Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

07 Nov 2005

MMQB: T(otally) O(utrageous)

Peter King says T.O. bears all the blame for his latest problems with his team. I'm a little puzzled by this piece of advice King gives Michael Irvin: "you're looking pretty silly blindly sticking up for a guy who would have thrown you out of the Cowboys locker room in a heartbeat 15 years ago." How would T.O. have had the ability to throw Irvin out of the locker room 15 years ago?

I'm also not entirely convinced that Bill Belichick wouldn't have taken Owens (after all, Corey Dillon had a similar reputation), and I strongly disagree with King's description of New England's receivers as "pedestrian."

Ultimately, King writes, "my guess is Owens is done as an Eagle."

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 07 Nov 2005

147 comments, Last at 10 Nov 2005, 5:32pm by Pat

Comments

1
by Malene, cph, dk (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 1:03pm

just a little glitch there MDS, I'm pretty sure it's our friend PK describing Branch and Givens as pedestrian, not BB himself. Otherwise, #37 would surely punish him for such disrespect.

2
by Michael David Smith :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 1:20pm

You know, I do like Peter's work. I think he's one of the best NFL reporters in the business. I don't like it when these boards turn into a series of criticisms of King. And yet...

This has to be the dumbest thing anyone has ever written: "7. I think the one thing you can't understand unless you live somewhere on the Eastern Seaboard between Washington and Boston -- or unless you once lived there -- is the intensity of a big sports event."

Right. Saturdays in Ann Arbor or South Bend or Gainesville or Baton Rouge aren't intense. Heavyweight title fights in Vegas aren't intense. The crowds cheering the San Antonio Spurs and Sacramento Kings aren't intense. Give me a break.

3
by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 1:22pm

Carolina (6-2). I love Steve Smith, TerryBradshaw's pick for midseason MVP on FOX Sunday. But, Terry, you can't tell me Steve Smith is more valuable to this team than Jake Delhomme, and you can't tell me he's more valuable to his team than Peyton Manning or Tom Brady are to their teams.

The Colts are nothing without Manning. Consequently, Peyton Manning should be MVP every year.

4
by DavidH (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 1:25pm

With 6:50 left in the game, they were nursing a 13-10 lead and driving for an insurance touchdown. Duce Staley ran around right end and instead or running out of bounds at the Packers' 2-yard line, he dove to stay inbounds and keep the clock running? That's 30 seconds less for the Packers to rebound after Pittsburgh scored.

I thought the clock only stopped when players went out of bounds in the last 5 minutes. Of course, I read that on the internet, so who knows if it's true. Can anyone clarify this for me?

5
by johnt (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 1:25pm

"I’m also not entirely convinced that Bill Belichick wouldn’t have taken Owens (after all, Corey Dillon had a similar reputation)"

I strongly disagree with you here. Corey Dillon's bad reputation was due to not winning; most of his temper tantrums were clearly out of frustration with the Bengals crappiness, so it wasn't that surprising that a move to a winning franchise helped him. TO's bad behavior isn't based on losing, it's based on TO being a jackass egomaniac, and I think that was pretty clear before he joined the Eagles. So no, I don't see BB taking him.

6
by Dan Riley (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 1:35pm

TIVO pays for itself every time I see T.O. or Michael Irvin start yapping on my TV screen. And when Irvin starts pimping for T.O., as he did on Countdown yesterday, I hit FF and write TIVO a bonus check. That being said, had they been teammates 15 years ago, I think Michael and T.O, would have been cokeheads together and we all would have been spared the tiresome saga of the world's richest, most talented 6-year old.

And maybe BB would have taken T.O., but only if, like Corey Dillon, he had made a show of good faith by giving up a large chunk of cash. Chances of that happening? Zero.

And what do I like about Monday Night Football and I don't mean Al Michaels? Back to Tedy Bruschi, the anti-T.O.

7
by Michael David Smith :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 1:35pm

Yes, DavidH, you're correct. Staley didn't run any extra time off the clock by staying in bounds.

8
by JG (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 1:36pm

DavidH - No matter what point in the game, if a player goes out of bounds the clock stops. The clock also stops for incomplete passes and some penalties.

9
by Pegskin (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 1:41pm

"...but I do know Reid views it as part of his mission on earth (not sure if it's a Mormon thing or not) to help people."

Is Andy Reid a Mormon? He sure doesn't look like he treats his body like a temple.

10
by DavidH (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 1:42pm

OK, getting conflicting replies here, so I went to NFL.com. I found this (linked in my name):

With the exception of the last two minutes of the first half and the last five minutes of the second half, the game clock will be restarted following a kickoff return, a player going out of bounds on a play from scrimmage, or after declined penalties when appropriate on the referee’s signal.

