THIS is Monday, September 6th 2021, and this article will probably seem crazy to you.
While everyone else was yelling and weighing-in on the trade for QB Gardner Minshew, I shut up. What I did was sit back, observe, and consider.
This article marks my first official statement on the trade, or on what Minshew being an Eagle truly heralds. This article is not about this season, but about the future. The long game.
Never lose sight of the long game.
Early in June, I wrote that the NFL is Killing Off All Starting QB’s. I told you that the NFL is changing the concept of the every game starter. I got into the reasons why this is happening, and why it is happening, specifically now.
While it may have seemed far-fetched when I wrote about it in June, if you caught last week’s final preseason game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers, you were treated to more of the Wentz/Hurts, Brees/Hill style of platooning QB’s, that I mentioned in the ‘Killing’ article.
While working on this article, I saw Saturday, that NFL reporter Bucky Brooks put out an article recommending that the 49ers utilize the two QB approach. Figuring that he’d covered it, I almost put this article in my ‘Unpublished Articles’ folder. However, after reading Brooks, I saw that he left it at just the 9ers, andhadn’t really broached the broader subject.
Brook’s article (and even the original draft of this one), mentions the 49ers head coach saying “I don’t need to announce the quarterback, I don’t think I need to announce the starting punt returner, either, but I bet you guys could figure it out,“.
Clearly, the coach was having fun at the media’s expense, but since when was a head coach ever coy about such a thing, two weeks before the season opener? Especially after subbing his QB’s in and out, like a wresting tag team. This is different, folks! Don’t get caught missing the action, while staring directly at it. Don’t let NFL GM’s brag about how they snake charmed us.
Getting back to the Eagles, many people (fans and pundits alike), are speculating that the Minshew trade is about having an insurance policy for QB Jalen Hurts, or having someone to push him. Neither is true. Minshew will play this year. Not just that, but even if Hurts is still healthy by Week 8 or so, you’ll still see Minshew take a few snaps. At least.
Expect to hear (or read) some kooky nonsense about how the coaching staff has “different packages” they want to run for Minshew. As if he has a physical trait or ability that Hurts doesn’t, which the staff desperately needs to get out on the field. It will be utter nonsense. Just enough babble to excite the kind of fan who reads Dave Spadaro, unironically.
In the “Killing” article, I went into why NFL franchises need the two QB system to control their costs. In this article, I’ll add that franchises also need the two QB system, as a means of increasing revenue. The central idea here, is that more games, equals more money. But first, “relics” like Aaaron Rodgers have to be phased out.
The NFL can’t ask television networks for substantially more money, without offering a substantial increase in their product, or finding some other value added aspect. That’s just Sales 101. This is easily solvable by adding more games, which the NFL is eager to do.
We all know that NFL has long had it’s eye on international expansion. (More games.) They’ve also been in talks with the Player’s Association over the years, to find ways to lengthen the regular season. (More games.) Right now were seeing the league attempt to lengthen the regular season, by undercutting the preseason. (And so far the results are ugly.)
Teams can’t play a 20 – 21 game regular season with just one starting QB. The Human body can only take so much punishment. The two QB move, is a move that the NFL has to make, if they want to grow the league. So the NFL has to transition you to being okay with a two QB system. Whether your team runs it or not, is immaterial. The NFL just has to normalize the idea.
Again, this is Monday, September 6th 2021, and this article probably sounded crazy to you. That’s okay. I just wanted to get it on record, that this was another time when I was out, waaay ahead of the curve. While a couple of my “I told you so” articles have been open to interpretation, the one that I will write about this one, won’t be.
AS an Eagles fan, I avoid writing about rival teams or players unless it’s truly newsworthy. Otherwise, I ignore them and focus on MY team: The Philadelphia Eagles. That being said, I have dirt to dish. So pull up a chair and let’s talk some shit.
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott refuses to reveal whether or not he’s been vaccinated for Covid-19. When asked about it, he incorrectly invoked HIPAA, and then dived into a stream of meaningless double-talk. This basically says that he hasn’t gotten vaccinated. Whether he’s leaning that way or is staunchly opposed, remains to be seen.
Frankly, it’s not important one way or the other. I’d be telling you a lie to say that I cared at all.
I’m not saying that I wish Covid on the man. I don’t. What I’m here to talk about, is how truly Karmic it would be, if in his situation, he contracted Covid-19. For no damned reason at all.
