The Eagles cleaned out their lockers today. DeSean Jackson made the big news when he spoke of wanting a new deal. Before you all go nuts we have to talk about this in the proper context.
Jackson earned $6.75 million this season, which is the fifth-highest base salary among receivers in ’13, per spotrac.com. That number jumps to $10.25 million in 2014, and hovers around there for the remainder of the deal. That’s right up there with Larry Fitzgerald‘s salary ($12.75). Roddy White‘s take-home for next season is less than half that number.
But none of the remaining money is guaranteed.
“I just need some security somehow, someway,” said Jackson. “I felt I’ve proven to be a top receiver in this league. Year after year doing what I’m able to do, just help my team be successful and spark energy, that’s what I’m here for.”
Jackson was asked to clarify: Is this simply something that he hopes will happen, or is it a necessity in his eyes?
“I just feel I’m deserving, bro. I’m never going to try and make it a problem,” said Jackson. “If it happens it happens. That’s what I have an agent for.”
If I’m reading this right, it sounds like the key here is that DeSean is looking for some guaranteed money. The Eagles might be willing to do that in return for DeSean lowering his cap figure in 2014.
If DeSean is pushing for a flat out raise, then I’ve got a problem. Les Bowen covered it well on Twitter.
Though Eagles might want to lower DeSean's cap # w/redo, their assumption when they paid him was he would play well. U don't get more 4 that
— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) January 6, 2014
DeSean was given a big deal a couple of years ago with the expectation that he would play well and earn it. You don’t get to ask for more when you play well. That was the point of the deal. I have no problem with giving him some guaranteed money. That just turns salary into a bonus or you can guarantee some of his salary.
We’ll see what comes of this.
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Howie Roseman talked about Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper tonight on his radio show.
Howie: Door is open to having both Cooper and Maclin back. One doesn't preclude the other
— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) January 6, 2014
Roseman on Maclin: "Jeremy's worked extremely hard, and he's extremely determined to come back, and a guy we drafted. The future's bright."
— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) January 6, 2014
I definitely think both Coop and Mac could re-sign here. Mac would likely sign a 1-year “prove it” deal. He would then go for a bigger deal in 2015, assuming he posted big numbers. Coop had a breakout year, but I think he understands that part of that was playing in Kelly’s system. Coop isn’t going to be a starter for all 32 teams.
So if you have Mac, Coop and DJax…who plays the slot? That would have been the obvious question in the past. The difference is that Kelly’s system doesn’t use the slot receiver in exactly the same way as the WCO. Remember the past when Jason Avant would catch so many short passes in heavy traffic? That wasn’t happening this year. The spread creates room. The slot receiver can use speed more in this system. DJax and Coop both had some slot reps this year.
I hope the Eagles try to sign both guys. I think that would make the passing game all the more explosive.
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We had a good discussion on Nick Foles and the franchise QB label in the earlier post. The key to all of this, as several of you pointed out, is that the Eagles won’t have to make a substantial financial commitment to Foles until after the 2014 season. That’s when they’ll have to decide if he is in fact a franchise QB or not.
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Tim McManus wrote a good piece on Mike Vick and his future. Vick really wants to be a starter. I’m curious to see if any team will give him a shot. I want him to go to the Raiders. It would be cool to see Vick in that uniform running around and making big plays.
Juliet Macur wrote about Vick for the NY Times. I found the piece to be completely bizarre. The title will give you a big hint.
Before Signing A Strong Arm, Teams Should Heed Vick’s Dark Past
I looked at her bio. Macur previously wrote a feature for the NYT on Vick’s pit bulls that were deemed unadoptable. Go to her Twitter page and you see this line.
“My writing partner is a Labrador retriever.”
I completely understand that Macur is a dog lover. I get that she knows the horrors of Vick’s actions from doing extensive research for her feature on his dogs. She may permanently view Vick as a monster because of this. That’s her right.
But her current column makes little to no sense. She basically is mad that he’s in the NFL and making lots of money. I don’t blame her for hating Vick, but turning that hatred into a NYT column is just weird.
