Big Picture

Posted: March 27th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 170 Comments »

This is a weird time for Eagles fans. The team is coming off a 10-6 season and division title so optimism should be high. But the team didn’t make the kind of splashy moves many wanted in free agency. Then there was the whole DeSean Jackson saga, which still isn’t over. Now we have Evan Mathis and some contract issues.

I know there is a weird vibe around the team right now, but I still think there is every reason in the world to be feeling good. No team is going to go through an offseason without some issues popping up. That’s part of the business of football. You shouldn’t lose sight of the big picture.

Chip Kelly sure looks the part of a great NFL coach.

Nick Foles looks like the franchise QB the Eagles have been looking for since Donovan McNabb’s prime years.

Shady is arguably the best RB in the league.

The Eagles have some good young players on defense.

The Safety position is in much better shape than in recent years.

STs should get a boost from the new cover guys and Darren Sproles. Donnie Jones is back. PK is still on the to-do list.

The NFL draft will give the Eagles another chance to add talent to the roster.

Free agency isn’t over. The team can still sign some players to help with depth.

It would be nice if things could go smoothly, but that’s just not reality. There are going to be changes every offseason and they won’t always be pleasant.

I still believe in Chip Kelly and his plans, his vision for this team. You’ve heard Howie Roseman mention this. Jeffrey Lurie too.

“Very confident, because it’s a very focused plan,” Lurie said. “It’s a very focused plan based on what the character needs to be, what the performance level needs to be, what the preparation to perform at your maximum level needs to be. It’s a very focused target system where you know the kinds of people you want to surround our current players with and who to go after and what the function in this offense is. Because it’s different than it was with Andy [Reid]. The defense is completely different.

“So I think they’re very, very focused, and it worked out really well the first year with Chip and the personnel department, Howie, figuring out what would be best. But now it’s really obvious. Because at first you’re just checking to see whether you can understand each other and communicate and maximize what you’re doing. Now we’ve had a whole year to figure out exactly the kinds of players in the draft and what their performance level needs to be, what their strengths and weaknesses can be and their character.”

I know many of you are furious with Kelly for the whole DeSean thing. That’s fair. I still want to get all the information before making judgment on that, but I trust Chip. If this is his doing and is purely about football, so be it. As an outsider I don’t like it, but that’s part of the problem…I’m an outsider. Chip knows what it will take for his vision to work at the highest level. If he’s willing to make this move, I’m going to trust him.

The NFL is all about coaches.The Niners collected talent for years, but it wasn’t until Jim Harbaugh got there that they started playing well and winning. Now they’re a machine. You have to find the right guy and let him do his thing.

I hope it turns out that there is something going on with DeSean and that’s what led to the situation with the Eagles. I don’t want this to be a case of Kelly dumping a star that he doesn’t like. But no matter the case for now, I’m trusting Chip. He’s made mostly the right moves since taking over and his vision has worked to this point.

One thing I do know for sure, I am looking forward to the resolution of the DeSean situation. And then I want to know why all this happened. I hope that gets revealed over time.

* * * * *

Sounds like Mark Sanchez will be an Eagle today if he passes his physical. I’m curious if the Eagles will give him much of a signing bonus or if they’ll want the ability to cut him if he struggles in camp.

Many of you expressed frustration at the team not going after Terrelle Pryor. Here’s the issue with that…Pryor wants to challenge for a starting role. That wouldn’t happen here. I’m sure Kelly is intrigued by his athleticism, but going after him would only make sense if the team thought Pryor would buy in to developing over time. Doesn’t sound like that’s the case.

_


  • eagleyankfan

    “The Safety position is in much better shape than in recent years.” … interesting. I guess being terrible at a position — there’s only 1 way to go and that is up – even after signing an “ok” safety. I don’t think the safety position is solved. Chip will find his guys though. 2014 team isn’t Chips finished product. Baby steps….

    • Tumtum

      2011 was rock bottom. Even last year was an improvement.

      • Sb2bowl

        2011 was bad; when Cruz hit us with that long touch down pass against Nnamdi I remember sitting there in disbelief from what I just witnessed on the TV. Our vaunted secondary (we’ve been blessed with good corners/safeties since the mid 90’s) has been a shell of itself, but hopefully we are turning into an aggressive, opportunistic, turnover making defensive monster! I’d like to see us add a safety from the draft within the first 3 rounds and hopefully there are a few UDFA safety/corner/hybrid types that “throw their hat into the ring” .

  • therevxxx

    Still confident in the Eagles future/direction, but very unhappy w/ Chip and Howie for the way they have handled this Desean situation. If they want to get rid our #1 WR, I won’t like it, but I trust their decision. Whatever the end result of this situation is, there is one thing that is certain: They need to handle this type of thing better the next time around.

  • 76mustang

    The big picture is that Chip couldn’t give a flying f**k what the media or anyone outside his organization postulates about his plans for the Eagles…nor should he. I hope Chip starts a rumor that he wants to renegotiate his contract, and moves the spotlight over to Lurie – let him deal with a barrage of media attention so Chip can focus on this Eagles team that will be better than last year’s version…

    • D3FB

      Chip should start a rumor that he wants the team to relocate to the Moon so his offense won’t be slowed by gravity just to mess with the media.

  • barneygoogle

    Let’s not confuse the media view of the upcoming 2014 season with the Eagles view. A lot will happen between now and opening day. It’s quite obvious the media has no clue about what is happening internally with the team, is largely a very lazy crew with the work ethic of Shawn Andrews, and is mostly–just making guesses.

  • Daniel

    Meh. I’m sad about Mathis. I really hope he isn’t traded because we already need to replace Herremans.

  • Bob Brewer

    So if you’re Howie Roseman or Chip Kelly how are you supposed to handle speculation questions? Lie and end the discussion risking the trust of your players when you go back in your word or say a bunch of nothing never quashing the rumors?

    If you don’t want someone, there’s no good way to handle it until the process is complete.

    • therevxxx

      The more I think about it, you are correct. Once a rumor gets out there that you are shopping a player how does a team address it?

      1st off, if the rumors are true, you obviously can’t say you are shopping that player, or you risk killing his value.

      Why not just say, “Desean is a special talent and valuable part of our team. Team policy is to not comment on trade rumors. But as we always do, if a team calls asking about one of our players, we will listen to all offers and do what is best for the future of the Philadelphia Eagles”.

      Wouldn’t that be an improvement on the situation?

      • Mac

        Sounds an awful lot like… “we saw some things there” and “I’ve got to do a better job…”

        More to the point though, I agree that it would be better (from my personal standpoint) if they had a rote way of stating things about something that can be as sensational in the media.

        A couple of other thoughts…

        Maybe this is there way of just brushing things aside, and we will see that as they repeat this pattern in the future.

        Or

        The Eagles are a business, and they benefit by being in the news and having media attention. Outside of NFL network (which doesn’t really count anyway), what other NFL team is in the news on a day to day basis right now? Is this “debacle” actually a “win” for the Eagles?

    • ChaosOnion

      I think the key is to get it done quickly to avoid the volume of rampant speculation we are currently experiencing. If there are the much speculated upon major personal issues with Jackson, do not be greedy, get it done and get out. If not, maximize value while minimizing churn, but get it done quickly.

      I think it comes down to experience. Both Howie and Chip lack a bit in dealing with start players at the professional level. And the growing pains are getting a little ugly.

      • Bob Brewer

        The Eagles can get this done as quickly as they want. They just cut Jackson. Problem is it doesn’t give them the maximum possible return. It takes time to get deals done and so we go through the process.

  • A_T_G

    There seems to be support for handling of Evan Mathis’ request to rework his contract – allow him to seek outside views of his worth to create a conversation instead of a game of chicken.