He just signed one of the most lucrative contracts in NFL history, and the vaccine is totally FREE. Doesn’t cost a single red cent. Even if it wasn’t available in his neighborhood, the Cowboys medical staff would happily drive it to his home to vaccinate him. I’m sure they’d even wade through his pool to do it, as he lay on an inflatable chair.
He has NO BUSINESS getting this disease. NONE.
So if he gets it by himself and has to quarantine, his decision could cost his team one or two games. If he’s part of an outbreak, then his team may need to automatically hand over a win (or two, or three) to whomever they were scheduled to play.
Prescott could avoid all of this now, by being vaccinated. Instead, the plan is to keep QB Ben “Bring It On” DiNucci,
or preseason hall of fame QB Cooper Rush, loose and ready to go. This is because Prescott’s new deal made signing a good back-up, too expensive. (And Chicago lied to QB Andy Dalton.)
While Covid has a high survival rate, often victims are left with long-term symptoms like difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, fatigue, symptoms that worsen after physical activities, difficulty thinking or concentrating (brain fog), and lots of other crap. These people are often called Covid Long Haulers, or said to have Long Covid, or Post-acute Covid., by the CDC
Significantly more victims suffer these long-term effects, than die from the disease, and that’s what poses the bigger danger for Prescott. An NFL athlete can’t play while dragging around an oxygen tank. A QB can’t be at his best with brain fog. If walking up 10 stairs can worsen symptoms for the average person, imagine what an NFL game would do to Prescott.
If Prescott contracts Covid, even when he gets back, he may never be the same player, ever again. It could derail his career, like Guillain-Barre Syndrome did with retired C Travis Frederick. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, would be stuck with a lemon that he owes 126M$. It would be years before the Cowboys could be competitive in the free agent market.
As bad as QB Carson Wentz’s situation looks for the Eagles in 2021, Prescott not being vaccinated could make the Cowboys look a lot worse for a third of a decade. Given that Jones is no spring chicken at 78, there’s a chance that he may not even live to see the Cowboys get from under (as Jones put it), overpaying Prescott.
Again, I’m not saying that I wish Covid on him. I don’t. I’m saying, given the life choices that his fellow players make, not knowing where they’ve been, or who with… To risk that? So is this how a Franchise QB is supposed to behave? As the saying goes, play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
HOWIE is likely going to be fired, if QB Jalen Hurts doesn’t play like a potential star in 2021. Despite what some fans thought about QB Carson Wentz, Owner Jeff Lurie knew he had a bonafide Franchise QB, and that those are difficult to find. Still, General ManagerHowie Roseman, convinced Lurie to trade the bird in his hand, for a QB factory in the bush.
There’s a high-stakes game going on, folks! Don’t miss the real action.
This isn’t about Hurts or Wentz. It never was. It’s about the “QB factory” that Howie later regretted mentioning: “Of some of the things that I’ve done this season, I certainly regret that comment about quarterback factory,” Roseman said. “Really it was just in terms of how — the importance of the position around the league, the importance of the position to this organization and really a reflection of our experiences with backup quarterbacks when we did that.”
Notice that he didn’t say that he regrets the idea, or the concept. He said that he regrets the comment. He regrets that he slipped and revealed to us, what was really on his mind. He regrets that we know. This was never about one player over another. It’s about a philosophy.
The Hurts pick is about transforming the QB position into just another position.
By default of how long it takes to develop a QB, they are a huge investment. So the ones with the best raw traits, come at a premium at the top of drafts. Few of those pan out, so it naturally skyrockets the price when a proven, young, veteran QB hits the open market. It’s why teams do everything they can, to keep those proven, young, veteran QB’s from hitting the open market. Often overpaying them.
The NFL was able to control other positions by killing off the idea of star players, who are true specialists:
Star RB’s became RB by committee.
The FB, H-Back, and blocking TE positions are practically extinct.
True #1 WR’s became more expendable with the adoption of Spread concepts.
On defense, players without a hard designation are becoming the norm. Whether it’s all of these CB/S, or those 215 – 220 pound LB/S tweeners, or the Edge players… None of that used to be how football worked, even 10 years ago. None of it.
The QB position is harder to redefine and control, but it must be done. And it must happen SOON.