Animal lovers everywhere can cheer Vick’s departure from this city. Especially those who have had to watch him play here since 2009, less than three months after he served time in a federal prison for his role in a dogfighting ring.
If the Eagles cut him loose this off-season, teams considering giving him a third chance in the N.F.L. should be required to look past his strong left arm, his nimble feet and his potentially cost-effective upside.
They should remember this: Vick was the mastermind behind his dogfighting operation. He bankrolled it, gave it a home base, encouraged it.
Any team that has interest in Vick will do their due-diligence in checking him out, but the fact that Vick has not had any incident since getting out of jail speaks volumes. He truly is a changed man. Pre-Philly Vick struggled with staying out of trouble for 4 months. Vick now has 5 years of doing and saying the right thing. That’s not to be taken lightly.
Macur goes into some of the details of what Vick did and then follows that up with this.
Teams evaluating Vick should think about those horrors before offering him a chance to wear their jersey. They should say, “Can’t we give our fans someone better to cheer for?” Fans should demand someone better.
The Eagles didn’t. Instead of passing on Vick when he was released from prison and perhaps forcing him to play in the Canadian league or having him work his way back up, the Eagles immediately chose to reward him with a two-year contract, paying him $1.6 million the first year, then $5.2 million. By 2011, he had a six-year, $100 million contract.
The cast of characters in Saturday’s game was a reminder of just how generous the league is with its ridiculous offers of second chances, like Vick’s.
Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper made racist remarks about African-Americans — on a team filled with African-Americans — and still ended up starting in the playoffs, the recipient of roaring cheers.
Saints Coach Sean Payton was suspended last year for a bounty program in which players were paid to inflict serious injuries on their opponents, and still he was hailed for ushering the Saints to their first ever road playoff win.
What can children who watch the game and idolize its players learn from that?
If you can throw a football, if you can catch a football, if you can call plays that win big games, then nothing else matters.
So now we’re morphing the column from just anti-Vick to anti-all bad guys. Huh? I think she would have done a much better job if she titled it “Where are the Good Guys?” and then written about Vick, Coop and Payton from the get-go. Instead it comes across like her just going after Vick and then throwing in the other stuff to try and balance it out.
And the game did feature some good guys anyway. Go read up on Jimmy Graham’s up-bringing. Check out Connor Barwin. Look into the work DeSean Jackson does against bullying. You telling me that Drew Brees isn’t someone to look up to?
Michael Vick did some unbelievably awful things earlier in his life. He was violent and cruel in a way that’s hard to comprehend. I could not imagine systematically torturing and killing dogs.
Vick went to prison for that. Federal prison. He wasn’t in some country club setting with accountants. He was in the real deal. That experience changed Vick. He is a different man. I don’t expect anyone to forget what Vick did. I know some will never forgive what he did. But I think you have to acknowledge that he’s a changed man.
The American legal system punishes people for their crimes. It then allows some of them to get out of prison and re-start their lives. Vick has done everything required of him by the courts. He’s gone above and beyond that with his charity work.
I wasn’t in favor of the Eagles signing Vick in 2009. I didn’t think the team needed him as a QB and I didn’t want any part of his baggage. Over time, I came to appreciate that Vick actually is a sign that the penal system can work. The arrogant scumbag who went into that prison is gone.
Would the world be better off if Vick went to prison for 10 years? It seems to me that him going away for 2 years and then actively working to teach people about the evils of dogfighting is more likely to make the world a better place. I get that some people think that Vick can’t be punished enough, but wouldn’t we all prefer that dogfighting go away even more than that?
Vick can’t bring back any of the dogs he killed. He has used his fame and status to shed light on dogfighting and to teach others about the evils of it. I don’t expect anyone to praise him. This is the least he can do to help atone for all the suffering that animals did while under his control.
As I see it, the 2014 story shouldn’t be about Michael Vick the dog killer, but rather Michael Vick the reformed dog killer. Don’t let him escape his past, but also don’t ignore the present.
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