When scrolling down the list of 2011 Pro Bowl selections, one name stood out to me: Jason Babin. Babin was a former first round pick out of Western Michigan. He was drafted by the Houston Texans and played three seasons there before being traded to the Seattle Seahawks in 2007.
After falling through the cracks in Seattle, Babin was released in September 2008.
If you didn't black out the 2008 Kansas City Chiefs season from your mind, you may recall that midway through that campaign KC signed Jason Babin to deal with their injury issues at defensive end. Babin had other teams that were interested in him but ultimately signed with the Chiefs because of the opportunity to play right away.
In seven games and four starts for the Chiefs in 2008, Babin had two sacks and 31 tackles. He didn't make a huge splash in KC. Then again, nobody really did in 2008. After the '08 season, Babin was a free agent and the new GM Scott Pioli didn't bring him back. He played a few games for the Eagles in 2009 and didn't make much of a (statistical) impact.
Fast forward to 2010: Jason Babin signs with the Tennessee Titans in March and proceeds to rack up 12.5 sacks in 15 starts on the way to his first Pro Bowl ever.
Now, we don't get to second guess Scott Pioli much around here. But today we get to. Did Pioli make a mistake not retaining Jason Babin after the 2008 season? Could Babin have been a Tamba Hali-like success story?
I say no because Babin was essentially an unaccomplished defensive end in this first four years in the league. There wasn't much to admire about his play. Then again, should Pioli have seen Babin's potential?