Dion Jordan Update

Posted: July 3rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 21 Comments »

There was a lot of talk about the Eagles trading for DE/OLB Dion Jordan this offseason. The Dolphins decided to keep him around to see if he can be the star they drafted him to be. Today we found out there is a bit of a bump in the road.

Jordan claims he took a banned stimulant. Maybe. Maybe not.

I’m sure some Eagles fans will have this reaction.

That’d be nice, but I don’t think the Dolphins are going to give up on the kid that easily.

What does make this story a bit interesting is the Chip Kelly connection. Under Kelly’s watch, a pair of Eagles have tested positive for PEDs. Now one of his former star pupils has tested positive. A lot of people thought Jordan was going to be an Eagle back in April 2013, but the Dolphins pulled a shocker and traded up for him.

I’m not ready to make anything of the connection between Kelly and the players at this point, but you have to point it out for the sake of honesty.

Beyond Kelly, there is one other connection. All 3 players are entering their second season. Are these just players who are pushing themselves and looking for any advantage? Are they young players who don’t know how to keep from getting caught? We’d be naive not to think that other players weren’t taking some questionable substances.

Let’s go back to Kelly for a second.

He had some players get in trouble up at Oregon. Kelly didn’t coddle them. After RB LeGarrette Blount got into a fight in the opening game of 2009, he was suspended for most of the season. LB Kiko Alonso was suspended for the entire 2010 season and almost kicked off the team at a later point. Starting QB Jeremiah Masoli was suspended for the entire 2010 season. He got arrested again and was then dismissed from the team.

You’d rather the kids not get into trouble at all, but Kelly was willing to punish them.

* * * * *

Tim McManus wrote an interesting piece on Evan Mathis and a potential holdout.

Mathis showed up for the offseason conditioning program and did not allow the business end  to affect his performance this spring. But that doesn’t mean that the financial matter has been resolved.

The 32-year-old signed a five-year, $25 million contract in March of 2012 that included $6 million in guarantees. Three years remain on the deal and all of the guaranteed cash is gone.

Mathis has started 47 of a possible 48 games since joining the Eagles in 2011. He has played at a high level during his time in Philly and this past season was named First-Team All-Pro and was selected to the Pro Bowl.

His 2014 salary of $5.15 million is seventh among guards according to spotrac. Mathis’ guaranteed money, though, pales in comparison to some of his peers. Tampa’s Carl Nicks, for instance, has $25 million in guarantees; Logan Mankins $21.5 million; Andy Levitre of the Titans has $13 million; Jahri Evans of the Saints gets $12 million; and so on. Meanwhile, line mates Jason Peters ($15.75 million guaranteed)  and Jason Kelce ($13 million guaranteed) were just taken care of.

The Eagles are probably hesitant to rip up a contract that was signed just two years ago. Mathis wants to be paid fair-market value. And so here we stand.

The 10-year vet isn’t one to make waves. Then again, holding out is one of the few tools a player has to try and apply pressure on the employer. As it so happens, his leverage is arguably increased in this scenario given the Johnson situation. They can’t afford to have further disturbances at the offensive line position, which was viewed as one of the primary strengths of this team. But that could be what they’re facing.

Evan’s situation is one of those that really makes it tough on Eagles fans. He is a very popular player and seems like a genuinely good guy. You want the best for him. At the same time, you don’t want him to disrupt the team with a holdout. Does he deserve more money? Maybe. He certainly is a very good player.

The tricky part of this is that the Eagles have to deal with 53 players. They can’t attempt to make every one of them happy. There just aren’t enough resources to pay every player what they think they are worth.

An added complication for Mathis is that he’s an older player and can’t expect to play out this deal and get another one. He needs to strike while the iron is hot, which is now.

One interesting angle to this is that Evan’s agent is Drew Rosenhaus. That named used to mean trouble (“Next question”), but in recent years Rosenhaus has gotten along very well with Howie Roseman and the Eagles. If there is a holdout, let’s at least hope that the situations is handled amicably. It is much easier to find common ground and come to a solution in those circumstances than when you have a 2005 type of situation.


21 Comments on “Dion Jordan Update”

  1. 1 ICDogg said at 10:12 PM on July 3rd, 2014:

    Players who hold out can be fined $30,000 per day.

  2. 2 mtn_green said at 12:18 AM on July 4th, 2014:

    So this. He is not holding out, next topic. Let’s dive into some theory about what this years offensive play are gonna be.

    I’m thinking more K-Gun plays.