    Is it possible the Eagles handling of DJax is the same thing, only triggered by the team? If the Eagles are planning to talk with Jackson about reworking his deal during the upcoming season, perhaps they put out these feelers to gather information guaging other teams’ views of Jackson’s worth. I know it was eye-opening for me to see how other teams were less interested than I expected. Perhaps it will be for him and his agent as well.

    Also, if this is the Eagles new approach to requests to rework deals, I can certainly see value in it. How long will other teams play along, I wonder? Other front offices can’t be excited about putting together an offer for a player only to have that offer serve as a piece of evidence in the Eagles negotiations.

    • therevxxx

      Not sure if that would be entirely accurate. I could maybe understand the Eagles putting feelers out there to see what Jax would fetch them in a trade, but you can’t properly gauge a players worth this way.

      In my opinion there is a big difference between paying Jax 10 million this year and trading a pick for him AND paying him 10 million this year.

      I guess another way of saying that is… there may be a lot of teams willing to have him on their team for 10 mil, but when you have to pay him that $$ on top of spending a draft pick on him, that changes the story.

      • A_T_G

        True, but it provides evidence that he certainly not worth much more than 10 million, which he is slated to make next year.

      • Jamie Parker

        Yes, and that draft pick will cost considerably less than $10 million now, but they hope he’s worth $10 million in the future. A team might see that future as being now.

    • Tumtum

      I see where you are going with this, but I don’t know if I am with you. The Mathis situation seems more like he is aware of the situation so there would be open lines of communication with what other teams would be willing to offer for him, and if they would restructure his deal.

      Desean on the other hand seems to have gotten little more communication than the reporters at the breakfast did yesterday.

      Sure seems to be apples and oranges.

    • ICDogg

      I think it’s possible, and actually a pretty smart way to handle the situation if that’s what they’re doing. It makes sense, actually, the way we’re not getting a straight story on the matter, since neither side would want to discuss these types of negotiations. It would also explain why the owner of the Jets would be willing to speak about him, since I don’t think it’s tampering if there is permission to talk to his agent about him.

    • A Roy

      It has been my experience that management is, generally, fairly incompetent when dealing with employees. Employees usually look for much deeper meaning and nuance than the amount of thought (or lack thereof) that management put into it. Thus, I subscribe to the theory the Eagles looked at the WRs in this year’s draft, figured they could get a quality starter and Maclin could replace Jackson, thereby removing a diva who doesn’t want to “get with the program” without too great a loss on the field. (While saving some cap space, I might add…)

  • Tumtum

    I am personally upset. I don’t know if furious is the word. I’ve calmed down. The Evan Mathis news sent me over the edge a little bit, first thing yesterday.

    I’m not upset at Chip or Howie, more so the Eagles. A little more upset about their handling of the situation than anything else. Yes I want Desean, but its not up to me. Would it all of been quiet on the front lines had Kempski not gotten a hot tip that lead to him writing a speculative piece which immediately turned into the shot heard round the world? I sort of have my doubts.

    Look Eagles. Lie to the public to make the clamoring go away. Oh there is a media firestorm about speculation of a Desean trade? All it takes is a simple “Every player is available for the right price, but we don’t foresee any trade scenario that would result in trading Desean.” Not only do you shut the media up but you posture yourself in a better trading position.

    It might be a “very focused plan” but this portion is “very shit execution”. I have zero complaints about anything else.

  • Anders
    • eagleyankfan

      I can see why. Runs hard every play. Falls forward. Good hands. Sells each play.

  • ACViking

    Re: A System For Moving on From Players

    Chip Kelly’s Oregon Ducks played in just one BCS (Mythical) Championship game — after the 2010 season against Auburn.

    That season, Oregon’s QB led the Ducks to a 13-1 record, put up great numbers, and led the team to within a FG of a national title. The next year, as a red-shirt junior, the same QB led Oregon to a 12-2 season and again posted some great numbers.

    And then . . . Oregon QB Darron Thomas declared for the NFL draft. Why?

    Because Kelly, I believe, wouldn’t guarantee Thomas the starting job — with Marcus Mariota coming to Eugene and Bryan Bennett pushing for the job, too.

    Thomas went 25-3 over the past two years and nearly won a title. But Kelly was firm. His way or the highway.

    Kelly clearly believes in himself and his system. The man has lots of brass.

    • ChaosOnion

      Brass is great but the draft is a fickle beast.

      • ACViking

        CO:

        Not saying Kelly’s right. Just that he’s a ballsy guy who doesn’t give a crap what anyone thinks.

        ‘Specially us.

        And the draft? Fickle? Great adjective!

    • eagleyankfan

      I’d imagine you declare yourself for the draft because you’re stock is at an all time high. Which is what all players do. Not sure this is a “my way or highway” thing…

      • Anders

        Darron Thomas was never drafted.

        • eagleyankfan

          Where’d he go after the draft? I just don’t see Chip doing this at all…doesn’t make sense.

          • Neil

            Not guranteeing a starting job? Didn’t he bench Desean in OTAs?

          • Anders

            He put him as the 3rd string WR

          • eagleyankfan

            yeah – apples and oranges here. He made DJ earn his way to starting wr. All coaches do this stuff to push the players. That’s different than a QB declaring himself for the draft….

          • Neil

            I think he had him running with the 2s and 3s, no?

          • eagleyankfan

            No – I don’t see Chip telling his QB that in college

          • Neil

            Uh, you mean saying “the best players play”?

          • Anders

            He went to the CFL

          • eagleyankfan

            So, he declared himself for the draft and Chip moved on. I’m not sure there’s much more than that going on…

          • Bert’s Bells

            Canadian women are like college girls but their health care system pays for the antibiotics.

          • D3FB
          • eagleyankfan

            That’s a great article. Again though more “insiders” information. After reading who his agent was leads to more belief he wanted to cash in.

          • D3FB

            Thomas was considered a UDFA all along. He was invited to the combine, as a throwing arm for WR’s not as a prospect. That means when he filed his paperwork the committee sure as hell didn’t give him any kind of high grade. He didn’t hire Rosenhaus til after he declared. I mean fell free to ask Saltveit but the minute he declared most Oregon fans knew that he was doing it because he knew Bennet or Mariotta were chomping at the bit and were probably going to surpass him as the starter. Better to declare early and risk it than get benched and have your stock completely in the toilet.

    • Anders

      Well Bill Belichick is the same way

  • Scott

    Why don’t most people understand that there is no Desean saga. The entire thing was created by some lame writers that were desperate for something to write about. I don’t understand how anyone blames Chip. All we know is some teams expressed interest in Desean. I would be pissed if the FO didn’t listen to the offers.

  • Mike Roman

    I’m not going to get to upset with Howie and Kelly for the DeSean situation. We really don’t know what may be going on behind the scenes. I’m just hoping that Chip has smoothed things over to the point where we aren’t going to give him away.

    As for Mathis, I have mixed feelings. OG isn’t a heavily valued position. His style of play also won’t fit with all teams. He’s also playing next to a potential HOF tackle. It sounds like Mathis isn’t going to make a huge deal out of this and won’t cause problems if he doesn’t get a new deal. I actually side with the Eagles on this. THEY JUST GAVE HIM A NEW DEAL. If he does make a fuss, trade him for a 4th or 5th round pick and plug Barbre in there. Guards are replaceable.

    • Sean

      It’s amazing to me how anti-labor football fans are. If you really object so strongly to players asking for raises or more guarantees on the basis that they signed the contract in the first place, then you should be similarly outraged whenever a team asks a player to take a pay cut. Contracts are a two-way street: the team is just as much a signatory on the contract as the player himself.