The NFL needs to find a way to quickly develop QB’s who can be productive, not just to control investment costs (like draft capital), and operating costs (like contract terms), but so that the QB position can be platooned. Yes, platooned. Think about Hurts and Wentz. Or Drew Brees and QB Taysom Hill. Think about Tim Tebow now back in the NFL, at 33.
This is an experiment to figure out how best to phase out the “every game” starter. Instead, coming up with something more akin to a baseball starting pitcher. A guy who’s relied on only to start a percentage of the games, instead of all of them. Sure you’ll have an Ace, but he won’t be your Franchise.
If the NFL doesn’t do this, there is no way that they can expand beyond 18 regular season games in a season. Also, do you see the contract that QB Pat Mahomes signed? Or the one that QB Dak Prescott signed, despite owner Jerry Jones admitted to overpaying? Platooned QB’s would have far less leverage at the bargaining table.
That’s where Hurts comes in. Hurts was drafted “sort of” high. Right on the heels of Wentz winning a division, after having put practice squanders on his back. With a franchise QB like Wentz, drafting Hurts made no sense.
Then packages were added to get Hurts on the field early in his career, despite that fact that it ruins a starting QB’s rhythm. Disrupting our Franchise QB’s rhythm made no sense.
Suddenly Wentz became a turnover machine, when taking care of the ball had been the absolute cornerstone of his career. Yet no serious adjustments were ever made to help him. (I even wrote about it back in November of 2020.) That also made no sense.
Except in hindsight, all of it makes perfect sense. It’s an experiment. The Eagles made sure they started with a good, but not franchise quality QB (lower draft capital). The speed of the game is what young players say takes the most time to adapt to. So Hurts was spoon-fed a little time here and a little time there, until the game slowed down for him.
Understand, this is the Eagles version of the experiment, but the entire league has a stake in it. Trust and believe that many eyes follow this. Roseman’s experiment requires Hurts to not just play, but start. So, Wentz was removed from the equation. He had to be. Now Hurts is front and center, and barring a preseason injury, he will start.
That all being said, if Hurts turns out to be the formula, and the QB factory opens in Philadelphia, Jeff Lurie will be the guy who hired the inventor of “The (NFL) Process”. However, if Hurts fails, Lurie will have been talked into spending years of investment money, on a single spin of Roulette. That likely means Roseman would be fired.
High-stakes game going on, folks! Don’t get caught missing the real action.
THE Eagles coaching staff (with straight faces), keeps telling us fans that there will be a REAL competition between QB Jalen Hurts and QB Joe Flaaco, for the starting job. We’re being told that nobody is being handed anything. I have yet to meet the Eagles fan dumb enough to buy what this coaching staff is selling.
Can we be honest here? Flacco was brought in, so that when Hurts “wins” the job, dipshits can say things like “Hurts beat a former Super Bowl MVP to win the job. So of course Hurts has to be legit, right?” Prepare to hear that repeatedly, from the sort of fan who unironically, still wears aKevin Kolb jersey.
Understand, while head coach Nick Sirianni has designed plays before, it was never his responsibility to define the philosophy of a system. As a HC, he now gets to decide that. He’s no longer designing plays within the framework of what his boss wants. Now he gets to decide what that framework looks like.
So who’s skillset do you think the Eagles offensive system will be built around? Flacco’s overall fading skills, and limited athleticism? Or will it be Hurts’ upside and dynamic mobility? When passing plays are drawn up, will they include a heavy percentage of RPO’s, Options, and Bootlegs? Or will they almost entirely consist of 3 and 5 step drops?
In four starts last year, Hurts ran for 272 yards. (BTW: That projects to 1,156 rushing yards, over 17 games.) Flacco? He ran for 292 yards. He didn’t do that in 2020. He did that over the last 7 seasons. Combined. Keeping in mind that Flacco can’t be dangerous running RPO’s, Options or boots, do you really think the new coach will handcuff himself to an anchor? Neither do I.
When Training Camp opens, both the system and the playbook, will be built to suit Hurts, not Flacco. So in what universe is this a real competition? Being that Flacco can’t excel in this system, Hurts will win the starting job in a walk.
Besides, if Hurts finds himself involved in real a competition with what’s left of Flacco, then basically the Eagles 2021 season would already be a yellow mustard and jizz sandwich. Seriously. It’s embarrassing that the Eagles are even trying to sell this “competition”.
