Thursday, November 10, 2005

Maybe the Birds are getting a little bad karma back

Interesting article below from FOXSports sent to me from Sheltdawg the Cowboy. Compares TO's situation coming into Philly with Kearse's (Rosenhaus was apparently Kearse's agent at that time - didn't know that). Anyway, Shelt didn't agree that TO deserved a big bonus coming into last year. I agree. But the Eagles played a big role in creating this mess which Popstar and I actually discussed in a blog-rant back in Sept: basically, the Birds are CHEAP, greedy biznatches and were getting TO for a steal this year esp in light of his performance last season and in the SB. They could have quietly re-negotiated TO's roster bonus this year (to be more in line with the top WRs in the League) and passed it off as an adjustment to his current value to the team...as I said to Shelt-pup, TO single-handedly transformed the passing game and made McNabb great in 2004. 2004 was McNabb's best by far...not a coincidence that TO was here. I know the Birds love to treat their players like commodities that can be swapped in and out, but sometimes special players need special treatment and TO is one of those players. I'm not defending his ridic actions, but they didn't do much to stop it either.


"T.O.'s a mess, but Philly asked for it
John Czarnecki / FOXSports.com
Posted: 12 hours ago

The Eagles knew what they were getting into when they signed Terrell Owens.

FOX Bite
Videos

T.O. comes clean
Philadelphia Eagles receiver Terrell Owens apologizes to his team and fans after being suspended from the Eagles and will not return to Philly this season.


You could even say they played a major role in the end results. Consequently, the Eagles got exactly what they deserved. A locker room divided, a quarterback upset and now a team that is one huge playmaker short of making the playoffs.
How can anyone blame the Eagles?

Easy. The contract they presented to Owens last year was basically structured as a two-year deal, allowing the team to escape the big $7.5 million roster-bonus in March of 2006.

Honestly, it was a contract that Drew Rosenhaus never would have approved had he been T.O.'s agent. One only has to look at the contract Rosenhaus structured for another new Eagle, defensive end Jevon Kearse, to see that. Kearse received $16 million to sign; a $12 million signing bonus and a $4 million roster bonus.

There were concerns about Kearse, but they were injury related. However, the bottom line was that the Eagles were confident that Kearse would never be a locker-room headache; so they paid him the market price for his services — basically, $23.75 million for three years.

Based on production, Kearse has been a little pricey by Philadelphia's standards.

On the flip side, the Eagles gave Owens only $2.3 million to sign and a $6.2 million roster bonus. They will now attempt to get $1.7 million of the signing bonus back. His two-year deal was worth $12.4 million.

It took Owens almost an entire season to figure out, when comparing his money to Kearse's, that he wasn't receiving the money he actually deserved for his performance level. Rosenhaus told him as much, and he had Kearse's contract to prove it.

The other major thing that Kearse's contract proved was that Eagles vice-president Joe Banner could make a player-friendly deal with Rosenhaus. I'm sure this is something the agent told T.O., too, before he dropped long-time friend and former agent, David Joseph.

Granted, the Eagles decided to backload Owens' contract based on his San Francisco past and the fact that no one else really wanted him.

Well, the Baltimore Ravens did, but Owens fought successfully to free himself from that trade — the Eagles helped his cause there — and the rest is history. Owens didn't have any negotiating leverage, and the Eagles, who love being $10 million under the salary cap, decided not to pay him like a superstar. They took a financially cautious approach.

When Owens threatened his holdout in April, the Eagles dug their heels in. The only thing they offered Rosenhaus and Owens was a stiff $9,000 daily fine for missing training camp. There was no talk of insuring his 2006 roster bonus or even advancing him some of that money into the 2005 season. Owens was stomping mad, considering he had worked so hard to return to play in last season's Super Bowl.

Banner and owner Jeffrey Lurie have certain salary-cap and negotiation rules in place, and they were unwilling to break any of them in dealing with Owens. They refused to place him in a special category.

