"DeMeco is a proven Pro Bowl linebacker in this league and we're excited to be able to plug him into the middle of our defense," Eagles coach Andy Reid said in a news release announcing the deal. "He's been the signal-caller and a leader on a very good Texans defense for the last several years. He's a tough, instinctive football player and he'll be a great fit for our team."
"I think that our defense is going to miss him," Smith added.
Watt echoed Smith's sentiment.
"I mean, DeMeco, far and away, is the most respected guy on our defense," Watt said. "So it's tough to see him go."
Texans general manager Rick Smith praised Ryans in a statement released Tuesday: "DeMeco Ryans contributed significantly toward helping us build the foundation we hope will bring a world championship to the city of Houston. His professionalism and leadership cannot be over-exaggerated. ... We appreciate all the hard work and effort DeMeco invested in our organization and wish him only the best moving forward. He is a class act."