TRADING QB Carson Wentz officially ends the media drama that has surrounded the team since his benching in Green Bay on December 6th. As of now, all of the focus is on HC Nick Sirianni and QBJalen Hurts. How do they power the Eagles to win the NFC East and championships? Oh, and how long will we suck?
Don’t lie to yourself about “re-arming” or “re-stocking” or “re-loading”. The Eagles are re-building. The team that told us in February of 2018, that deep runs into the playoffs would be the norm, has been officially tossed onto the scrap heap. Gone is the coach who led us in ultra ballsy fashion. Gone is the upstart triggerman, and the wily gunslinger who stepped in for him.
For God’s sake, please stop talking about that Super Bowl, and the almost MVP season. All the important vestiges of that era have been striped away. 2017 is gone. It is dead. General Manager Howie Roseman clubbed that baby seal to death.
This is 2021, and this rebuild means that for Eagles fans, it may as well be 1999 all over again. In 1999 when Andy Reid first got here, he’d never been an NFL head coach, nor an offensive coordinator. During the interview, Reid blew Eagles owner Jeff Lurie away with how meticulous his plans were for rebuilding Eagles entirely. Lurie hired Reid to resuscitate a team that had just lost 13 games, and a legend was born.
Fast forward to 2021 and playing the part of Andrew Walter Reid, is one Nick Sirianni. (Gemini.) Also never been a head coach. Also never called an NFL game. Lurie however, loves that “he cares”. I’m not kidding. It’s the first thing Lurie mentioned when asked about why he hired Sirianni. So Sirianni is on the hook to be the next Andy Reid and revive this team based on uhhh, him caring? So okay, he cares. Did the other candidates not?
Having stepped barefoot into this warm pile of rebuild, the first thing that comes up, is that the Eagles are reportedly not anointing Hurts the starter. Instead, they intend to bring in competition for him. Or at least that’s the rumor that ESPN is reporting. Until there is a source next to a statement, me representing it as more than a rumor, would be irresponsible.
But trust and believe, we will discuss it in THE 12 tomorrow!
The second thing that crosses my mind is: Who are we losing? Rebuilds mean blood on the floor. Usually the blood of formerly sacred cows. I’m thinking names like C Jason Kelce, DT Fletcher Cox, DE Brandon Graham, TE Zach Ertz, G Brandon Brooks, and FS Rodney McLeod. Those six players represent a cap figure of 82.3M$. Six guys, 82 mill.
For a team that is projected to be 50M$ over the cap, 82.3M in cuts would clear out a lot of space. Quick, fast, and in a hurry! It would devastate the team, of course. Especially given the combined and individual leadership of the guys on that list. However, if it’s a rebuild, then fans already expect the team to suck. The only question is now: How long will the sucking last?
SEASON Reviews are usually done at the end of the season. A few are also done at the halfway mark. Starting in 2017, Eaglemaniacal.com began treating the season like a game, and breaking it into four quarters. Since football is a hard sport, we’ll take a hard look at where our team currently stands, in relation to where it started. Then we can discuss where it needs to go next.
STATUS: 4 – 11 – 1, 4th in the NFC East
W New Orleans Saints 12 – 4
L Arizona Cardinals 8 – 8
L Dallas Cowboys 6 – 10
L Washington Uhhh… 7 – 9
Due to events in, and inside ofour Nation’s Capitol last week, I delayed putting this article out. I imagined that you’d be too preoccupied with the real world, to give much of a damn about a report like this. That is the ONLY reason that I was able to get on here and make some edits, after learning about the firing of Head Coach Doug Pederson today.
Initially I was going to put a positive spin on missing the playoffs, and getting such a high draft pick. I wasn’t going to bullshit you, just make sure that we didn’t overlook the opportunity that being in this position affords us.
Then the firing happened.
Pederson during his tenure here, has a 42 – 37 – 1 record.
He also has a Super Bowl win, chased by three years of injuries being the excuse for diminishing results. Put another way, taking out this last season (his worst), and the SB season (his best), Pederson is 25 – 23 (.520) as a head coach. For perspective, lets look at Andy Reid’ first 5 years here.
Take out Reid’s best and worst year and you still end up with a 34 – 14 (.708) head coach. So it’s not hard to see why instead of giving Pederson the increased control that he sought, Eagles owner Jeffery Lurie, would want to opt out of the partnership.