      • iceberg584

        This has always fascinated me, and definitely stands in contrast to prevailing sentiments (which favor the hard-working laborer) amongst the general public for almost any other profession. Some people cite the fact that players make millions, so why should we feel bad for them? But the obvious counter is that the owners are all billionaires, so why should we feel bad for *them*? I believe that the key difference resides in the original reason that people watch, follow, and consume sports – they want to be entertained and, above all, they want their chosen team to win. If that’s their core desire, then in any sort of labor dispute, they are going to side with the team – whether it’s “fair” or not. I want the team to employ star players who make as little as possible, so that the team can acquire additional star players more easily. And I want those star players to be happy with whatever they are making, not because I’m secretly jealous, but because I want harmonious team chemistry, with the entire organization singularly focused on winning. When Player X whines over his contract (whether he’s justified or not, whether he really needs the money or not), it distracts from that singular focus and threatens the resources of the team. If Player Y is not playing up to the expectations of ownership and the fan base, I want the team to be able to expediently get rid of him – not because I’m heartless, or anti-labor, but because I know that’s the best way for the team to continue winning in the future. And thus, I side with ownership.

        • Sean

          This is precisely the point, though. I understand that we’re all invested in the fortunes of the team, and just how powerful those feelings are. We feel like reduced player salaries on an individual level will contribute to the on-field success of the team, which is, in a way, true. Still, the problem I have is with the description of players trying to renegotiate. As you’ve done, fans label them as distruptive, selfish, and somehow lacking character. (They’re “whining”). If chemistry is such a concern, then shouldn’t frustration with perceived underpayment be a serious consideration. I agree on a larger level, but the fan reaction and outrage makes no sense and needs to be significantly toned down.

          • iceberg584

            The fans’ emotional investment in the team cuts both ways, however. For almost every instance that a fan expresses their anger over a player seeking a contract renegotiation, there’s another fan frustrated that the Eagles’ brass is “too cheap” or “only spending enough money to make us marginally competitive.” Hopefully, only the most extreme of conspiracy theorists are not on board with the fact that Lurie really wants to win a Super Bowl, and he will open up the checkbook to do it, if that’s the right move, which is a whole other debate. I think this side of fan emotion is more salient in baseball, where without a salary cap, the importance of a designated “team payroll” is magnified. And, I’ve observed that in the past ten years or so, baseball fans (who also really want their team to win) usually complain less about player contracts, despite baseball players making far more money than football players – and having their full contracts guaranteed at that. It’s probably because those contracts are all sunk cost, so no sense complaining; instead, they just want ownership to spend more of their limitless money if better players are needed. Then when the owners don’t, fans get angry. In a roundabout way, I’m just saying, that whatever the labor agreement circumstances, fans just want the team to win, whether they need to be frustrated with players or ownership.

            The fact that players are making millions does make it easier, from a moral standpoint, for fans to favor outcomes that on one level are utterly unfair – but benefit the team. At the end of the day, I care far more about the Eagles winning the Super Bowl in 2015 than I do about Evan Mathis’ granddaughter having money for college tuition in twenty years.

          • Sean

            Agreed, the massive salaries of athletes do make it easy to dismiss any desire on their part for higher pay, but Evan Mathis, for his unique talents (only 64 starting guards in the NFL) and level of accomplishment within his field (pro-bowler, all-pro, PFF object of lust) is actually underpaid. Sure, relative to an office-worker pulling in 50k a year, he has infinitely more money, but that comparison does not work.

          • Sean

            To put a finer point on it, should a Foot Locker salesperson begrudge a TV executive a raise just because he makes a lot more money than he does?

          • iceberg584

            If the TV executive’s requested raise impacts the financial health of the Philadelphia Eagles, then yes, begrudge away.

          • Sean

            I’ll just pretend that made sense, since I already know what your position is and what you’re trying to get at there. We agree that fans will, and ultimately should, prioritize the success of the team over the financial success of the players. That’s not my point. I’m talking about the refrain that emerges immediately following the news of a player seeking more money. “Mathis already makes $5 million a year, how much does he need? Most people won’t make that much in 100 years!!! He’s being so greedy.” That’s not a valid response to his request for a raise, unless you think nobody who makes more money than the average working man is ever entitled to higher wages, no matter how valuable their skills are and how well they’ve performed.

          • iceberg584

            Of course fans don’t have rational responses to news of players seeking more money. I’m an even-keeled guy, but when I learn that Evan Mathis is seeking a new contract or a trade, I get upset because in any number of ways, it’s not good for the team. Like you said, many people will use this emotion to cart out statements like “how come he needs more money to do a job that is a kid’s game, nobody needs that much money, etc.”, which I believe is just a safe mechanism of expressing the team-centric viewpoint that I’ve mentioned several times. Now, if somebody selected me to arbitrate a contract dispute for a player on, say, the Cleveland Browns, I could do it with a full understanding of what a player should or shouldn’t earn according to the market. Your question does make me wonder how people would react to a very successful doctor aggressively trying to increase his salary from 500k a year to 900k a year. Would ordinary people sympathize? I can tell you that if he was good enough to earn that salary, if not from that health organization, then a competing one, then good for him. This is becoming a tortured analogy, but if I was a shareholder (or something) for that doctor’s health group, I’d want the organization to be able to retain his talents for the cheapest salary possible. Hopefully this all makes a shred of sense.

          • Sean

            Yeah, fine, that might be what they really mean, but I think you’re underselling how much misguided resentment and jealousy figures into it.

        • Tumtum

          I don’t think you could have expressed my view on player contracts any better.

          The only place I differ is that typically when a player has out played their contract. I will usually agree with the player in earnest, but much prefer they would just be happy with what they are making.

          Evan Mathis is a perfect example. He has outplayed his contract. He has every right to ask for a raise. I wish he wouldn’t though.

        • Michael Winter Cho

          Except prevailing sentiments do not favor hard-working laborers. If they did, they would tend to be pro-union; but you will be hard pressed to find anyone saying anything good about a union who isn’t in one.

          • iceberg584

            True, but I don’t think most people are pro-Wall Street/1% either, and the exclusive club of NFL owners are certainly card-carrying members of the 1%-club.

          • Michael Winter Cho

            Not sure I agree. There may be a highly-publicized backlash against the “ruling class”, but people still tend to see them as leaders and subconsciously take their side. Especially, well, conservative people…

          • iceberg584

            To really boil it down, I think that people get upset when a corporation gives their rank-and-file employees a raw deal and lays them off. Those same people, when they are wearing their NFL apparel, don’t care when a GM wants to rip up a bad contract (in effect, laying a guy off, even if he’s done all that was asked of him), as long as it helps their team win more games.

          • Michael Winter Cho

            It is an interesting phenomenon. I guess the main difference is we are invested in our teams’ outcomes in a way we are not invested in a random corporation. There is also an odd quasi-public sector aspect to the teams in that they “represent” our cities even if they are actually for-profit entities.

      • Mike Roman

        Yeah, I’m outraged. That’s precisely what I’m saying.

        • Sean

          You’re right. I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE I MIGHT HAVE GOTTEN THAT FROM.

          • Mike Roman

            I was only emphasizing the point that he just got a new deal. It doesn’t mean I’m outraged over it. I understand the plight of the man as much as the next guy. Unfortunately in the NFL the teams generally hold the leverage. It’s not unlike anyone else who works for a living. The employer is going to give you what they think you’re worth and they’ll fight you tooth and nail if you ask for more. From the Eagles perspective they’re probably thinking, “where does this guy get the audacity to ask for a new deal already?” When I say that I side with the team on this situation, it’s not based on what I believe to be fair, but the reality of the business. Evan Mathis knows this isn’t how things work … especially with the Eagles.

