as a backup.  So basically this is a business decision more than anything else, although Kearse’s lack of production no doubt contributed to this decision.

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