Eagles Sign LB Levon Kirkland
Wednesday, July 17, 2002
By David W. Unkle
SJSports Staff Writer
The Philadelphia Eagles today announced they have signed veteran linebacker Levon Kirkland to a one-year contract. As is club policy, financial terms of the deal were undisclosed. Kirkland (6-1, 275) spent the 2001 season with the Seattle Seahawks after having been with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the previous nine. The 10-year veteran has started 123 consecutive games, including 107 with the Steelers prior to starting all 16 games last season with the Seahawks. A two-time Pro Bowler with Pittsburgh (1996 and 1997), Kirkland has totaled at least 100 tackles in eight of the last nine seasons.
"We are always looking to add quality players to create competitive situations throughout our team," said Eagles head coach Andy Reid. "Levon is one of those players and we are fortunate to be able to add him to our strong linebacking corps. His veteran experience makes that linebacking unit an even stronger group."
In 160 career games (140 starts) Kirkland has registered 1,005 tackles, 19.5 sacks and 11 interceptions. Last season, the 33 year-old registered 101 tackles (80 solo) and matched a career high with 13 tackles versus Philadelphia on September 23rd, as the NFL returned to action following the September 11th tragedies.
A Lamar, SC, native, Kirkland started four seasons at Clemson where he was a finalist for both the Lombardi and Butkus Awards. He and Eagles linebacker Carlos Emmons were teammates in Pittsburgh from 1996 to 1999.