Inside the Ravens with Aaron Wilson

Friday, April 1, 2011

EAGLES RUMORMILL: Team passes on huge offer for Kolb!

Prices climbing at Linc!

Most would agree that the Linc is a significant upgrade over the Vet but that said, so are the prices. And guess what, despite the league’s labor issues and an economy in which everything is going up except middle class wages, the Eagles plan to bump up ticket prices by nearly 10% across the board and concessions may climb even higher. And as if that wasn’t enough tailgaters using grills will have to buy a day pass for $20 in order to fire up their Colemans.

The NFL can be so out of touch with reality but the sad news is, while this will undoubtedly fan the fire already burning for fans, when the dust settles, they’ll be back, shelling out the Benjamins and they’ll do it happily. And don’t think for a second that the league doesn’t know it. That’s just the way it is…

Cam Newton is a tough player to call and project as a professional. He’s clearly a risky pick yet his athleticism is intoxicating for most scouts and coaches who would love to shape his off-the-chart raw skills. But then there are those character issues to deal with…

Adding to those issues is a recent rumor that has surfaced that may send the former Auburn Tiger tumbling down draft boards in a manner similar to Aaron Rodgers and Brady Quinn on draft day and consequently make him a less risky pick in the 20’s than he would be in the top 5.

So what’s the rumor you ask?

We’re hearing that Newton was extremely upset with the play calling during the waning moments of the BCS Championship Game in Phoenix against the Oregon Ducks. Auburn eventually won the game 22-19 on a last second 19 yard field goal. Newton wanted desperately to score the touchdown. Why? Cecil Newton, Cam’s Dad, is said to have placed a mid 6 figure wager on Auburn to cover the 3 ½ point line. Those close to the situation are referring to it as the new Newton’s Theory of Relativity.

Closer to home, things publicly have been very quiet but behind the scenes there are a few storms brewing and the first begins with Head Coach Andy Reid. Much to the surprise of close observers of the team, there is a strange performance clause in Reid’s contract that states that if the Eagles’ skipper isn’t below 300 pounds by the time he turns fifty-three, his contract will be shortened by 1 season. That would mean 2012 is Reid’s last.

Now the language does give Reid a chance at redemption. If he fails to make weight by his birthday (which has come and gone on March 19) but gets to 290 pounds by the first day of training camp, the contract remains in force. The labor issues could help Reid if camp is delayed and at his current weight of 347 pounds, ball coach will need every available day to shed the 57 El-Bees.

There’s no denying that DeSean Jackson is one of it not the single most explosive player in the league. However, his take home day doesn’t reflect that and D-Jax is demanding that the Eagles change his position in the financial pecking order before the 2011 season starts otherwise, expect a holdout. Word is that Jackson is extremely frugal (despite the public persona that suggests he isn’t) and has safely invested most of what he’s earned during his 3 seasons as an Eagle. That suggests he’s prepared to sit out as long as it takes for the Birds to amend and extend Jackson’s contract. The starting point for discussion is the 7 year, $78 million contract that Andre Johnson signed in 2010 and D-Jax wants $25 million of that in guaranteed payola.

Speaking of a big pay day, Michael Vick is due his, whether it’s in the form of a $17 million franchise tag or a long term deal that includes guaranteed money in the $30 million range. From what we hear the Eagles will opt for the franchise tag and there are those around the league who believe that there are still few at the top of the Birds’ food chain who haven’t fully bought into the rehabilitated Vick.

However a source close to 24x7 who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that the team is not concerned about Vick’s character. They are more worried that he’s lost his zest for the game due to nagging injuries and that he really doesn’t enjoy playing is Philadelphia because the cold weather exacerbates those injury concerns. When it all shakes out look for the Eagles to stick to the one year franchise deal and keep Kevin Kolb around. This might help explain why Andy Reid turned down a trade offer from Minnesota for Kolb that included a No. 1 and No. 2 in 2011 and another 2 in 2012.


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