I got a chance to talk to Darryl Tapp this evening after the trade was announced. He’s pretty bummed about having to leave Seattle, but happy for the opportunity he will receive in Philadelphia, likely starting opposite Pro Bowl defensive end Trent Cole.
Tapp recently married a local woman, Tiffany Robinson, and the couple will now be moving to Philadelphia, which is closer to Tapp’s roots on the East Coast but farther from Robinson’s family here in the Seattle area.
Tapp, who signed his restricted free agent tender yesterday, said was surprised by the move.
“I’m kind of shocked,” Tapp said about the trade. “For me, everything that I’ve been hearing was that it was pretty safe to say I was going to be in Seattle, which is where I wanted to be. But things happen in this business and I’m headed to Philadelphia, which is another great opportunity.
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“I’m overjoyed to be going to a team of such high caliber as the Eagles. They’re always in there battling for the NFC East title and in the hunt for a Super Bowl. So it’s a great situation.”
The deal occurred just a day after Tapp signed a 1-year, $1.76 million contract with Seattle. But it appears it was a sign-and-trade all along. And instead of Philadelphia giving up a second-round pick to sign Tapp to an offer sheet, the Eagles parted with a fourth round pick and defensive end Chris Clemons instead. Tapp already has negotiated a contract extension with Philadelphia.
As some have mentioned in the comments section, Tapp could have been redundant in Seattle’s defense with the team likely moving Aaron Curry to the “Elephant” position as a stand-up defensive end. Clemons becomes depth at that position, along with Nick Reed and free agent pick-up Ricky Foley.
Clemons is locked up for three more years, and will make $1.2 million in 2010.
The Seahawks also get a fourth-round pick as ammunition in future deals with the team still pursuing restricted free agents WR Brandon Marshall and QB Charlie Whitehurst. Seattle now has eight picks in this year’s draft, including two in the first and two in the fourth, but no third-round pick.
Whitehurst, who has been tendered a third-round level by the Chargers, is reportedly still choosing between Arizona and Seattle, while the Seahawks remain the only team that has shown a clear interest in Marshall.
New Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had spoken highly of Tapp as a building block to his defense, but with Tapp now traded and defensive captain, safety Deon Grant released, Carroll is establishing that status quo is not acceptable and he will do what he believes is necessary to make the team better in the long term. Carroll’s approach is different than the one taken last season by Jim Mora and then-general manager Tim Ruskell, who felt that if they added a few, key pieces to the team’s core players they could still compete for a playoff spot.
UPDATE: According to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, OG Rob Sims will be the next Seahawk to go, and has been held out of the off-season conditioning program in anticipation of a trade, perhaps to Cleveland.