As summer rapidly flies by, faster than offensive comments out of James Harrison’s mouth, we continue to hear rumors of this torturous, painful lockout coming to an end. From the rookie wage scale to the revenue split we have heard the same story for what seems like weeks now, “the lockout is close to being over.” As both sides battle it out in what seems to be the final stretch I can’t help but get excited for what is to come. We anxiously await Eagles football!
It’s that time of the year when Lehigh prepares for an influx of Eagles and phans alike taking over a small, sprawled out campus tucked away in the picturesque Bethlehem hills. The heat of late July won’t slow down the phans and makes players dread two-a-days more than catching Big Red fresh out of the shower. Regardless of the heat I can imagine that everybody is ready to ditch the lockout drama and get back to what we know best, football.
What do we know about the proposed new CBA? Well for one it is expected to cover a 10 year period. First round rookies will have four-year deals with a team option for the 5th. The players reportedly won the battle over the rookie wage scale agreeing to a “transition tag” amount. The first ten picks will receive the average of top ten salaries at their respective position. The sides have also reportedly agreed to a revenue split of about 47-48% of all revenue.
There are still issues to be figured out about money for retired players and things like television money. It is expected to be worked out by the end of this week and get back to business as usual. Several retired players have spoken up about not allowing “their” issues to hold up negotiations. I think everybody just wants football back.
So as sports nation awaits word today or the next coming days about a new CBA we can’t help but think what will happen next for our Philadelphia Eagles. There is no doubt going to be a mad scramble for teams to re-sign their own players and look to fill holes with other available free agents.
The biggest question mark surrounding the Eagles is what will become of backup QB Kevin Kolb. It is going to be interesting to see where #4 lands and how quick a deal will get done. I imagine things to happen rather quickly as soon as we are back in business. The Arizona Cardinals, in desperate need of a franchise QB, have long been a strong contender for Kolb’s services seems to be the team most likely to land Kolb.
There have been talks this week from XTRA Sports 910 out of Arizona that the Cardinals are ready to offer the Eagles CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie straight up for Kolb. The 25-year old cornerback, a 16th overall pick in 2008, would fill a gaping hole for the Eagles defense and give the Birds quite the duo at cornerback alongside play maker Asante Samuel. The deal makes sense for both sides seeing as how it fills big needs for both teams.
Once a new salary cap is in place it is expected that the Eagles will have plenty of room to work with. If the 2011 projected salary cap is $140 million the Eagles will have over $42 million in cap space. This does not include any possible player cuts.
With plenty of money to spend the Eagles will have to work quickly in this soon to be free agency frenzy. If the Eagles are able to pull off a straight up deal with the Cardinals it will sure up a gaping hole on defense. Other moves could include cast-offs such as recently freed Plaxico Burress and Redskins doghouse winner Albert Haynesworth. Both moves although controversial are low risk high reward for the Birds.
Although wide receiver is not thought of as a gaping hole, 6’5 Super Bowl champion wide receivers don’t necessarily grow on trees. Having a presence like that of Burress’ would provide Vick with a go-to guy in the red zone. Both Vick and DeSean Jackson have strongly advocated for Burress to join the Eagles.
Phillies hat a sign of what' to come?
“I think he’s an extremely good athlete, one of the best receivers ever to play the game, tremendous size and incredible abilities to make plays at any given moment in the game,” Vick recently showed with Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio. “So why wouldn’t you want him as an addition on your team if you feel like he can be a leader, first and foremost, and he can help your team football team win games?”
An under the radar move I can see happening is the return of Brian Westbrook. Not only would Westbrook provide an inexpensive backup to LeSean McCoy he would also provide great leadership to a young offense. Back in early Spring Westbrook expressed his interest in returning to Philadelphia.
"I talk to Coach Reid every week or so," Westbrook told NBC 10 and Comcast SportsNet. "We always talk. And I would love to be back in Philly, so we'll see how things go...I think I can help out. I think they have a very good group of young guys on the team, as far as every position. But I still think that I can help this team win."
Westbrook would come back clearly knowing his role as a backup and being able to be a better mentor to the young, talented McCoy. Although similar in styles to McCoy Westbrook has always flourished in Andy Reid’s offense and would provide another threat out of the backfield. Westbrook is a great pass-blocker, and can even be used as an extra receiver.
As Lehigh preps for yet another training camp we anxiously await the start of a new year. A year that seemed to be all but gone months ago. Let’s not count our Eagles, err chickens, before they hatch but football is back! Fly Eagles Fly!