Monday, March 2, 2009

Some Follow-Up Comments

Sorry I didn't post last night. I lost power and that cut into my productivity for draft and Eagles stuff. I don't know how Laura Ingalls Wilder put out those first few draft guides.

PLAYING YOUNG GUYS

There is a good chance that Mike McGlynn and Quintin Demps will be starters for us this year. I think some fans have the wrong mentality about this situation. The team isn't settling on these guys. "Since we couldn't upgrade let's throw McGlynn out there."

The team wants these young players on the field. The Eagles want to see what these guys do as starters. That doesn't mean they'll pan out. There are no guarantees in football. Demps may flop for us. Dawk may flop in Denver. I know people don't want to hear that, but it is a possibility.

I'm excited to see what Mike and Q can do. I liked both players very much last year in watching them as draft prospects. Demps was a target of mine because he was such a playmaker. We didn't get a chance to see that last year, but he's got excellent ball skills. He was an INT machine at UTEP. Dawk only had 2 picks in the last 2 years. I hope Demps speed and athletic ability will lead to more picks.

McGlynn reminds me a bit of John Welbourn. John is the best LG of the Reid era. I'd love it if Mike could pan out anything like Welbourn, aside from the contract problem. Mike is a mean, nasty player. With Runyan gone, we need someone to bring that kind of edge to the OL.

PASSING ON FREE AGENTS

One thing you have to keep in mind is that what has happened did not catch the Eagles off guard. They expected Sean to leave. They knew Buck was going to shop around. The team hoped Tra and Dawk would stay, but prepared as if they might be gone.

The Eagles spent all fall watching prospective Free Agents. They studied Jason Brown to find out how much they liked him. They studied Haynesworth. And Canty and Houshmandzadeh. They studied backups and STs players.

Grades were given out and judgments made about who to pursue. This is a weak FA class. It was particularly weak where the Eagles need help, OL, TE, and RB. The Eagles aren't skipping over players because they are cheap. They simply don't see attractive targets.

Back in 1982 I went to the mall with my grandmother. I headed straight for the toy store. I had $3 and wanted to get some baseball cards. The toy store sold the packs that contained 40 cards. The cost was about $2.50. That was going to wipe out my cash reserves. I walked out of the store trying to decide what to do. My grandmother came up and said "when in doubt, leave it out". Those words have haunted me for almost 3 decades now.

Her words apply to FA. Don't spend money for the sake of making a move. Go find players you like and add them. It might be that you only add role players. Making moves just for the sake of making moves does not work in football. You have to come up with a plan in mid-February and stick with it.

Clearly the Eagles didn't see much they liked in the first wave of FA. They decided that Stacy Andrews was the only player that they truly wanted.

We're only 4 days into the offseason. Moves aren't over. The Eagles best option this year may be trades. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see them ask about RBs and TEs. The Raiders made some noise about trading Michael Bush. He'd be a heck of a power back to add to the backfield. The Eagles could try to trade for a TE like Tony Gonzalez or even talk to the Titans about Bo Scaife (tagged). These moves rarely happen in the first week of FA. Elite players get handled initially. Second tier moves happen in mid-March and beyond.

REGGIE BROWN

I did leave him out of the depth chart. I don't have any scoops on Reggie, but I think the Eagles have to deal him. Hopefully they'll start shopping him soon. Don't expect a great return, but he does have some value.

MAX

MJG broke his ankle badly on Thanksgiving. He almost certainly won't be ready for the summer. I'm not sure how much conditioning he can do. Max has to fight to keep in shape on a good day. That could really hurt him with a bum ankle. Very good chance he's on the PUP List.

FAITH IN THE FRONT OFFICE

I have faith. I've watched the Eagles build a good program. We heard about the window closing when Troy, Hugh, Duce, and those guys were headed out. Then we went to the Super Bowl. The team then won the division in 2006 and went to the NFC title game this year. That's a ton of success. If the Eagles had one trip to the SB and a bunch of 8-8 type seasons then you'd be write to assume we just got lucky one year.

The Eagles style of business is what the best teams in the league do. NE and PIT pass on FAs most of the time. Randy Moss was traded for a 4th round pick. He wasn't a big signing. NE has made some splashy moves, but not necessarily more than the Eagles. The Steelers don't believe much in FA at all. They've probably made the fewest moves of the good teams. Indy is almost all homegrown. The big moves they make are keeping their own guys.

