The Eagles shipped ballyhooed free agent acquisition Ronnie Brown to the Lions moments before Tuesdays 4 p.m. trade deadline in exchange for veteran tailback Jerome Harrison, who spent most of last year with the Eagles.
The Eagles also received an undisclosed, 2013 late-round draft pick from Detroit along with Harrison. A league source said the pick is the Lions seventh-round pick in 2013.
Brown, a Pro Bowl pick with the Dolphins in 2008, was a huge disappointment in his brief stay with the Eagles, rushing 13 times for 38 yards (2.9 average) and likely costing the Eagles a win with his embarrassing, ill-fated pass attempt at the goal-line in the loss to the 49ers.
Were excited to reacquire Jerome Harrison and add another draft pick in 2013," general manager Howie Roseman said in a statement. "Jerome had a lot of success in Philadelphia last season, and he adds another back to the LeSean McCoy and Dion Lewis contingent.
"We want to thank Ronnie Brown for his contributions over the past six games and we wish him the best of luck in Detroit. Jerome fits a zone scheme. He has good vision, instincts, runs downhill and has quick feet. Hes a great character guy and will do whatever we ask him to do. He can catch the football. Were really excited about him joining LeSean McCoy and Dion Lewis.
The Eagles acquired Harrison from the Browns for Mike Bell last October, and Harrison carried the ball 40 times for 239 yards, a 6.0 average after joining the Eagles. That was the highest average by an Eagles running back on 40 or more carries in 50 years.
Most of Harrisons work came in two games a blowout win over the Redskins, when he had 109 yards on 11 carries, including a 50-yard TD run, and a season-ending game against the Cowboys, when he was 21-for-99.
The Eagles made no attempt to keep Harrison when the post-lockout free agency period opened, and he signed with the Lions, winning a roster spot after beating out Bell, who the Lions signed the same day.
Harrison ran 14 times for 41 yards this year but was inactive the last two games and hasnt had a carry since Week 2.
I didnt know if somebody was playing or not, but then once I realized it was serious, I was like, Cool, you know, play for a great coach, great organization," Harrison said. "Im excited to be back. The week off will be huge to get back in the playbook and start hearing the terminology again. I have been checking out the Eagles to see how LeSean (McCoy) is doing, and hes doing great. Im excited to be back.
The Eagles gave Brown a 315,000 signing bonus, and he was earning a minimum-wage base salary of 685,000. Harrison has the same base salary (but only got a 50,000 bonus from the Lions).
In the 49ers game, the Eagles led 10-3 and had a third-and-1 on the 49ers 1-yard-line when Brown got a handoff with a run-pass option. As he was being tackled, he threw the ball behind him to nobody in particular. The 49ers recovered what was intended as a pass but was in reality a fumble, and went on to beat the Eagles, 24-23.
Brown did not have a carry or reception in the last two games.
With Detroit, Brown is reunited with his first NFL offensive coordinator, Scott Linehan, who was the Dolphins' offensive coordinator in 2005. Linehan, who was the Rams' head coach from 2006 through the middle of 2008, is Jim Schwartz's offensive coordinator in Detroit.
The Eagles probably wouldnt have been able to make this trade if they didnt have a lot of confidence in Lewis, who is averaging 4.4 yards on seven carries so far.
McCoy leads the NFC with 569 yards and has scored eight touchdowns, second-most in the NFL.
E-mail Reuben Frank at email@example.com