Thursday, March 15, 2007
Eagles land former Rams wideout Curtis
By John Clayton and Len Pasquarelli
The Philadelphia Eagles signed former Rams unrestricted free agent wideout Kevin Curtis to a six-year, $32 million contract on Thursday.
The Eagles beat out the Minnesota Vikings and two other teams for the chance to land the heavily-coveted Curtis, who will be guaranteed $9.5 million in the deal.
Rated by ESPN.com as the No. 23 player available in the unrestricted market, Curtis was one of the top players still remaining in the talent pool. The four-year veteran was one of the most popular unrestricted free agents from the outset of the signing period, but his courtship was delayed when he changed agents a week into the process.
Curtis, 28, had played his entire career with the St. Louis Rams before going into free agency. He wrapped up his visits with other teams this week, meeting with Tennessee Titans officials, then returned home to Utah to deliberate the offers from his various suitors.
The addition of Curtis is a coup for the Eagles and team president Joe Banner, not just because of the intense competition for his services, but also because he figures to be such a good fit with the team's young corps of receivers. He has played in an offense similar to the design of coach Andy Reid, and the deep threat he consistently provides will compensate for Philadelphia's recent loss of wide receiver Donte Stallworth in free agency.
One of the NFL's fastest players, certainly in terms of straight-line speed, Curtis will bring a big-play dimension to the Eagles' attack.
In his four seasons with the Rams, he registered 136 receptions for 1,714 yards and 12 touchdowns. His best season was in 2005, when Curtis had 60 catches for 801 yards and six touchdowns, playing in the Mike Martz-designed offense.
He garnered considerable playing time that year because of injuries, but his role was reduced under first-year coach Scott Linehan in 2006, when St. Louis relied more on the running game and didn't use as many three-wideout formations.
A former Utah State standout, Curtis was a third-round choice in the 2003 draft, and has appeared in 51 games, with 11 starts.
John Clayton and Len Pasquarelli are senior writers for ESPN.com