My personal belief is that the Eagles don't use mid-level FAs enough. We're always going for young guys that we hope can develop into starters or terrific role players. Imagine last year if we'd signed Mewelde Moore and passed on Lorenzo Booker. Moore wasn't some huge signing by PIT. He was a solid role player. We did go sign Kris Wilson, but he didn't work out. Good move, bad result. I'd like more mid-level guys.

No one is saying the Eagles are perfect. All 32 teams make mistakes. Letting Dawk walk may prove to be a big mistake. What everyone should also acknowledge is that it MIGHT turn out to be the right move. Demps could be the better player in 2009. You can argue that he should be better in 2010. He won't be as good as Dawk of '99 to '05, but you don't expect to have a HOF player succeeded by a HOF player. Rarely happens.

I know it is frustrating to watch other teams being real active and making all kinds of moves. I get that. Be patient. It is called the "offseason". It isn't a day or two. It isn't even a week. Let's see what happens.
____

12 comments:

aaron said...

Happy Monday Tommy,

2 things -

I see Reggie Browns contract as a HUGE hindrance and obstacle on him actually being able to be traded. What team is going to pick up his cap number?

Also I agree that the Eagles FO follows the model of the best teams in the league i.e Pats, Steelers, and Colts. The only glaring difference of course is the empty trophy case.

The 5 year plan is on year 10, the Pats and Steelers have won multiple SB's. Right or wrong that is the ONLY measure to which they should be held.

Tommy Lawlor said...

I do agree that the Eagles have to be held accountable for the lack of titles.

The 5-year plan was to build the team to SB level. The plan worked in that sense. I don't think any coach, aside from our beloved Buddy, would actually guarantee a SB in x amount of years. The goal is to be a SB caliber team in that span.

Sometimes making the jump from close to champion is the hardest thing. Think about how often Mike Krzyzewski went to the Final Four before winning in 1991. Tom Landry lost titles games and a SB before winning his first. John Madden had some miserable playoff losses before his SB win.

I think Andy/Joe/Jeffrey all understand that winning a title or titles is the bottom line. I'm sure more than a few people will disagree, but they always overlook the egos of these guys. Don't you know Joe Banner would give anything to flash his SB ring to Cataldi. Don't you know Reid would love to flash his at Eckel.

ZackISM said...

I've obviously done a poor job explaining my hard feeling right now of the Eagles front office.

While I do think there were a couple free agents out there that could help, that's not 100% my argument. The Eagles over the years, consistently postion themselves to have a lot of cap room, to make any moves they want. My problem is they lack the willingness to pull the trigger unless they consider it a "value" deal.

So after years, of fiscal responsibility, they have positioned themselves with 40+ million in cap room, and then they determine there isn't much out there worth poncing on. So I guess if this was any year 1999-now, I wouldn't be upset. But next year is un-capped. So all these years of passing on ugrades, because the upgrades weren't also value signings, to just blow the cap room, has me HATING this and considering it a failure.

Maybe' it's lack of sight on my part, maybe it's 20-20 hindsight, but to push off spending year after year, when they maybe were one player here or one player there away from a title....only to just essentially give away a step up they had on the competition, is a HUGE FAILURE. I think those words fit, and I'll continue to say it.

PS you mentioned the years of trying guys like Johnn Madden had before winning it all, there is another side to that coin, of guys of years of oh so close, who always remained oh so close (see Marv Levy)

orangecrush007 said...

Zackism which free agent from last year would have won them the Super Bowl?

orangecrush007 said...

In 2000 this team brought in Jon Runyan, the most expensive FA of the year. In 2004 this team brought in Jevon Kearse - the most expoensive FA of the year. In 2008 this team brought in Asante Samuel - the most expensive FA of the year. This team spends money based on facts. Take your griping to gcobb.com you will fit in well there. This is a blog for fans who can see the forest through the trees.

ZackISM said...

Mighty selfrightous orangecrush. Explain to me the purposes of manging the cap? Explain to me the purpose of building in the NLTBE's into the contracts? Why bother?

If your going to take the time and effort and manage the cap, only to waste it (it is the last capped year), then your being stupid.

If this is a blog for the wise, then why are you here? Wise men don't have one view of the world, and fail to see all others. There are men who have had veiws like that, one famous one was named Adolf.

As for your other moronic question, I can't say one free agent from last year would have one us the title. I can however say there were free agents that were upgrades available. Does that "guarantee" a championship? No. Does it improve the team? Yes. But for the fun of arguing, Antonio Bryant (for league minimum, would have been worth the risk), Mwelde Moore was/is better than Lorenzo Booker. Michael Turner wouldn't have helped. Randy Moss wouldn't have been worth breaking the bank for.