  3. 3 IAteLunchToday said at 10:20 PM on July 3rd, 2014:

    We’d be naive not to think that other players weren’t taking some questionable substances.


  4. 4 TommyLawlor said at 10:22 PM on July 3rd, 2014:

    Arby’s is delicious.

  5. 5 IAteLunchToday said at 10:32 PM on July 3rd, 2014:

    Hot dogs are also delicious. It doesn’t make them any less questionable 🙂

  6. 6 TommyLawlor said at 10:44 PM on July 3rd, 2014:

    Chip Kelly assured me that hot dogs are made from a mixture of sunshine, fresh air and deliciousness.

  7. 7 IAteLunchToday said at 11:35 PM on July 3rd, 2014:

    See, now you’re just confused. That’s the smoothie recipe.

  8. 8 Rambler said at 10:38 AM on July 4th, 2014:

    I just got a vision of you putting a hot dog through a bunch of Funyun’s and eating it. Anybody ever tried that? I bet its pretty good. Guess today is as good as any… Happy Independence Day.

  9. 9 A_T_G said at 4:36 AM on July 4th, 2014:

    Arby’s for the RBs?

  10. 10 ICDogg said at 11:17 AM on July 4th, 2014:

    Didn’t get that the first time I saw it

  11. 11 P_P_K said at 11:34 AM on July 4th, 2014:

    A_T_G for amateur comedian of the year.

  12. 12 Jeff Asay said at 10:59 PM on July 3rd, 2014:

    Not sure what the Eagles should do here because you want to pay for what the player will do in the future, and this guy only has so much tread left. I completely see it from Mathis’ POV and if I’m him I’m going to try to leverage all I can from the NFL.

    I suppose I hope the Eagles throw some cash at him to make him a top 5 paid guard, but I always find it hard to believe that these contracts don’t have substantial escalators for when the player gets voted as the best at his position.

  13. 13 Jernst said at 11:22 PM on July 3rd, 2014:

    I agree. I see where both sides are coming from. The problem for Mathis is he’s 33 yrs old. Even if he was a free agent, despite being one of the best guards in the league, he most likely wouldn’t get a monster deal anyway from another club. All those guys contracts that McManus quotes signed their deals in their primes between 26-29 yr of age. Those teams gave up the big guarantees because they were paying for the future expected production of the players in question. I know Mathis has less wear and tear than most 33yr old guards but what’s the realistic future here? 2 more years?

    That’s why the birds told him to seek a trade. They had no intention of ever losing him. That was their way of letting him find out from outside sources that he wasn’t going to get offered the deal he wants from anyone. No one was going to trade a valuable asset and give up major coin for a player that will probably hit the down slope of his short career within the next yr or two.

    The fact is Mathis will make $5 mil in salary this yr which is right in line with other older, but still top of their game guards. What’s Mathis gonna do, sit out all training camp and when the Eagles call his bluff and say fine sit out all year if you want, actually sit out? Next yr he’d be 34 he’d have forfeited $5mil in game day checks plus fines and he’d still be the property of the Birds. So, unless he’s dumb, and he sure doesn’t seem it, and the Eagles call his bluff should it come to that, he’ll be starting at RG week 1. Book it.

  14. 14 GEAGLE said at 11:19 AM on July 4th, 2014:

    Where it gets tricky is he isn’t a normal 33yr old NFL player.. He is a dude who sat on the bench til he was Iike 29 years old…he has significantly less mileage on his body than OGs his age..I wouldn’t be surprised if he is the best OG in the league for two or three more years, and then a year where he declines but is still servicable, and then retire…

    This isn’t a case of, needing to replace him at the end of the year. At the very least you will get two years at a high level out of him before he shows any decline…give the man some more money, structure it as some type of bogus bonus that doesn’t effect our cap…if you go to the playoffs two years in a row, you are a legit SB contender..no reason to have a team who if it isn’t ready to contend now, is pretty damn close with disgruntled key players. He is one of the top 5 players on our team, and has handled everything the right way….you have to meet him halfway and reward that…. You can’t pull a Joe banner and spit in his face…

  15. 15 brza said at 4:24 AM on July 4th, 2014:

    Tommy, you’re tweet “A few thoughts about situations involving Dion Jordan and Evan Mathis” had me thinking there were rumors that a trade involving a player unhappy with his contract, Mathis, and a suspended player, Jordan, is a possibility. Although I realize the possibility of a trade like that would be slim, I can’t say I didn’t get my hopes up for a second after your tweet about it.