QB – (D): This quarter Jalen Hurtshas produced 8 TD’s and 5 turnovers. If you can get him outside the pocket and moving to his right, he’s dangerous. In any other instance, he becomes a liability. What’s worse, teams seem to have already figured this out. His season finale against Washington featured him running for 2 scores, but passing 7/20 (35%), 72 yards and a pick. Nate Sudfeld saw the field for a 18 snaps in Week 17, and he looked like a guy who’d seen no snaps until Week 17.
RB – (D): In the last four games of the season, Miles Sanders’ rushing yards have gone from 115, to 64, to 57, to 0. To be fair, he was benched for the last game (Tankgate). Still, it doesn’t look good that his production has declined steadily, since Cars… Never mind. Hey, how about Boston Scott? What can I say? He started Week 17, and now we’re picking 6th overall. Well alriiiiiiight!
WR – (D): During this 4 week stretch, DeSean Jacksongraced Eagles fans with an 81 yard curtain call against Dallas. On 5 targets, 4 catches, 100 yards and TD, Alshon Jeffery showed he can still do, what it is we brought him here to do in the first place. Both will be gone next season. On the other hand, none of the young guys has emerged as a future go-to guy. Jalen Reagor hasn’t seen a 50 yard day since Week 11. Greg Ward is averaging 7.9 yards per catch, and Travis Fulgham has been on a milk carton since the Week 9 Bye.
TE – (D): The Eagles have spent the season trying to sell us Dallas Goedert as a #1, but he lacks the explosiveness or dynamism for the role. He’s Robin, not Batman. He’s like a bigger, stronger Jay Novacek. Zack Ertz had a miserable final quarter, catching 10 of 23 targets (43%) for 126 yards. In fact, his season ends with him posting a 50% catch rate for the year, and seeing his targets drop from 135 in 2019, to 72 in 2020. (But we all know what that was about.) Still, his numbers won’t make it easy for him to find a team looking pay big money to a 30 year old who’s been nicked up lately.
OT – (C): Jordan Mailata has been receiving high praise these last few weeks at LT. Some are saying that he’s the future of the spot. (I guess folks have forgotten about Andre Dillard?) Matt Pryor is trash on the edge. He’s serviceable when moved inside, but outside, pure garbage. Jack Driscollwasn’t great either, but he was a rookie, and we lost him for the year, so why sweat it?
G – (D): Isaac Seumalohas consistently lined up on the left for seven straight weeks. Hasn’t meant much, but during this quarter, he did finally play in his only win of the season. That’s 1 win in 9 starts this year. I’m just gonna leave that right there. Nate Herbighas been serviceable on the right side. (He looked better on the left though.)
C – (B): Jason Kelce kept the line together as best he could.
DE – (B): Brandon Graham despite playing an increased percentage of the snaps in the last two games, still fell short of his goal of 10 sacks this season. He got one vs Dallas, but otherwise, he really seemed to wear down as the season went on. Derek Barnett missed the last two games and didn’t impose himself in the last tow that he played. Josh Sweat had two sacks and FF vs New Orleans, was hurt early the next week, and then was injured for the final two games of the quarter. Vinny Curry started the final two games and had his strongest quarter of the season. This position did a decent job of bringing pressure, but with lax coverage behind them, they couldn’t translate into sacks and three and outs. Genard Avery played in the last three games as a rotation player, but the Eagles still don’t have a plan for him.
DT – (B): Fletcher Cox was Fletcher Cox, until a stinger vs Dallas shut his season down. Javon Hargrave stepped up in Cox’s absence and seemed to be a lot more disruptive than in the prior three quarters. He seemed more comfortable. I hope to see he and Cox return in 2021. Malik Jackson put up 12 tackles and a sack, during this quarter. That’s despite only starting one of the games. Undrafted rookie Raequan Williams made his presence felt, in very limited action. T.Y. McGill got a lot of snaps in the last two weeks, but will probably be best remembered for jumping offsides on 4th and 1, with 2:00 to go, vs Washington in a 20 – 14 loss. (But let’s put all the blame on the QB situation!)
OLB – (C): Alex Singleton recorded double digit tackles in three of four games, plus a sack and a FR. He’s much improved at reading angles and getting off blocks. More than that, he brought energy to the defense. Duke Riley missed the last two games, but had an interception vs New Orleans.