Now I'm sure you'll respond with some genius remark about how they tried for Randy and Turner wanted to start. But in the NFL, one of the commons over the years is that money talks. If the Eagles had offered a SIGNIFICANT amount more to Randy, maybe he'd be a Eagle right now. If they were willing to take the risk, maybe we'd have Antonio Bryant. If the were willing to upgrade a already good position, maybe we'd have Turner and Westbrook sharing carries, and both happy with their contracts. But no, the Eagles want the value to match the contract, and sorry it's very rare in life that you'll find supply match the demand, which is why we over pay for stuff we want and get crap we don't on the cheap. Football is no different.

Tommy Lawlor said...

The Eagles got screwed by the system. Banner's great Cap management always assumed the Cap would be reasonable. I don't think he foresaw the Cap getting so high. Also, all 32 teams reined in their spending. Suddenly all teams have Cap room.

As for "buying" players...that is really dangerous. If you start throwing money around to new guys, the players on your team will not be happy. That would lead to a whole new set of problems. Cap or no Cap, you can't just go throwing money around. You have to stick to standards and values so that players know where they stand. Plus, football is a team game. A team made up of mercenary types isn't as likely to win as a group that was developed together over time. There are exceptions, but few and far between.

The Eagles problem isn't their style of player acquisition and management. The problem is that they have yet to get the mix of guys together who can break through and win the SB. That might happen in 2009 or it might never happen. Winning is tricky. Jimmy Johnson built a great Cowboys team that won 3 titles in 4 years. That group then went bone dry. They haven't won a playoff game in over a decade.

Johnson went to Miami with his ideas and couldn't even get the Dolphins to the AFC title game.

orangecrush007 said...

None of those guys would have won us the championship so shut up and go to gcobb.com with the rest if the cheerleaders. They are running a professional football team. This isn't your backyard league where you go and knock on Joey down the streets door and if he is home you with the championship. Grow up.

Stephen said...

I dont mind at all us not going out and signing anyone beyond Stacy Andrews in this FA class, but I sure as hell mind us letting Dawk walk. I'm going to mind that even if it turns out that he didnt have anything left in the tank, you just dont let players like Dawk walk until you're SURE they cant do it anymore.

If he flops in Denver we can play it was the right move all along all you want, but that would be in retrospect, because right now theres no way you can tell me you're sure he wont be a pro bowl player there.

And for someone who means so much to the organization? It turns my stomach to see us let him go over a couple million dollars.

orangecrush007 said...

Eagles Rumor Mill is reporting talk of Sheldon Brown to Cardinals for Boldin. What do you think of this?

shlynch said...

@aaron --

Reggie Brown's cap number if he is traded is really low. Remember, dead money stays with the team that paid it, so prorations of the signing bonus / option bonus don't go to the new team.

In 2009, Reggie's cap hit to a new team is only $819K if he reaches his incentives, and $100K less if he doesn't. In fact, here it is from 2009 - the end of the deal, assuming he reaches all of his incentives:

2009 $819,000.00
2010 $1,275,000.00
2011 $3,350,000.00
2012 $3,950,000.00
2013 $4,550,000.00
2014 $3,900,000.00

If he doesn't reach his incentives, then his cap numbers are:

2009 $719,000.00
2010 $1,175,000.00
2011 $1,300,000.00
2012 $1,700,000.00
2013 $3,100,000.00
2014 $3,800,000.00

I mean, that is nothing to absorb. And remember, there is no dead money, so if he isn't worth the number you see listed, you can cut him and not have another dime on your cap.

Reggie's deal is really attractive, I think, to a new team. You have a guy who could merely need a change of scenary to be a legitimate starter for your team, and is locked up for almost nothing. And if it turns out he sucks, there is no cap consequence to missing.

Reggie's value is primarily his contract. It is an enhancement, not a detriment, to trading him.

Tommy Lawlor said...

RE: SHELDON FOR BOLDIN

Don't hold your breath. I think the Cards want to keep Boldin and they know he has no leverage. The team doesn't want to be seen giving in to a player's demands.

I'd love to give them Reggie Brown and Sheldon for Boldin. I'd mix in a pick if needed. That would be awesome. Just don't count on it happening.

@ LYNCH...

Thanks for the contract info. I figured you'd be the one to solve that issue.