  • eagleyankfan

    When a questioner noted that linebacker Brandon Graham wants a chance to start somewhere, Chip Kelly responded: “He has that opportunity, every day”

    Now that’s funny…

    • Neil

      …That’s exactly what Chip did to Darron Thomas.

  • LostInChiTown

    My concern is with player management. We all saw what happened when Andy Reid took too big a handle in free agency and the draft in his later years. Lurie has said that Howie was the only one who consistently had the proper grades and opinions on those moves. Now, we’re hearing that Chip is making the decisions on what players to keep, who to sign, and who to trade.

    I don’t have a problem with the actual moves so far – I think Malcolm Jenkins really will work out – but I hate the possibility that Roseman is lobbying for one thing and getting overruled by Chip. Last year’s FA and the last 2 drafts have shown Howie knows what he’s doing. Chip should explain what he wants in players and let Howie handle the rest. It sounds like Chip was the driving force behind the Sproles trade and much else. What if Howie preferred that 5th round pick to a 30 year old player? I’m much more confident if Howie is making that judgement rather than Chip. Same with FA and trades.

    Chip may have a hardball attitude toward players buying in how he wants and not talking about new contracts, and that’s fine, but Howie needs to have some control to balance a still learning about the NFL Chip. Howie knows Mathis is a key player among the best in the league and that Herremen’s already needs replacing. If we trade Mathis we have a need at guard in the draft. Suddenly we’re reaching to fill a hole instead of picking BPA. This isn’t college where you can bring in dozens of players every year. We have 6 picks in a loaded draft. The last thing we need is to trade a pro-bowler at a position already in need of depth. If we truly draft BPA, we should be setting up our team for the next decade. This isn’t the time to create holes to fill to prove a point.

  • Jernst

    Really fascinating read about the new cba and the implications of being able to roll over unused cap money: http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=66&f=1887&t=11124868

    Really puts a lot of our FA moves /non moves in perspective.

    • CrackSammich

      Wow. I really hope Howie sees this and didn’t just luck into our cap savings right now.

      If I’m thinking about it correctly, as long as you spend less than 50% of your rolled over cap, your available cap will continue to grow. After a couple solid years of frugal spending, a smart team can have a multimillion dollar advantage. Great to be in a division with the Cowboys and Redskins–we have a couple year head start on this kind of cap advantage.

      The only draw back is having to listen to fans complain every year about about the unused cap.

  • Jernst

    Mathis to me is a non issue. He’s a 33 yr old guard. He’s damn good, but don’t buy the PFF hype he’s not the best guard in football. He’s incredibly technically sound and consistent and usually controls his man without ever really dominating them. 33 yr old guards like that who are really really good but not game changing dominators make about $5mil per yr, just like Mathis.

    If two yrs after signing that deal Mathis came to me as GM and asked for $7mil per yr I’d tell him the same thing…go pound sand. Or in this case, go ahead see for yourself if that type of money is available for you on the market. You’re free to seek out a trade…we want a 3rd rd pick for you.

    Guess what no team in their right mind would give up a 3rd and $7mil a yr for a 33 yr old guard. So he won’t find what he’s looking for and he’ll come back with two options: play for the Eagles at fair market value or hold out, give up $5mil this year, sit out and try again next yr when he’s 34 and a year out of football.

    See, he has zero leverage. Eagles played this perfectly.

    • RobNE

      why would we want only a 3rd round pick for Mathis? Whether he’s one of the best guards in the league, or simply one of the best for our system, I don’t understand why he (under contract for what, 3 more years) is only worth a 3rd to us.

      • Jernst

        Of course, ideally we’d want him to finish his career over the next 2-3 years with us. The point is that no team will offer a 3rd. Believe it or not, no matter how good Mathis is at playing Guard, no one…I’ll repeat NO ONE…will ever give up a 3rd round pick for a 33 yr old, it’s just not happening. Draft picks are too valuable and this draft is way too deep.

        Mathis is great, but he realistically has 2 years of performance left. That’s it. I’m in no way advocating trading him. I’m just saying, no team is going to give up a 3rd AND give him a mega deal at his age. He’ll realize really quickly that he has no leverage and he’ll STFU and play out his contract. Simple as that.

    • TheRogerPodacter

      didn’t mathis just test out the market a year or two ago with Baltimore? i don’t think his abilities have changed in any way so i dont understand why he would be thinking he would be worth more money all of a sudden. i guess all pro and pro bowl selections will do that to you.

      • Jernst

        He did. And, he came back to the Eagles because the other offers weren’t all that great.

        I mean … I get it though, Mathis was a late bloomer, he probably sees this as his last opportunity to sign a contract and set himself up for future. He’s as young as he’ll ever be…only getting older. And, he’s coming off an all-pro campaign. I see why he’d want more money. I don’t see why he actually thinks he’ll get it or why he thinks he has any leverage to ask for it.

        • Stacks209

          My personal philosophy is, “if you don’t ask, you know the answer is NO”. I use this in my daily life. If at my job, (whatever company I’m working for at the time) and I feel like I’m worth more than what I’m being paid, I will absolutely ask for a raise if I feel I’ve earned it. The reason is, how many times will your boss randomly come up to you and say “wow, I’ve noticed how hard you’ve been working, I think you deserve a raise”.
          THAT NEVER HAPPENS! So by merely asking, it opens the door for a dialogue. Maybe your boss just flat out says no, or maybe.. your boss says “well,..come by my office and lets discuss it”. The point is, wether a raise is a possibility or not, you’ll never know unless you ask. By not asking, you are essentially taking NO for an answer because you don’t ask and boss isn’t gonna just offer out of the blue. So….”If you don’t ask, you know the answer is NO”. Maybe thats what Mathis is thinking. “They’ll probably say no, but at least I’ll ask, and maybe they’ll say yes”.

  • GermanEagle

    To steal a quote from one Eagles fan on igglesblitz:
    My faith in Chip and Howie is being tested these days. That’s all I want to say.

  • ChaosOnion

    To get your minds off of whatever ails you, check this out:

    http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2014/3/27/5553450/johnny-manziel-pro-day-texas-am-helmet-pads/in/5317733

    I find it increasingly difficult to not like this kid.

    • Anders

      I really want him as an Eagle

  • ICDogg

    Guess this was inaccurate, then

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BjbVfvhIAAEY8QQ.jpg

  • P_P_K

    This might sound foolish, but I’ve been enjoying this off-season. I’ve run out of fingers and toes counting the Sixers losses and the Phillis injuries. So, the Eagles dramas at least keep my Philly sports blood flowing, and sometimes boiling. I also know that come Sept, when the season starts, everything we are discussing now will be a distant memory. These are the good old days.

  • Iskar36

    Maybe it’s just me, but the “I trust Chip” mantra seems to be getting overplayed recently. In this article alone, it is expressed three times, plus “I believe in Chip” is added for good measure. I understand being confident in Chip based on the great success he had last season. Add in the years of success he had in college, and yes, there are more than a couple reasons to think Chip Kelly knows what he is doing. Still, even great coaches and great GMs make major mistakes, and to me, “I trust Chip” is not enough justification for the DeSean or Mathis rumors.

    I think based on what we know about CK and HR, it is fair to assume that they have thought this through carefully. That doesn’t mean they have made the right conclusion. I also think it is unfair to assume that DeSean has done something detrimentally wrong simply because the team seems to want to get rid of him. At the end of the day, I hope we do find out what caused all of this, but if DeSean gets traded, “I trust Chip” is not enough of an excuse for me to think, “Oh, ok. This move is justified.”