ILB – (C): T.J. Edwards has been serviceable in the middle of this defense. He arrived here with the label “athletic limitations”. Being put into this system didn’t do him any favors, in terms of developing his strong-suit. If he has one. Which was not made evident this last quarter.
S – (D): Jalen Mills is a good soldier, but he’s not special as a player. This was once again put on display this quarter. He plays sound team concept ball, helps corral ball-carriers, swarms the football, yadda yadda. He just doesn’t affect the outcome of games. Marcus Eppsstarted three of these four games, and turned it into a team-leading (how sad) two interceptions. Rookie K’Von Wallace got two starts, but it was too soon, in the wrong situation, with no teachers. Rudy Ford was unimpressive. If not for Epps, this position wouldn’t qualify for a grade.
CB – (F): Darius Slayplayed in three of these four games and finally snagged a pick, vs Dallas of all teams. Nickell Robey-Coleman continued to be a non-factor vs the pass. Michael Jacquetplayed in two of the four games and was utterly victimized vs Dallas. Grayland Arnoldplayed a lot vs Dallas, and he got the Week 17 start.
LS – (A): Rick Lovato added one more tackle to his impressive resume.
P – (D): Cam Johnston saw two games this quarter where he averaged less than 40 yards per boot. His 16 punts for 664 yards put him at 41.5 per swing of the leg, and he even had one blocked for the first time this season. It’s hard to say whether his leg wore out or whether he was affected by the air getting denser as the weather grew cooler. Either way, he was less effective.
K – (B): Jake Elliott was perfect on extra point kicks (when allowed to attempt them), and 2/3 on FG attempts. FOR THIS QUARTER! He had all of three tries, this quarter. I had no idea of that until I just looked it up! (Dear Doug, it’s decisions like this that get people FIRED! What, too soon?) Jake also stepped up and handled a couple of punts for us when injury struck at Arizona. That sort of
SINCE LAST QUARTER:
Entering the quarter with control of our own destiny, it largely felt like neither the Head Coach, General Manager, or Owner wanted to step up and declare a direction. As a result, the whole thing has been a rudderless mess. Did Lurie even want the Eagles to make the playoffs? Where does he stand on the tanking? What are his thoughts on Jalen Hurts? We have no clue about any of this.
MISSION FOR THIS QUARTER:
Without a Head Coach, I have no idea what the vision for the future is. That means I can’t even try to forecast it. What I can do is take a moment to indulge my vanity, and write about what I HOPE the mission is for this offseason. Who do I hope is the next Head Coach?
Duce Staley becomes the Head Coach. Not just because he’s an Eagles lifer. Not just because he’s been patient as promotions to Offensive Coordinator have twice passed him by.
Duce should be the coach because Carson Wentz at his best, had a VERY strong run game behind him. Duce believes in running the ball. Duce’s approach can win us another Super Bowl.
Duce should be the coach because he has gotten productivity from every RB that has been brought in here. He has found a way to reach and develop players. This has been a sore spot for the Eagles for too long. Duce can fix that.
Duce should be the coach because he (like Doug when he got here), understands where he is. He understands the nature of the media that will attack him from Day One. He already gets how the fans demand so much in terms of effort, and that you will earn our hearts forever when you deliver.
And then there’s the Rooney Rule. Wouldn’t it be nice to ignore it? To not have needed it. To see critics go
Especially in this racial/political/social climate. ESPECIALLY for a guy who deserves it, and that it’s damned well overdue for?
I want the arrogance of saying to our rivals: That the Eagles were socially progressive only by happenstance. That we were doing what we wanted to do, and being forward thinking is a side effect of just being fucking better than you. I want that.
So I hope that Duce becomes our next Head Coach. That’s our Mission For This Quarter.
EAGLEMANIACAL.comguarantees that there will be football this Fall. It may be sloppy. There may eventually be a high number of replacement players dragged in. The season may even end early. That all being said, you will get football in 2020.
You want to know how I can make such a guarantee, right? Of course you do. Let me nutshell it. The NFL has 5 billion reasons to make sure that they get their games, on our television screens. I’m specifically talking about the league’s annual broadcast contract hammered out in 2014.
Advertisers pay broadcasters to run their ads, and in turn the broadcasters pay the NFL (5 billion dollars. Billion. With a “B”) to attract eyes to see those ads. Zero games would mean zero eyes on ads, so advertisers would want their money back from the broadcasters. Which means the broadcasters in turn, would want their money (5 billion dollars) back from the NFL.
