With a history of being dubbed NFL penny-pinchers, the Eagles have always made it known that they do not reward hot streaks. A contract signed is a contract fulfilled as far as they’re concerned. Although laying the law for expectations has come at a hefty price.Terrell Owens was the most publicly exposed contract dispute, but the long list of dollar versus value transaction dilemma’s has been arguably not worth it for the city of Philadelphia. While throwing money at a situation can make a problem go away, it does create a push-over environment that encourages players to hold-out or demand more from their management. It’s a balancing act that the Eagles have been fairly good at over the years, yet last season the team may have bitten off more than they could chew.
Asante Samuel summarized it perfectly last summer in a rant about how the team was playing fantasy football with the personnel. The Eagles were buying up everyone they could, trying to put together a Super Bowl contender. With money being tossed around daily, players like DeSean Jackson were expecting new deals. Instead money was wasted on signing players like Steve Smith who barely made it onto the field in 2011. Fans were left scratching their heads, wondering why they would not re-sign a player that has “T.O” characteristics and seems like he could be a locker-room headache. DeSean not only made it publicly known through the media that he wasn’t happy, but his production on the field took a noticeable drop as well.
The end result was an 8-8 season that the team should be thankful it ended as well as it did. After a Thursday night meltdown in Seattle the team was 4-8 and were officially the biggest bust team of the NFL season. Andy Reid was able to pull things together and ended strong with a 4 game winning streak that arguably kept him from being handed a pink slip.
Today, the team seems completely revamped from within. It seems that 2012 is all about improving team morale, and I for one am very impressed with how the Eagles have modestly turned a new leaf. The Eagles simply got together and began re-signing their talent and addressed the needs at the linebacker position for the first time in years. Ego has taken a backseat and Andy Reid along with the front office are not publicly admitting they messed up, but are doing their best at making things right.
- On March 13 the team extended Todd Herremans’ contract another three years to 2016. $21 million with $11 million guaranteed.
- On March 14news broke that Trent Cole had also re-upped with the Eagles with a four-year contract extension worth up to $53 million with $15 million in guaranteed money
- DeSean Jackson signed a $51 million dollar deal over five years ($15 million guaranteed money)
- Eagles addressed their troubled linebacker corps with a trade to acquire DeMeco Ryans.The team sent a 2012 fourth round pick (acquired from Tampa Bay) and swapped third round picks with the Texans.
- LeSean McCoy re-signed a 5-year contract extension worth $45 million overall and $20.765 million guaranteed
Do the moves this year translate into a more productive season? Are the Eagles stronger from a year ago? Of course only time will tell. The Boo-birds are in one of the toughest divisions in football and have issues with their offensive line. The team will always be holding their breath with the style in which Mike Vick plays, but for the most part I believe they are definitely sleepers in the NFC. If the team can glue together some protection for Vick after the unfortunate loss of Jason Peters this team could go far in 2012.