    • A_T_G

      I understand your point of view, and these guys do make mistakes. After all, they are competing against others who have risen to the top for the same reason.

      That said, it seems foolish to me when fans rail against every move as if they know better despite the fact that fans have less knowledge, less expertise, and less time and energy devoted. Sometimes you just need to have a little faith.

      • D3FB
      • Iskar36

        We agree on the argument that it is foolish to think we as fans know more than the FO does, however, I think the fun of being a fan is debating the moves we make and discussing the costs and benefits of each move. When what is brought to the table is “you don’t have all the facts and they do, therefore they are right and you are wrong,” discussion is no longer interesting or worthwhile.

        I have a lot of faith that the Eagles’ FO thinks things through carefully and does not make moves casually in any way, but the reality is we have not been the most successful franchise in the league, we have not won a Superbowl, and even if we had, we are entering a new season with plenty of unknowns. I think discussing the issues the Eagles face based on the facts you have at hand are entirely fair in that context. Assuming that the FO holds the Royal Flush each time a debatable move happens doesn’t add to the conversation. It also is a very unrealistic expectation of the FO.

        I guess my attitude is to use the facts and reasonable assumptions to argue or support any move. A don’t ever assume that a decision didn’t follow some form of logic, but as a fan, it is up to me to agree or disagree with what I can reasonably assume was the logic for a move. If the conclusions I come to proves to be wrong down the line, I am willing to own up to that and then I try to go back and figure out what the FO knew better at the time. But simply having faith that they will make the right move doesn’t really make sense to me. If that were the case, I may as well just ignore my excitement of the team, not follow the draft (because, hey, they know better than me, so what am I doing caring if they select someone I like), and not follow what they do during FA.

        • A_T_G

          No argument there, and your perspectives are always well though out and well researched.

          I guess what I am saying is that, compared to the trusting point of view, the other extreme is worse. Too many commenters (some would say in Philly, but I bet everywhere) seem to be of the opinion that putting a team together is easy, if only those morons in the FO would listen to me. Or that management isn’t interested in winning. Or that identifying a weakness should result in a solution the next day.

          Certainly not everyone critical of the team is a knee-jerk basher, nor is all faith blind.

      • GEAGLE

        Sorry but no reason to even put Mathis on the trading block…money left over, throw your best OL a bonus after he just watched the man playing on both sides of him get paid…problem solved, and we get to keep an all pro perform who is a monster in the weight room which probably pushes our guys to try and keep up….organizational arrogance..
        ..
        And I know why they are letting him seek a trade, so he can find out for himself that he has no leverage..maybe he can find someone to give him a little raise, but that someone won’t pay what we are asking in return for Mathis..so it’s just a dick move. No reason to be treating All pros like this

        • A_T_G

          I think you may have cut and pasted this response to the wrong place. The Mathis discussion is two doors down. That is where you should try to convince people that all-pros should be given a blank check.

    • iceberg584

      This is not the first time I’ve read one of TL’s articles and came feeling like a mid-level Soviet political commissar just instructed me to trust our wise and benevolent leader, because he knows best for us.

      I know that’s not the case, and I usually agree in the appeals for patience, but it still makes me smirk to myself.

      • Neil

        Maybe if the eagles had a similar history of dysfunction.

        • iceberg584

          In fairness, we got a big dose of this during the Juan Castillo as defensive coordinator period, which was quintessential dysfunction – even I agreed, that once the move was made, we needed to let it actually play out.

          • Neil

            Yeah, but completely new meanagement was brought in. That can’t reasonably reflect on Chip, and it almost surely happened with no input from Howie.

          • Iskar36

            That being said, at the time, the mindset was that AR has been successful, he has experience, and has proven to be a good coach. We should trust him because he knows better than we do… That seems like the exact same logic we are using now…

          • Neil

            Yeah, and we might be wrong now, but there’s no reason to jump the gun.

            But I also think Juan was a much more puzzling move than trading Desean would be. I can see how Desean would be a net negative to hold for a team with the reports that he had a lot of conflict with coaches. It’s like with this Desean move, there is a little ice poking up out of the water to possibly indicate an iceberg. Nobody could find such a thing to explain why Castillo would work out. That was some REALLY blind faith.

            (And I still think it was the right thing to do because none of us worked with Castillo every day).

            Let me put it this way. You can put your faith in the people who are there, or you can put your faith in your own nearly completely ignorant self. Even if they look stupid, you would really take the opinion of someone who is basically completely in the dark over what’s going on in there over the people who are inside? Ever?

          • RobNE

            yes, for the Phils we could do a better job. I am about 99% positive we could, on a part-time basis, run rings around Amaro.

          • Neil

            Amaro’s got that history. When a guy has a history of questionable decisions blowing up in his face, go for it.

          • Michael Winter Cho

            “meanagement” that is awesome, but would have been even better with Banner around.

  • shah8

    I’m not inclined to be that generous–I tend to think this is more comparable to the 2012 Vikings rather than the 2008 Falcons, and even then the 2009 team slumped a couple of games. In general, I don’t really agree with any of the points why we should feel confident. You know my feelings on Foles, but we don’t know if Kelly’s that good yet. We don’t know if the safeties are indeed improved on last year, in health and play. We don’t know who we drafted and how they’ll turn out. Etc, etc, etc. We do know that there are heightened tensions between important members of our squad and our coaches. We do know that important veterans who have held teams together have left on the offense side. I don’t particularly think Shady is all that much of a leader personality, compared to other veteran RBs.

  • SteveH

    Can’t wait for actual football to come back so we can forget about all this offseason nonsense and get back to winning some football games.

    • GEAGLE

      Don’t the jets still have to pay him? If so we will have signed him for cheap

  • Alex Karklins
    • Tumtum

      [preparing to dynamite the gopher tunnel] “In the immortal words of Jean Paul Sartre, ‘Au revoir, gopher’.”

    • SteveH

      Jesus christ, Bill Murray looks like he’s about a hundred and fourteen years old in that photo.

  • Baloophi

    Trust and Faith

    I don’t think Tommy’s suggesting that he or anyone else should blindly “step in line” with Chip Kelly’s decisions, but in the absence of real, inside information, perhaps we should give him the benefit of the doubt… of which there is a considerable amount.

    We’ve discussed at length the football repercussions of parting ways with DeSean – some even going so far as to say we’d be better off without him, which feels like a stretch – but ultimately, what we don’t know, is whether there is a significant off-the-field issue or issues that have led to this rift. That’s where Tommy and others are willing to give Chip the benefit of the doubt. If and when we learn what those issues are or were, then it’s fair to issue judgment. We need evidence!

    With that in mind, where do people “draw the line” in terms of off-field transgressions? If it’s some sort of ineffable “not buying into the system” issue then I think we’ll have a hard time debating that since it’s so subjective, but if it’s a specific, criminal-adjacent act or acts I’m curious what people are willing to allow. For example, Todd Herremans “weed van” vs. Plaxico’s concealed gun vs. Shady McCoy’s “highway chick dump”, etc. What level of transgression would it need to be for you (as hypothetical GM / coach) to part ways with DeSean.

    Again, this is assuming there’s some sort of sketchy behavior or act that we don’t know about.

    • Flyin

      My response here is a follow up from the last post regarding Reid vs Chip regarding the media:

      Reid had so much control over the Eagles that maybe he HAD to speak more regarding personnel moves, since he was the Executive Vice President of Football Operations. Also had the final say regarding the draft, free agents and the 53 man roster.

      Here is good article with some quotes from the owner’s meetings about his enjoyment of just wearing one hat now with the Chiefs… http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/20140326_Relaxed_Reid_has_praise_for_successor__former_players.html

      • Baloophi

        Good find.

