You don’t obtain a nickname like “The Freak” for being an average athlete. Jevon Kearse plays at Defensive Line and he has held a great reputation for himself up until this past season for the Philadelphia Eagles. During his first 3 years in the NFL he recorded at least 10 sacks, he has a career high of 16 during his rookie campaign which probably when he obtained his notable nickname. He is a very athletic player with a large wingspan which helped him to deflect 8 passes in 2005.
Kearse, who signed a $66 million deal in 2004, unfortunately fell off the Philly Eagles regular game-day roster towards the end of the season. However in his defense he was coming off a 2006 knee injury that required reconstruction and played at about 235 pounds most of the season, which was down from his profile of 265lbs. In a league filled with monmouth, athletic offensive linemen, being underweight does play against you. The name of the game is the ability to use your body to your advantage, and when you cannot penetrate the offensive line and apply pressure to opposing quarterbacks your value decreases along side your playing time. This might have been the case with Kearse, who is is only 31, but is no longer more than a rotational player. The Titans could give him a look if they lose free agents Antwan Odom and/or Travis LaBoy.
Now 31 does not sound like a player who is anachronistic, but in the national football league it could play against Kearse. If he was fully healthy and at his ideal weight he would continue to be a threat. If he is underweight at an important position then he would have to be uses sparingly off the bench as a change of pace position player.
The ideal position is that Kearse returns to the Tennessee Titans, the organization that drafted him in 1999. The Titans have a very talented team who made a brief stint in the playoffs. Perhaps Kearse can be a mentor to the younger players on the team, and/or can still contribute on a regular basis and regain his starting position.
We wont really know until the pre-season camps begin and we have the full rundown of his status. If he continues to work out and condition he could regain his “freak” athletic status. His career is far from over but his role on whatever team he does land on may change. It is something that all athletes have to deal with over time. They cannot be starters for the rest of their lives, but that does not limit them from helping out a team. Kearse can help both on and off the field with his level of experience and big game performances.
More information: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=1767