Understand, all of that nonsense can be avoided, with the simple broadcast of football games. To keep the money (the 5 billion dollars), the NFL simply has to fulfill their obligation to provide games. Those games don’t have to be great, they just have to be ON.
Right, Browns fans?
So you will get football this year. And the NFL will even broadcast whatever it is that the Washington “Team” does now. I assume it’s a form of liturgical dance, or sports LARPing. In any case, you’re gonna get WEEKS of it.
And you have Roger here to thank for that.
Side note:This picture looks like Roger is promising to stop fucking the dog, but the dog already knows that he’s lying. Can’t unsee that now, can you?
DOES anybody remember the Philadelphia Eagles? Last time I checked, that was the last team to win the NFC East division. Yet the national sports media scarcely acknowledges that Philly has a football team. Unless it’s a week where every team in a division gets a day.
Oh wait! We did get some press after WR DeSean Jackson had a tweet that was viewed as offensive by some people. You may have heard of it? In any case, it was handled, and the rest of sports world forgot about the team again.
Outside of that, when the Eagles do get brought up, it’s usually just a mention while being looked past. For example, despite taking the division directly away from the Dallas Cowboys, in a “do-or-die” second match-up last year, the national media seems to think that the Cowboys will win the division in 2021.
The Cowboys couldn’t beat the Eagles when they were more or less at full strength, and Philly was injury depleted. The Cowboys #1 ranked offense was held to nine points in that game. NINE. Versus an injury decimated team. And they’re still the favorites this year! With a new head coach!!
We re-signed OL Jason Peters, immediately plugging a hole created by injury, and providing a gold plated insurance policy. Did that help the Eagles move into the favorite spot? Did it even invite a new discussion of how this would impact the Eagles, and thus the division?
No. It did neither. No professional “journalist” wants to have those discussions. Instead, as expected, the national sports media delivered Jerry Jones his annual blowjob for wasting money, and producing more hype than substance.
Whether being repeatedly overlooked, or listening to another year of empty Dallas hype, neither by themselves is even worthy of notice. However, when placed side-by-side, they create this weird effect. Almost like a prolonged feedback noise. A noise that usually lasts from April to October.
Only four times in this New Millennium has the NFC East not gone to (9 times) or through (7 times) Philadelphia. That means that sixteen times in the last twenty years (TWO DECADES), the division couldn’t be decided without Philadelphia weighing in. Plus winning it twice as often as anyone else in the division, despite three head coaches over the span.
Yet we barely rate a mention this time of year. Annually! It’s beyond annoying.
This year with the lack of other real football news, it’s worse than usual. It has me looking forward to the season for my salvation, because once the game count, and our winning starts, the Eagles cannot be looked past any longer.
REMEMBER during the 2020 Draft, Eagles GM Howie Roseman said that he wanted the Eagles to be a “QB factory”. Well the first product to roll off the line may be QB Nate Sudfeld. Regrettably the Eagles only have Sudfeld under contract for 2020, so we won’t get anything for him, but the Dallas Cowboys seem like the most likely 2021 landing spot for him.
Currently Dallas is embroiled in a fruitless standoff with free agent QB Dak Prescott. The Cowboys slapped a 31M$ franchise tag on him, as a counter to his unconfirmed request of over 40M$ per year. The two sides are so far apart, that unless one side caves completely, you can just about bet that Prescott won’t sign the tag, and has already played his last down as a Cowboy.
I’m guessing it tops out at about 33 million?
At this rate, this time next year will see Prescott in another jersey, and the Cowboys will be in search of a new franchise QB. Unless they tank in 2020, they likely won’t have a shot at one in the 2021 Draft. So their search might take years. Unless they hit upon another QB like Tony Romo (undrafted free agent), or Prescott (4th rounder). Right?
Problem with bargain basement QB’s is that they tend to yield bargain basement playoff success. Romo and Prescott have a combined 3 – 6 playoff record. Neither ever made it past the Divisional round while they were a Cowboy. QUICK! Where was Hall of Fame QB Troy Aikman selected? Oh that’s right! He was a #1 overall pick in 1989. He also won three Super Bowls.