        Yeah – I think we’re in agreement, right? Just theorizing on WHY Chip seems less available than Reid, and how that subtle change might “force” the media into a more speculative stance… or maybe force the public to buy into the more speculative stance. It’s a delicate dance.

        In a broader sense, “less information” oddly seems like “more business” for the news industry… just ask CNN, if they ever break from their 24-7 coverage of various theories surrounding the missing flight.

        • Flyin

          Regarding the offseason, yes we are in agreement. As far as the season goes, Chip speaks just as much as Reid maybe more. If my memory is correct, Chip said he spoke 5 times a week at Oregon. With the Eagles maybe it is more like 4x a week.

          Regardless, Chip’s time with the media is much more insightful and fun than Reid’s pc’s ever were.

    • Iskar36

      I guess my issue with this is that where is the defense for DeSean’s actions? I find it incredibly unfair to state that DeSean has been doing something that is borderline illegal without any sort of evidence to back it up. Tommy even went so far as to compare this situation to when the Eagles cut Cris Carter. He made the point to say that this situation and that one are not the same, but I find comparing those two situations without any evidence that DeSean has remotely done anything similar to that as borderline offensive. Assuming the Eagles have thought this out carefully is one thing, and it is something I fully believe is happening. But assuming there is a reason that DeSean has been doing something wrong is a completely different thing. I’m not willing to assume the Eagles are right BECAUSE Desean did something wrong with no evidence to support the latter fact. If that turns out to be the case, fine, but DeSean should be considered innocent of wrong-doing just as much as the Eagles front office should be given the benefit of the doubt that they thought this through carefully.

      • GEAGLE

        Hoffas body is burried in his floor boards according to Tom W

      • Baloophi

        I think we’re saying the same thing from different angles. I’m saying without evidence of any kind, we can’t pass judgment on Kelly’s seeming desire to part ways with Jackson… just as – yes – we shouldn’t pass judgment on DeSean without evidence. I’m sorry you found that borderline offensive. That certainly wasn’t the intent of my post, nor do I think it’s the natural conclusion to draw from extending the benefit of the doubt to the front office… though I certainly see how one can reach that conclusion.

        The second part of my post was pure, hypothetical curiosity – “what behavior would it take for you – as hypothetical GM/Head Coach to cut ties with DeSean?” I’m not accusing him of anything, simply wondering what it would take, WERE there an actual issue. It’s certainly possible the front office has a schematic or value-based issue with DeSean (e.g. “let’s get as much as we can now out of a guy who will eventually get slower”) and not a behavioral one.

        Again, I’m sorry if my post was offensive – that was not the intent.

        • Iskar36

          I guess my post wasn’t clear. I was not offense by your post. The “borderline offensive” comment was referring to Tommy comparing the Cris Carter to the DJax situation.

          In terms of your post, I am simply arguing that “the benefit of the doubt” should also be extended to DeSean, especially if the conclusion to the second part of your post is that DeSean must be doing something that is either illegal or detrimental to the team, which a lot of people seem to be assuming without any evidence I support that assumption.

    • ACViking

      Baloophi —

      A couple of observations (with your good graces).

      First, I chuckled at your title choice of “trust” and “faith” vis-a-vis the daily goings-on of a multi-million dollar business.

      Those words seem so Orwellian when juxtaposed to anything we hear coming out of NovaCare — or any big company’s propaganda.

      Every day is 1984.

      Second, on the merits, your comment is an excellent recitation for what “I trust Kelly” means in these circumstances.

      It’s the best I’ve read of how fans should marry faith to fact when trying to navigate times like these.

      DAMN, YOU CAN WRITE.

    • Tumtum

      If there are criminal or criminal adjacent acts it would be pretty douchey for them to attempt to sell damaged goods. I hope for all parties involved that isn’t the case.

      • Iskar36

        This as well.

      • anon

        How long could you really keep that stuff quiet, given the amount of press someone would have known.

      • ACViking

        T —

        Trades among pro teams operate under the doctrine of caveat emptor.

        But if a team inquires whether any problems exist, like injuries or imminent indictments (etc.), then the seller has to come clean. [But the question of "are there any problems" better be specific.]

        At least, that seems to be the way professional leagues have resolved disputes between trading partners, at least regarding injuries.

        • SteveH

          Sometimes standard operating procedures can be pretty douchey :)

      • GEAGLE

        If there was a criminal element we would have fleeced Dallas or the skins for 16 draft picks by now

    • BobSmith77

      That is the thing – Jackson has never once been connected or even hinted at of a criminal or morally questionable act or incident off the field.

      • GEAGLE

        His dad was the Joe Jackson of football, his brother and family have always been hands on…this ain’t a dude who was gangbanging on the corner since the age of 12….you know what he was doing Monday? Taking underprivaledged children from single mothers on shopping sprees, Tuesday he was speaking at schools about bullying….a week ago he was a guest on Joan Rivers show….dudes house get robbed, and our media smears the crap out of I his name? Why? Because he has a rap label…get a single fact before you pile on and drag his name thru the mud….no need to shit on the kid just to get readers to drink the cool aid

        • BobSmith77

          How was I in any way piling on Jackson?

          Yeah there have been stories that have surfaced numerous times that Jackson spends money left & right and has a large posse. Doesn’t make him different from a host of other NFL players though.

          Ditto the break in at his place. If the police or the insurance agency would have thought it was an inside job or a scam, that almost certainly would have surfaced by now & charges being brought.

          • GEAGLE

            Wasn’t aimed at you..sorry…just a generalization of our media…it’s one thing for a fan to say that crap, but when I see the theory mentioned in every other article, it’s just disgusting

            I was agreeing with you. Will directing my fire at media members…YOGA FLAME!!!

  • Msg2

    Chip did a good last year. But attempting to trade your most productive receiver, in his prime, after a break out year, is ridiculous. This makes no football sense. The Eagles have painted themselves into a corner by leaking negative information about DJax, thus reducing his value. The front office screwed this up, big time. Trust in Chip … steadily decreasing as this episode continues.

    • Tumtum

      What exactly has been leaked?

  • SteveH

    The Philadelphia School for Wayward Quarterbacks – your number one destination for professional rehabilitation!

    • Insomniac

      Based in the city that hates Santa Clause and everyone else!

      • SteveH

        Especially everyone else. In fact we hate you too, random outside observer.

  • BobSmith77

    I’m sorry but Kelly hasn’t had nearly enough accomplishments to ‘just trust him’ at this point.

    The Eagles will come off looking a bit foolish regardless of what happens with Jackson now including if he stays with the team.

    • Insomniac

      Would you give him the same amount of leeway like Andy had in his successful years?

      • BobSmith77

        After his first year no but the that isn’t a valid comparable though given how Andy’s first year transpired and what the Eagles did that offseason.

        Eagles were active players in FA after Reid’s first season in ’99 and signed a couple of notable FAs including signing Runyan and Emmons.

  • BobSmith77

    Character:

    That is what bugs me the most about Sanchez signing. If that is so important on Kelly’s team, why bring in a guy like Sanchez?

    • Insomniac

      I would like to know too. Sanchez doesn’t like football, just the fame and money that comes with it.

      • BobSmith77

        Yup. Talent-wise Sanchez is fine as a backup but he was legendary for chasing skirt even while he was at USC in several places around LA including Malibu and Silver Lake.

        • SteveH

          My favorite Sanchez story is the one where he got seduced by a 17 year old and she went to the press with the story. Attaboy Mark.

          • BobSmith77

            Yeah. What struck me too was the repeated stories of teammates criticizing him while he was with the Jets.

