Andrews joins brother with Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles bolstered their offensive line by signing Andrews to a six-year contract on Saturday. Andrews spent his first five seasons with Cincinnati and is the older brother of Eagles right guard Shawn Andrews, a former All-Pro coming off a difficult year.
"A big thing for me was playing with my brother and being on a family oriented team," Stacy Andrews said. "I felt this would be the best fit. We always talked about possibly playing together and now we got the chance. It's unreal. I'm looking forward to it."
The massive Andrews -- he's listed at 6-foot-7, 342 pounds -- is a versatile lineman who can play tackle or guard. He gives Philadelphia another option because bookend tackles Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan are free agents.
"Stacy is a multiposition player where he can play guard or tackle for us," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "We haven't declared which one he'll play, but he can do either or. He's started at left guard and right tackle and done a phenomenal job."
Andrews passed a physical despite having surgery in January to repair two torn ligaments in his right knee. It's possible he could be ready for the start of training camp.
"I'm ahead of the schedule, walking fine and feeling great," Andrews said. "I'm just looking forward to getting in, rehabbing and getting better."
The Eagles made sure their doctors poked and prodded Andrews before giving him a lucrative deal.
"He's making great progress with it and we feel very comfortable about his leg," Reid said. "He's ready to get this thing going."
The 27-year-old Andrews started six games at left guard in 2007 before moving to right tackle. He played last season under the franchise tag, earning $7.5 million.
Andrews didn't play football until he went to the University of Mississippi, but was selected in the fourth round of the NFL draft in 2004. He worked his way into Cincinnati's starting lineup in 2006, and was part of a unit that allowed only 17 sacks a year later. Andrews has played in 62 games, including 32 starts.
Shawn Andrews, who is 1½ years younger than his brother, was chosen in the first round of the same draft. He earned consecutive trips to the Pro Bowl in '06 and 2007, but sat out training camp last year because of depression. He played just six quarters before a back injury ended his season.
Reid downplayed the notion the Eagles signed Stacy Andrews to provide a stabilizing influence for Shawn.
"That's not why we brought him here," Reid said. "We brought him here because he's a good football player. Shawn worked very hard at getting things straightened out before we brought Stacy here. I think it'll be a neat experience for them."
The brothers have never played on a football team together. They were on the same AAU basketball team during high school, though they didn't appear on the court at the same time.
"It'll be real fun both brothers playing on the same line," Stacy Andrews said. "Me being on this team will add a boost to his spirit. We'll get it going here."
The Eagles reached the NFC championship game for the fifth time in eight years, losing at Arizona 32-25. They have three remaining unrestricted free agents: Runyan, Thomas and tight end L.J. Smith.
Seven-time Pro Bowl safety Brian Dawkins and running back Correll Buckhalter each signed with Denver, and safety Sean Considine went to Jacksonville. Smith visited Atlanta and doesn't figure into Philadelphia's plans.
The Eagles traded two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Lito Sheppard to the New York Jets for a pair of draft picks. Sheppard fell out of favor in Philadelphia after asking for a new contract last offseason and lost his starting job to Asante Samuel last year.
The Eagles re-signed nickel back Joselio Hanson to a $21 million, five-year deal before the free agency period opened Friday. They hoped to keep Dawkins and Thomas, who protects McNabb's blind side.
Runyan's future is uncertain after he had microfracture surgery on his right knee. He expects to make a full recovery. Runyan has played in 213 consecutive games, including playoffs.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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