Two days after joining the Philadelphia Eagles in a trade, Tapp signed a three-year contract on Thursday. The 25-year-old Tapp will compete for a starting spot at left defensive end after playing four seasons in Seattle. "I think a change of scenery will be good," Tapp said. "I guess last year I had 2 1/2 sacks, but honestly in my eyes, I feel like it was my best year. I had 2 1/2 sacks and 18 quarterback hits. Last year was just a difficult situation with the circumstances that we had in Seattle. So, stats don’t always tell the story. It’s what you see on the surface."
In other moves, the team released defensive end Darren Howard and wide receiver Kevin Curtis.
The Eagles sent defensive end Chris Clemons and a fourth-round pick in next month’s draft to Seattle for Tapp. A second-round draft pick by the Seahawks in 2006, Tapp has 18 sacks, two interceptions, eight forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries in 64 games.
He’ll battle Victor Abiamiri and Juqua Parker for playing time opposite Pro Bowl right end Trent Cole.
"When I first found out I was being traded I was shocked, honestly, because everything I heard from the people in Seattle was that I was going to be there for this upcoming year," Tapp said. "I was looking forward to going in there and getting the ball rolling again. When I found out, it was a bittersweet moment. It was bitter because the team that finally gave me a chance to play in the league was moving elsewhere without me, but it’s a sweet thing because I get to play for a great organization and be closer to home."
Tapp grew up in Virginia and went to Virginia Tech. The Eagles scouted him in college and considered selecting him in the draft before he was off the board.
Tapp was a restricted free agent and signed a one-year tender this week. His contract runs through the 2012 season.
Howard joined the Eagles as an unrestricted free agent in 2006 and played in all 64 regular-season games and six playoff games. He had 22 1/2 sacks among his 122 tackles.
"Darren Howard has been one of our most productive and versatile members of our defense in the last couple of years," coach Andy Reid said. "He is nothing but a solid player, leader and person on and off the field."
Curtis signed with Philadelphia as an unrestricted free agent in 2007 and caught 116 passes for 1,577 yards and eight touchdowns in 28 games. He was plagued by injuries the last two years after a strong 2007 in which he made 77 receptions for 1,110 yards and six touchdowns.
"Kevin is one of the classiest players I have ever been around," Reid said. "He’s the type of player and person we like to build our team with. We just feel good about the young core of receivers we have on our team at this point."