  16. 16 DanJ3645 said at 5:01 AM on July 4th, 2014:

    With the Mathis situation it might be that garenteeing some of his remaining contract would be enough.
    If he’s already paid at the top end for salary it’s probably safety he really wants. I’m sure he’d like more money as well but that looks like a sensible compromise that other players would also understand.

  17. 17 GEAGLE said at 11:10 AM on July 4th, 2014:

    Just give him some upfront bonus that doesn’t count against the cap

    We have the best guard in the NFL, who has gone about his contract the right way. He doesn’t say a word to the media about it and continues to come to work and has set an example for all our young players for how they should handle themselves during a contract dispute. He is a leader in the weight room. This is the last time he is getting paid,give the man a fair bonus that doesn’t effect out cap, so the best OG in the game can go to work every day, be happy and not have to worry about this contract crap. Mathis even went to war for us when JP,Kelce and Herremans all went down with injuries! Mathis was still out there! sorrounded by bums like Demetress bell! playing his ass off…

    Evan also doesn’t have the wear and tear most OL have on their bodies at his age, he could end up having like 4 quality seasons left in the tank so no reason to have him disgruntled. Mathis isn’t a guy who will take your money and mail it in and get lazy. Make the dude happy so he can go give us everything without having contract disputes weigh on his mind… We have the money, you paid the player on either side of him…give the man something

  18. 18 GEAGLE said at 7:29 AM on July 4th, 2014:

    Andy’s Reid cheif Rockaveius what’s his name tested positive for PED yesterday and is now also suspended….should we blame Andy’s new players on Chip too?

  19. 19 Tumtum said at 9:51 AM on July 4th, 2014:

    As far as Kelly and PEDs, perhaps he puts more pressure on guys to fill out their frame than they may get elsewhere. That could lead to juice. In the case of Jordan and LJ though you have to take their individual circumstances into account. Jordan looks like a guy who never really took building his frame all that seriously in the past. He played LB, and was naturally bigger better and stronger. Now he is in the nfl where that doesn’t cut it, playing a position that puts him in a position that naturally requires greater strength. PEDs make sense.

    Lane is a former QB who has been trying to add serious muscle for only a couple years. Other guys playing his position have been doing it for the majority of their lives.

    If they can do it and get away with it, the benefit to both those guys is immense. I understand the decision. In the scheme of things it might have been worth the 4 games to them to add the bulk, get caught and then maintain it legally.

    Other than possible increased pressure, I really don’t think you can easily point at Chip. You could accuse him of advocating it, but that is a little bit of a reach at this point. Don’t you think?

  20. 20 GEAGLE said at 11:00 AM on July 4th, 2014:

    I can name like 15 teams that have a player this offseason testing positive for PEDs….
    I think the bigger story is how the Eagles mange to hardly ever have anyone fail drug tests? I think that’s much more fishy than Lane and Knott getting popped. We have gone entire seasons without having anyone fail drug tests. I have a question to the board:

    Do you think the eagles have ever had a seasons where not a single player on our roster was using PEDS? 60 somthing modern athletes fighting for jobs.. Is it really possible to have an NFL Locker room that’s completely PED free? I don’t know if I can believe that..too much money on the line, players livelihoods… I don’t know that I can believe that modern locker rooms are 100% clean… Your thoughts?
    Different players do it for different reasons…take jake Knott,,I wouldn’t be surprised if he was just trying to strengthen his injured shoulder..
    Fringe player like him. Taking Roids may be worth the risk. We added a lot of depth, tough to make the roster this year maybe he felt like he had to heal his shoulder to perform and fight for his NFL career at camp,,,..for Lane to do it! is pretty foolish, then again, we don’t even know what he tested positive for yet..

    I don’t understand Dions situation.. Why is be saying he took stimulants if he is suspended for PED use?

  21. 21 Reasonableeaglefan said at 4:36 PM on July 5th, 2014:

    Is he claiming it was stimulants? That sounds fishy. There are many stimulants on the banned list and most carry less stigma than the juice. Technically, Adderall and sudafed would fall into the category of banned stimulants(you can get a Dr’s exemption, but that’s besides the point). A lot of guys say they were caught with one of these because it doesn’t seem quite like cheating, and the NFL can’t comment because it’s protected info. I remember when Hollis Thomas got popped for a stimulant that he claimed was for his asthma, but I bet he liked that it helps keep your weight down, especially when big guys have their weekly weigh-ins.

    The real question is why would a guy like Dion, who himself talked about wanting to put weight on, be taking stimulants? I’m guessing he was juicing and got caught.