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Slumping Eagles cut defensive end Babin in move to youth

(Reuters) - The Philadelphia Eagles, mired in a seven-game losing streak, have released two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Babin in a move to look toward the future, the club said on Tuesday.

Babin, who had a career-best 18 sacks in 2011 after joining the Eagles as a free agent from Tennessee, had just 5.5 sacks this season, and with the Eagles floundering with a 3-8 mark, the club wanted to take a closer look at younger players.

"We wish him all the best as he continues his career," Eagles coach Andy Reid said about the 32-year-old Babin.

"By releasing him today, this gives us an opportunity to give more playing time to some of younger guys in the defensive line rotation."

Rookie second-round pick Vinny Curry made his NFL debut in Monday night's loss to the Carolina Panthers and registered five tackles, the most among the defensive linemen.

Brandon Graham, a 2010 first-round pick from Michigan, is expected to get more playing time as well as second-year player Phillip Hunt.

The Philadelphia defensive line, which posted an NFL-best 50 sacks last year, has only registered 18 so far in 2012 and Babin was set to make more than $4 million in 2013.

The Eagles also officially placed wide receiver DeSean Jackson on injured reserve because of fractured ribs.

(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York, Editing by Frank Pingue)

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