|Heart, Torn Out|
The problem is that, well, even in sports, everything is not a meritocracy. Players aren't lines of code in a video game or numbers in a spreadsheet. Some are put in better roles than others, for reasons that are not just about Game. They are emotional, human, prone to worrying about aging and their families and job security and the like. They respond to leadership and positivity, get distracted by insecurity and negativity, and all of that comes into play hard when you get to moments like attracting a free agent, or keeping someone from becoming one.
Today, the Eagles cut LB Trent Cole, one of the best defensive players in the history of the franchise. Doing so was the right football move if and only if it was an either/or choice between Cole and LB Brandon Graham, who does similar things to Cole while being a lot younger, but the plain and simple fact of the matter is the Eagles had the money to make Cole an offer, and the ability to spot him secondary snaps in their play-riffic speed scheme.
That didn't happen, seemingly. Instead, the club just cut him, leaving Cole to toss out angry Tweets like he was being perp-walked to the door with a cardboard box.
And sure, none of this is very likely to matter in a week or two if the club comes in with some big money offer to the next guy, or in the summer when the coaches and training camp get to work on molding a team out of individual agendas...
Or, well, will it?
Cole was moved off defensive end by this regime and given a sink or swim directive to be an OLB. He swam, well enough to be a positive player on two 10-win teams. That's pretty remarkable flexibility for a guy nearing the end, who only seemingly wanted to be a guy with one team on his roster. Unlike, say, Brian Dawkins, or Donovan McNabb, or Reggie White, or Clyde Simmons, or Seth Joyner, or Harold Carmichael, or Wilbert Montgomery, or...
Well, you get the point.
And Eagle Fan, who is still parade-less in the Super Bowl era?
Might also as well.
Along with any free agent, who now has Are They Tanking to add to Can I Trust Them to his check list (hello, or should I say goodbye, Jeremy Maclin?), or on the rise player who gets approached about a club-friendly extension, same noise...