Yes, that is their right. They trusted coach Andy Reid when he said he could control Owens and deal with his distractions. Reid actually wanted to try to help Owens, but in the end, he stuck by Donovan McNabb and the vast majority of his players. Believe me, some league people wouldn't have begrudged the Eagles if they had reworked T.O.'s contract. He did score 14 touchdowns in 14 games.

Like one NFC salary-cap guru emailed me, "The Eagles were greedy. They had no real commitment to Owens like they made to any of their other players because the money wasn't in signing bonus form. Their hesitance to give Owens the deal he deserved illustrates that they were afraid of something exactly like this, but the irony is that the deal they wrote was so favorable to the team (that) it ensured this behavior."

The other issue for Owens was his jealousy of McNabb. He didn't forgive McNabb for saying the Eagles could make it to the Super Bowl and win without him last year. It never entered his mind that McNabb's words were simply coachspeak, innocuous words that any team spokesman offers when a star is injured. You think Andy Reid wanted McNabb to say, "We're finished. We don't have a prayer of winning anything without T.O."?

But Owens took those words personally. Plus, he never understood why McNabb was given a free pass by the coach (and the media) when he played poorly. The bottom line is that Owens holds a grudge longer than anyone on earth.

Last Friday, Owens had the opportunity to apologize to McNabb for saying the Eagles would have been unbeaten with Brett Favre, but he couldn't make himself say those words. He refused again on Saturday. He just couldn't do it, and now he's unemployed.

It's doubtful that any team will give him the type of signing bonus he feels he deserves ever again. A team (how about the Broncos?) will sign him, but it will be a one-year deal. Mike Shanahan may be willing to rent Owens for a season and see how he behaves."

3 Comments:

Blogger Dave Popstar said...

Yep. I agree the Eagles' "brass" definitely fostered the conditions that gave rise to this disaster. They are cheap and their approach is for more business-like than team-like. Which makes it even more ironic that they're jettisoning T.O. because HE hasn't been a team player.

For what it's worth (and in the interest of fairness), I came across the following journal entry by Akers on www.nflplayers.com. It certainly seems to paint a different picture of the organization:


New Contract Signed
11/08/05

This is a wonderful day for me. Professionally, this is probably one of my happiest days, because I have been able to provide for my family and I have worked hard for it. When I look at the whole perspective of it and for what Philadelphia has done for me, it’s changed my life and that is from the fans to the organization. I plan on selling my house in Kentucky and moving here permanently. After I got injured I didn’t think it would be top priority, but I will tell you, I have to thank the Eagles because I got a surprise offer a couple of weeks ago and we started talking. Under the situation I was in, being injured I thought it took a lot of courage and it showed the faith they had in my abilities and my work ethic to make sure I get back, I am healthy and I do perform at a high level for seven more years. I am very excited right now. It’s not always about the numbers or where you are ranked; it’s what you feel like you are happy with personally. When you look at the whole spectrum of me being here, I got my first start here as far as with the team that gave me an opportunity to play for a while and to indent myself into an organization. The community has embraced me so well, that I can never repay the people that have come into my life and have done so many remarkable things for me. Playing here in Philadelphia has changed my life, so much so that I am going to embed myself in the community.

http://www.nflplayers.com/players/player.aspx?id=25166§ion=journal

11/10/2005 10:37 PM  
Blogger Paulomon Grundy said...

Sounds like Akers is kissing some Philly ass. I do like him though and glad he's sticking around.

11/11/2005 10:58 AM  
Blogger Dave Popstar said...

It's funny, but that "journal" entry is plagarized and slightly editied from the statements he made at his press conference. But yeah, he does seem to be gushing a bit. (In his PC, he even mentioned his new agent, Jerrold Colton, who I know and who is a good guy). I hope he gets his leg back, and soon. He's a great player (physically and mentally), and we really need him.

Of course, right now we also seem to need some defensive linemen, offensive linemen, receivers, a punter, some more LBs...

11/11/2005 11:22 AM  

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