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Monday, March 23, 2009

The Philadelphia Eagles One Year Deal Wonders

The Eagles have made a smart move signing fullback Leonard Weaver to a contract. This ensures that the Birds will not have to start Dan Klecko in the backfield and can put him back on the defensive line where he can be more effective until the Eagles decide to cut him. The contract to Weaver is a one year deal that has a base salary of 1.75 million, but can get to 2.5 Mil with incentives that are probably so far out of reach Leonard couldn’t get to them in a spaceship.

The Eagles have been very fond of one year deals this offseason. They signed safety Sean Jones for one year, then safety Rashad Baker for one year. They signed restricted free agent linebacker Tank Daniels for one year as well. Add in Weaver’s contract and that makes four contracts out of five, with Stacy Andrews getting the only multi-year deal from the Birds thus far. It’s a bit peculiar and it may call into question their long range plans.
First is the potential for a lockout between owners and players after the 2010 season. The media has been discussing it already and the Eagles may be financially preparing themselves should a standoff occur. This way they don’t have a lot of money tied up in signing bonuses and salaries when everything is settled. And you know what that leads up to….one year deals for next year’s free agents. There’s no good reason to go into each season with the same question marks, but next year the Eagles will go into the 2009 offseason needing to sign a fullback, a safety, a wide receiver, all of the things they needed to pick up this year. This type of consistency is not a good thing.The Birds could be looking at the potential of the players they have on the roster now, or plan to draft this April. Something tells me they’re going to love Quintin Demps more than his own mother just so they can feel justified for letting Dawk go and signing Sean Jones for only one year. Maybe they’ll draft a fullback, or sign a rookie free agent and pay him the minimum. They’ll save money and if they find some guy off the streets that will do it for less, it’s easier to make that move than it would be if you had a guy who could play a little, like Weaver. It doesn’t say much for depth at any position though.

They only other reason that comes to mind is that the Eagles were expecting something better and it didn’t work out. The problem with that statement is that they didn’t go after anything better. Dawkins was probably the best safety for this team and they let him go to Denver. Weaver is a pretty good player and perhaps, like Jones, wants to see how everything plays out for one year before they start talking long term. Unfortunately for the players, they will probably be low-balled to the point they want to leave. I am not saying either side needs to agree to a five year deal, but three for a player with a decent track record isn’t necessarily a bad idea, unless of course, that third year is a lockout year.

Whatever the Eagles due, it will probably warrant criticism. Almost everything that comes out of that camp does nowadays. The administrative branch of Reid, Banner and Lurie has become a focal point of frustration that has eaten away at the average fan and the flow of bad press has left the image of a cheap organization with the mindset of Ebenezer Scrooge. I don’t think they need to worry about the customer base though since there is a waiting list for season tickets and their merchandise sells well. But it’s only a matter of time before their mismanagement of the Philadelphia Eagles will make Norman Braman the Philadelphia patron saint of football.

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