            No one was willing to go on the record publicly but it happened a couple of different times during his tenure with the Jets which leads me to believe it wasn’t only 1 or 2 guys who just had a particularly sour/bad relationship with him but was a sentiment shared by at least several players.

          • SteveH

            I can’t remember where I read this but it came out during the whole Incognito/hazing thing that was suddenly a hot topic, and I remember a Jets player recalling that Sanchez would basically treat the rookies like they were his personal servants, forcing them to fetch food for him and shit.

            He’s always struck me as a bit of a tool, but if there’s anywhere I guess he can get things turned around its here. We seem to have a track record with that kind of thing.

  • austinfan

    I think the problem with a lot of fans is they’re looking at last year and seeing a 10-6 team that made the playoffs and played NO close. Just a few tweaks and we’re a SB contender! Why would you think of trading DeSean!!!

    Chip and Howie look at this team and see a team that benefited from a very easy schedule, and with a tougher schedule could have gone 8-8. They see it as merely the first year of a rebuild, Chip inherited a lot of players who he got to see play, there are some AR contracts made to keep people happy during the last hurrah years, and some house cleaning is in order the next two years.

    And they have made it clear they’re focused on identifying and keeping the core together, and that means reserving cap room for future years and the flexibility to pursue FAs they may need to plug holes. So players they don’t consider part of the future are either not going to get extended or are going to be traded or cut by next season. Obviously, Chip doesn’t see DeSean as a core playing going forward.

    The biggest mistake you can make in rebuilding is to buy “fool’s gold,” a good year against a weak schedule that derails the rebuilding process in favor of win now. Chip has his eyes set firmly on the goal. And making the playoffs is not the goal.

    • anon

      Nah, offense is there, it always has been. Problem is defense (it always has been), but we didn’t do that (yet).

    • BobSmith77

      Possibly but then goes against all of the rhetoric that Kelly has been espousing publicly since the season ended about taking the ‘next step.’ Fans will get on the Eagles for doing that and rightly so.

      Core strength of the team is the offense but a bunch of the key players aren’t young. Jackson is entering his 7th season, McCoy his 6th, Maclin his 6th, Celek his 8th, and 3 projected starters on the o-line are in their mid-30s.

      If anything, it is a mature unit and if they are chalking next year as a ‘rebuilding year’ again then they are largely going to waste of the last years of McCoy’s prime.

      Maybe I am wrong on McCoy and he can be a workhorse/stapble of the offense until he is 30. My bet is McCoy has 2 maybe 3 years left where he is a prime-time RB that the Eagles would piss one of them away next year if they view it as a transition/rebuilding year. That was what this year was supposed to be while Kelly found out what he had & implemented his schemes.

      • GermanEagle

        If anything, it is a mature unit and if they are chalking next year as a ‘rebuilding year’ again then they are largely going to waste of the last years of McCoy’s prime.

        You are so dead on the money, because I was thinking that too! Everyone seems to think that Shady is still young and has a lot of years left, but truth is that he probably will start to wear down in two years time. Same with Jason Peters. So it’s not like the Eagles have all the time in the world to rebuild this team.

        • BobSmith77

          Peters has 2 years max. Maybe even less because I could easily see him being a guy who just loses it overnight at one point and is out of the NFL in short order especially given his skill set and injury history.

        • austinfan

          You haven’t been listening to Chip. He’s building a TEAM, he doesn’t want to depend on one or two players, if he depends on McCoy, if McCoy gets injured, write off the season. We’ve seen too many teams like that around the league 11-5 to 5-11 off a couple injuries. We’ve seen that here.

          We’ve also seen good teams that can weather multiple injuries (GB). A good team is build from top to bottom, not around a few players. Your ST guys should be talented enough to step in if they have to and grow on the job, not some specialist who’s lost on the field (Colt). You need young depth at every position, pushing veterans.

          We’re two years away from this reality.

          • BobSmith77

            What team in the NFL today plans around a 3-year rebuilding cycle in which they think they can truly be a SB-caliber contender?

            Last year I wanted the Eagles to treat it as a rebuilding year and didn’t care really if they went 5-11/6-10 as long as they found out what they had & more importantly what they had with Foles. Didn’t want Vick back in any capacity & yet Kelly brought him back and he became the starter. It was largely though blind luck that Foles did start when he did due to Vick’s injury.

            Now after they went 10-6 and have an offensive unit with nearly all of its playmakers are in their primes they should get rid of 2 key assets and possibly retool this year including on offense because of some ‘longer term’ goal of building up a larger talent base?

    • holeplug

      Year from now DeSean, Casey, Celek, Herremans, Williams, Ryans, Cole will most likely be gone. Maybe Mathis too. Other than Ertz they don’t really have replacements for any of these guys either.

  • GEAGLE

    Don’t know how comforting it is to say we have a top running back or top punter, when all pro guards get placed on the trade block after a fantastic season… Shady better not ask for a penny, or what’s going to happen then? Cut him because we have Sproles and Chip Kelly’s offense is the greatest thing since the invention of football?

    • Bob Brewer

      I’d sign up for that draft. Clowney is an Eagle!

      • GEAGLE

        Touché

    • Bleedgreen

      What’s with all the love for Desean? Yeah, he’s given us some great memories and highlight moments, but he’s never been a model of consistency. He can have HUGE games but then be nearly non existent against good to great defenses.

      If Desean was so special, where was he all game against NO in playoffs until Keenan Lewis got hurt? Desean may be an exceptional talent, but he’s not an imposing talent. Opponents fear his speed; they don’t fear him as a football player. If you get a little physical with him and get him frustrated, he can be taken out of the game. The only big game I’ve seen Desean show up is the NFC Championship game against the Cardinals. Other than that, where was he against the Cowboys the next year and the following year against GB? Desean thrives against mediocre defenses. Good defenses know how to take him out of the game. Great WR’s don’t disappear in as many games as he has over his career.

      I also think people saying his presence alone opens up the running game and other receivers is overstated. Good coaching and playcalling can make up for that. Desean isn’t irreplaceable.You can make the case that why did they pay Cooper and treat Desean like this, but I think Chip saw the chemistry between Foles and Cooper and though that was important.

      I think this team has a lot of faith in Foles being a great QB. And the thing with great QB’s is that they can make average talent, look good (see Riley Cooper) and good talent look great (Eric Decker because of Manning). You don’t need super talents at WR when you have a great QB.

      As for Evan Mathis, they were trying to get the man paid, just with another team. The Eagles said, we’ll give you the opportunity to make more money somewhere else if there are any suitors. They could have easily said, no we’re not giving you raise so deal with it. They may not be willing to give him a raise because they have faith in Babre, who Chip probably feels like can take the spot over and not have that big of a drop off in production. I don’t think it was a slap in the face to him. The Eagles paid Peters big bucks, because he is a rare talent at his position. Mathis may have had a great year, but that was due to scheme,. I love the way he plays and would hate to see him go, but good coaches (which I believe Chip is) know how to coach up players at positions like that as long as they have good fundamentals.

      I’ve followed this blog and Sheil and Tim over at PhillyMag for a while and always read the comments and this is my first time commenting. I’ve always liked what you had to say, especially on the defensive side of the ball (Marcus Smith comes to mind and many other players you have suggested), but I think you’re getting a little too worked up about the Eagles putting players on the trade block. I really think Chip knows how to identify talent, and coach it up. He focuses on fundamentals, which I love. If a player has talent and has great fundamentals, he will thrive under Chip.

