Sunday, March 2, 2014

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

The Perpetual Target
So the Eagles signed wideout Jeremy Maclin to a one-year deal without drama. The ex-first round pick is coming off a major knee injury, and seemingly wanted the prove-it experience, rather than locking himself into something that could make him be underpaid in future years.

Which, of course, means that the Eagles now have three well-paid wideouts for 2014, making them the club that is devoting the second-biggest percentage of their cap dollars in the league. That's bad, right? So bad that the club must be looking to step away from WR DeSean Jackson, who makes a lot of money and must be a big drama queen because, um, he's DeSean Jackson! So voila, there's your clickbait moment of the day, and a story that seems to be gaining legs.

And this, folks, is why it's so hard to be an Eagles fan. The fact is that the Eagles are in no danger of being cap-stressed, mostly because they are living with the great goodness that is a third-round QB in his rookie contract as the starter. There's also no monster defensive star contract, and there isn't likely to be one, given that the club is still gun-shy from the Nnamdi Asomugha problem. The offensive line is all locked down, RB LeSean McCoy is here and there is quality depth behind him without big dollars...

So, um, what exactly is the problem here? I get that Jackson is a bit of a polarizing figure, because he's not quite up to the role of a drop-dead WR1 who puts up numbers against every corner and in every game. We have no idea what kind of guy he is in the huddle or locker room, but if there is anything to it, it would have to be some kind of performance to rank above the usual shenanigans of WR1. And, um, so freaking be it. If he's the best in a rotation of threats, that's OK, especially when he puts up major numbers and gives the defense so many things to worry about. He's also been here for six years and three main QBs, has produced for all of them, and hasn't had drop issues in forever. And while we're all aware that Chip Kelly loves big and fast rather than just fast... um, Jackson is still 27, which isn't exactly slowing down.

Now, the fact is that this situation isn't tenable, and, um, that's true... but that's also the reality of life in the NFL. If all three of these WRs are here in 2015, you will be able to win a pretty big bet, but no one gives a damn about the Eagles in 2015 right now. Nick Foles is eventually going to have to be paid if he keeps putting up big numbers. Hopefully some of the good young defensive talent goes up in standing and gets paid, and the team has all new problems. The club will wind up deciding between Maclin and Cooper, or having injuries decide it for them.

But to sit back after a week where they lock up a bunch of talent for the numbers they want to pay, then to just auto-react as to how this means something bad has to happen...

Well, there's a reason why we hate the local media, folks. For cause.

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