Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Eagles trade for DE Tapp; sign RB Bell to offer sheet

The Eagles made a pair of significant personnel moves on Tuesday, acquiring DE Darryl Tapp from the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for DE Chris Clemons and a 2010 fourth round draft choice and signed restricted free agent RB Mike Bell to a 1-year offer sheet, values at $1.7 million.

Originally a second round draft pick of the Seahawks in 2006, Tapp (6-1, 270) has appeared in 64 games (32 starts) in his four-year career, posting 177 tackles, 18 sacks, eight forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, and two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown.

“Darryl is a very intense football player and we’re happy to acquire him,” said head coach Andy Reid. “He plays very hard every snap. He’s smart, he’s a good person and he’ll fit very well into our defensive scheme.”

Tapp’s best season came in 2007 when he started in all 16 games and recorded a career-high seven sacks. That year, he tied a Seahawks club record for sacks in a game with four vs. St. Louis on October 21.

A four-year letterman at Virginia Tech, Tapp earned first-team All-America honors and was given the Dudley Award as the top Division I player in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He finished his college career with 187 tackles and 23.5 sacks.

The 25-year-old Tapp is a native of Chesapeake, VA, and attended Deep Creek High School, where he helped lead the football team to a 34-4 record in his three varsity seasons. The three-sport star also earned letters in basketball and track.

“Darryl is an up-and-coming player in this league, in my opinion," said Eagles GM Howie Roseman. "He’s a good player and a good person, and we liked him very much coming out of Virginia Tech. We believe he’ll be a good addition to our defensive line.”

Meanwhile, the New Orleans Saints have a week to match the Eagles' offer to Bell. If they choose not to match, the Eagles will not owe the Saints draft pick compensation. 

In 2009, the 26-year-old Bell (6-0, 225) led the Super Bowl Champion Saints with 172 carries and contributed 654 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by Denver in 2006, Bell rushed for 677 yards and eight touchdowns in 15 games in his inaugural campaign with the Broncos. That year, he became the fifth undrafted rookie to gain 500-plus rushing yards since the inception of the common NFL Draft (1967), and his eight touchdowns were the second-most among undrafted rookies during that span.

A veteran of four NFL seasons, Bell has compiled 1,376 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns in 37 career games with New Orleans and Denver. After spending his first two years with the Broncos, Bell was released by the team on 7/21/08. He made a brief stop in Houston during their 2008 training camp but was released prior to the start of the regular season. He has spent the last year and a half with the Saints after signing with the team in November of 2008.

Bell played collegiately at the University of Arizona, where he rushed for 3,163 yards and 17 touchdowns, while amassing 11 100-yard rushing games. He finished his career ranked fourth on the program’s all-time rushing list.

A native of Phoenix, AZ, Bell was named Arizona’s player of the year and earned consensus All-America honors as a senior at Tolleson Union High School in Tolleson, AZ.

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