So don’t expect much from the Cowboys trying to take a shortcut. Bargain basement effort, yields bargain basement returns.Top-shelf is on the top shelf for a reason. Reaching for anything else…is just settling. And unless 3 – 6 is your style, settling ain’t winning.
Next year the Cowboys will need a QB, and the guy they’re trying to short-change, will have an easier time finding job, than the Cowboys will of finding a new QB. That will leave the Cowboys with options like what’s left of Cam Newton or Phillip Rivers, Jacoby Brissett (not a bad option), Andy Dalton, Mitch Trubisky, Jameis Winston, or Nate Sudfeld. Folks, those are the highlights of the 2021 QB free agent market.
But Nate Sudfeld? Why Nate Sudfeld and not those other guys?
If the Cowboys are going to start looking for a franchise QB, they can only go one of two routes: A) Hand the keys to a rookie and roll the dice, or B) Develop a QB, to give him a bonafide chance to succeed. Picking door #1 could yield any result. Door #2 however, is a process. That’s where they would need Nate, specifically.
To develop a QB, a team has to do it from a point of stability. So they first need to start out with a QB who they can rely on if the new guy is a dud. So they’d need youth. Not raw youth, because then their older free agents won’t stick around to lose games, thus creating holes that will cost more draft picks. He also can’t be so bad that fans will scream for the young guy, well before he’s ready.
They’ll also need the QB to be relatively inexpensive. This is because getting some of those older FA’s to stay, will mean overpaying them. A young QB needs stability around him. Constant change has wasted plenty of promising QB talent. Right, RG3?
The final ingredient, is a guy that fans will let a team move on from, once that young gun is ready for the job. So while a guy like Brissett may look appealing from the get-go, you don’t want him accidentally growing on your fan base.
Nate Sudfeld was almost cooked up in a lab to be the Cowboys 2021 starter. Not a heavyweight, but not a lightweight. He’s been well-coached, isn’t too expensive, not an injury risk, has prototypical build, strong enough arm, comes from a winning culture, and might bring a wealth of intel about the enemy. Comb that list up there, and you’ll see that no one even comes close.
So why is an Eagles fan so giddy over the thought of Nate going there? Because the Cowboys will almost certainly not opt for developing a QB. Even if they do, the process takes a couple of years. That means barring a miracle after 2020, a division rival is out of the running for a minimum of two years. Longer if they get their gamble wrong.
Oh by the way. Keep in mind that ALL OF THIS is balanced against the ticking of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’s biological clock. So they will feel obligated to rush all of this. And people in a big rush, always do stupid things. Sometimes VERY stupid, costly things.
Damn. If only we’d signed Nate to a two year deal.
HEY Eagles fans, wanna see a magic trick? You know, it’s bad enough that GM Howie Roseman seems to have taken a contract out on his own team. It’s bad enough that we had to watch roster holes go unfilled, or filled with lower ranked players. But worse than all of that, is rival fans making fun of us, for selecting a QB in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
That magic trick, that I mentioned? I’m going to show you how to wipe that smile, right off of our rivals faces.
They clown us because QB Carson Wentz is “always injured” right? Well isn’t drafting QB Jalen Hurts a solid way of addressing that in a long-term fashion? QB Nate Sudfeld was just signed to a one year deal, meaning that this year Hurts gets to sit, and only do package work. For 2020 that’s likely how it goes, even if Wentz gets injured again.
Odds are that Hurts signs a three year deal in a month or so. Then he barely plays in 2020. He becomes the #2 in 2021, and even if he plays, he likely doesn’t set the world on fire. Year 2022 he enters as the #2 again, and the Eagles get to offer him an extension or trade him.
If he’s traded, we get something we value higher than him. If we re-sign him, it won’t break the bank, and is still inside of Wentz’s cap friendly deal, which runs through 2024. If Hurts is re-signed to a 4 or 5 year deal in 2022, then it gives the Eagles some negotiating leverage with Wentz in 2024. Unless Wentz has earned himself a second ring.
This means, as of today, we’re solid at QB through 2026. Can the Redskins say that? Can the Cowboys? The giants certainly hope that they can. We on the other hand, have an MVP caliber starter with a Super Bowl ring, who’s backed-up by a proven winner.
Granted, we Eagles fans may have wanted something else, but right now at QB, what we have on tap is better quality than some our rival’s top shelf. And if they’re reading this, you can bet that they’re not smiling.