      • GEAGLE

        It’s not a love for Desean at all…I’m fine with trading him away, but after we secure a WR in the draft and he proves that he will pay off…I mean, get rid of Desean,and all we can count on is Coop and Mac coming off injury on a one year deal? Why? So Lurie can save a few dollars? Can’t deal with Deseans attitude for one year? I’d literally rather suspend him for conduct detrimental and make him rot away on our bench for acting like a prick, then getting rid of him before we have a replacement…

        And this isn’t even about Desean, I believe that’s how good teams operate. When you move away from a starting veteran it should be because you have a young player on your bench that’s becoming harder and harder to justify keeping him off the field…so it really has nothing to do with Desean in my eyes, I would want the same exact thing for any one of our starters who are worth a damn…I’m fine with getting rid of him, just rather it be NEXT offseason

        • Bleedgreen

          Understood. Maybe I’m drinking too much of the Chip Kelly Kool-Aid, but I trust him. He’s always coached great offenses, whether or not he’s had great talent or not. I always think about how many of his offensive players from Oregon have thrived in NFL and it hasn’t been many, if any. It would be awesome if they can draft a WR of the future and still have Desean but I think the Eagles are trying to maximize his value since he had a career year last year.

          I really feel like Chip Kelly understands the game of football to a much greater extent than AR ever did. Just reading his quotes about how he thinks Foles needs to improve, impresses me.

          “Exactly what is my footwork? How is my ballhandling? How can I do a better job when I don’t have the ball, how can I do a better job faking? What can I do . . . to influence the coverage, how can I move the safety, because I really want to throw the post. Instead of just going, ‘Hey, the safety’s on the post, I gotta throw the checkdown.”

          I never heard AR say things like this and he got infatuated with the long ball. I never saw Mcnabb make these kind of improvements and I’m hoping that Foles progresses more than Mcnabb ever did.

          No matter what, they need to find playmakers on the defensive side of the ball to complement the offense. I honestly believe this offense will keep us in any game as long as Chip is calling the plays, but the key is assembling a defense that can get off the field on third downs to give the ball back to the offense.

          • Tom W

            All very well said.

      • anon

        Not what was happening just how it came out. They were preaching growing from within, etc. and then they put desean on the block like he stole something.

        On that other stuff even Megatron doesn’t have 200yd games every week, you gotta hope someone else steps up. Quietly Djax’s been one of the most productive wrs of the last 20 years (see eaglesrewind article), even though he only had one route under andy not to mention that defenses have to scheme for him which opens other stuff up in offense. It’s a little crazy you think you can just reproduce that with a 3rd round pick.

        Im ok trading him for more picks, it’s just the way it came out.

        • Bleedgreen

          I hear ya. I just don’t think Desean is a “core” player. All of the stories I read about him in the locker room and on the practice field portray him to be more of a “me” player, which I don’t mean negatively. He’s just a guy who does things for himself and keeps to himself. I just feel like Chip wants players who grows bonds with his teammates, be an example to other players, and put himself on the line for the team and I just don’t see that out of Desean

          I agree, I don’t think he can be replaced with a 3rd round pick. But cumulatively, if you take into account the rest of the offensive weapons, I do think his production can be replaced. But a lot of this also hinges on Maclin fulfilling his potential and that’s where the trust in Chip comes into play. Last year we saw Foles, Desean, Shady, and Cooper live up to their potential, so I’m hoping Maclin will do the same under Chip. And if that’s the case, I don’t think Desean will be missed if he’s no here. Maybe the Eagles didn’t go about this the best way, but I think that was partially due to the media.The eagles were trying to maximize Desean’s value by gauging interest but the media blew it out of proportion.

          • Bleedgreen

            I guess I just don’t see Desean as someone who is endearing to his teammates. For all the faults the TO had, players loved playing for him (other than the QB’s he blasted in the media) and the same goes for Vick. I just don’t know if teammates feel the same way about Desean and I think Chip wants players who are endearing to his teammates.

    • Tom W

      They told Mathis and his agent to look for a trade partner bc he wants a new deal. They didn’t seek out a trade or want to go there. Mathis came to them. They prepared to pay him. Don’t get the anger or bs comments.

      As for Djax, he is an asset that chip sees is replaceable for the right price. Not part of the core as we can plainly see by all the resignings.

  • GEAGLE

    Ihendigbo signed a 1yr 1.5mil deal with a roster bonus the following march that will make him get cut before year two…1.5 mil dollars, and the eagles “were interested”…did we offer to pay him In circus peanuts or something?

    • SteveH

      Again, if no other team was willing to pay more than 1.5 mil that tells you something about how the league perceives Ihedigbo, same as with TJ Ward. Bad safety play is a huge problem in the NFL now, and yet out of all 32 teams no one thought it would be worth paying him more than 1.5 mil.

      Also, the Eagles are routinely one of the highest spenders in the league, and the salary cap rules dictate that a certain % of the cap must be paid out over a period of time, so that 15 million would not just go into Lurie’s pocket.

      • GEAGLE

        I actually think it was more of a case of him not having to compete for a starting spot in Detriot. I’d rather replace Delmas than compete with Jenkins!Wolff and Nate if I’m his age…

        • SteveH

          Yeah can understand the frustration. It’s been a surprisingly tumultuous past few weeks for us.

  • Miami_Adam

    John Clark CSN ‏@JClarkCSN 4m
    Jeremy Maclin on DeSean: “This is a similar situation when the Eagles decided to part ways with TO. Thats just how the game goes sometimes”

    • anon

      Ouch — they really aren’t the same at all. But the fact that no one is coming out for desean probably says something. Maclin’s just happy to have a contract so he’s not going to say anything bad.

      So much for “team” concepts.

      • GEAGLE

        People have spoken up for Desean…Kendricks and kelce

        • GermanEagle

          Plus Cole, Herrmeans and Barwin.

          Maclin is not stupid here though. No DeSean means more balls and money thrown at him.

  • Tom W

    Amazed about all the whining and crying about Djax and Mathis. Hilarious everyone thinks they are smarter than the front office and coach who have all the information versus access to speculation and rumor from unreliable media sources contradicted over and over again. End of the day chip has already done more w less than fat Andy and proven to be an offensive genius and leader and program builder. If he wants to part ways w Djax for whatever his reason and get picks and draft bigger more versatile players than fine by me. Last time I checked we haven’t landed a parade w Djax in 7 yrs. and Mathis wants the new contract …. How’s that chips fault. Jesus the ignorance of what is actually going on doesn’t blindly always fall on the coach.

    • Mitchell

      I agree, although in a less arrogant and mean-spirited way………..

      • Tom W

        Just like I see people say hear about chip and Howie the last two weeks ….

    • Tumtum

      Yes calling him fat Andy really helps your case of being THE enlightended Eagle fan.

    • BobSmith77

      Reid didn’t have high-scoring offenses too and did I miss the multiple playoff wins this offseason that Kelly had?

  • Weapon Y

    Sanchez is competition for Matt Barkley. If Barkley can’t unseat Sanchez, he’s a bust. If he can, great. We’ve got our backup quarterback.

  • anon

    FOX Sports’ Mike Garafolo reports Mark Sanchez’s one-year deal with the Eagles is worth a “max” of $4 million.

    • SteveH

      lots of performance escalators I’m sure, wonder what the base is. That’s the part that matters.

  • Insomniac

    Sweet, we have interest in one of my favorite “sleeper” WR targets in Cody Latimer. Reportedly, we have him scheduled for a private workout. It must have been that great pro day.

    http://www.indystar.com/story/sports/college/indiana/2014/03/26/cody-latimer-impresses-shines-at-iu-pro-day/6929299/

    Gotta get Avant’s and Damaris’s replacement. For those that don’t pay attention to the draft. Latimer’s an ex-basketball player as well as an outstanding athlete. At 6’2 215lbs, he has dependable hands, good straight line speed/jumping ability, uses his size to beat DBs, and can block.