Not sure exactly what that means, but it sounds to me like the clock stops, but is restarted by the official once he spots the ball. So it does stop, but it starts again before the snap. Does that sound right?

11
by Michael David Smith :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 1:45pm

You're wrong, JG. That used to be the rule (and still is in college) but it has changed. The official on the sideline has the discretion to stop the clock or keep it running when a player goes out of bounds, depending on whether he can get it spotted immediately. But once it is spotted, the clock starts running again except in the last two minutes of the first half or last five minutes of the second. Peter was wrong on this one.

12
by TomC (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 1:49pm

[H]ad they been teammates 15 years ago, I think Michael and T.O, would have been cokeheads together...

That's completely ignorant. T.O. is an immature, selfish jerk, but he's clean as a whistle. Which is more than I can say for your man-crush Bruschi (click my name for Tedy's brush with the law).

13
by Michael David Smith :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 1:55pm

I'm with you on that one, TomC. T.O. is a jackass in a lot of ways, but there are lots of NFL players who have done worse things and aren't treated nearly as harshly as he is. Are his problems of his own making? Yes. Is he even close to the worst person in a league with plenty of drunk drivers and wife beaters? No.

14
by ToxikFetus (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 2:10pm

Re 13:

It depends on your definition of "worst person." If by that you mean "worst citizen," then T.O. is nowhere near the top of that list (*cough* Baltimore Ravens *cough*). However, if you mean "worst teammate," then I think it's safe to say Owens is making a good case for himself.

15
by Andrew (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 2:11pm

MDS #2:

I think the intensity factor he refers to is how the entire region gets jacked up for games for weeks on end.

Here in Philadelphia during football season, the entire town is decked out in Eagles decorations for the duration, the public transit buses run around with their route signs blinking to "Go Eagles!" every few seconds, and when game time comes, the Priests pray for Eagles victories at Sunday Mass before game time and 50%+ of the region is watching the game and the town is dead and the streets deserted. And when the team loses, everyone around town walks around with sad long faces the next day and is depressed. And when the team wins a huge game, like the Eagles winning the NFC championship last year, or when the Yankees won the 1996 World Series, the streets are suddenly alive even in quiet residential neighborhoods with kids banging pots and people shouting and celebrating, every car on the street suddenly has delerious people screaming out the window and people pour out of the bars to start celebrations in the street.

Outside of a few places like Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Green Bay, I don't think much of the rest of the country matches the sort of out of their minds fervor that Eagles, Giants, Redskins, fans (or Red Sox and Yankees fans) inspire in their city.

Certainly, when you see a game in Miami and the fans of the Steelers or Eagles or Giants are louder than the Dolphins fans, you know where the real fervor lies.

16
by Jerry F. (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 2:16pm

Chiefs fans seem as intense as any.
Also, BB did take David Terrell, who was both a jerk, and not very good.

17
by EJP (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 2:17pm

I have never seen anything like the atmosphere in Green Bay (actually, the whole state of Wisconsin) during the football season. Packers football is religion there.

18
by Andrew (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 2:23pm

EJP:

I've lived in a few places. I agree Packers Football fervor is right up there with Steelers fervor, Eagles fervor, Yankees fervor, and Red Sox fervor. It is just a constant presence and hangs over everything while it is going on.

19
by NFC Central Freak (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 2:23pm

Peter King is the classic management lackey. Approximately a year ago he "analyzed" the Owens contract and gave kudos to the Eagles front office for being so clever in its structure. That it was one-sided in the extreme was irrelevant.

Folks have explained to me that Owens was made aware of the downside of this contract. Which if so, is FURTHER indictment of the Eagles front office. They clearly knew they were taking advantage of the situation. And now it has blown up in their face.

And now King further excuses the Eagles by discussing how Andy Reid just wants to help Owens.

Well excuse me for thinking but Terrell Owens wants cash and wants it now. Andy Reid is smart enough to know that. And I guarantee he knew it THEN. He was interested in helping the EAGLES. Which is his job.

I continue to return to the contract and will continue to do so because I believe that is the core of this entire mess. For folks to wag their finger at TO for being a "bad" guy need to stop for a moment and consider why a grown man would lash out repeatedly at those around him?

He could be mentally unstable. Or he could be incredibly angry. Or both.

I think it's a small amount of the former and a LOT of the latter.

As a side note, I am developing the personal opinion that Peter King is a craven, despicable human being.

20
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 2:26pm

Re: 15 & 2

I think MDS is exactly right. To suggest that the rest of us hillbillies can't possibly be familiar with the sporting intensity associated with the 'eastern seaboard' is stereotypical of 'eastern seaboard' arrogance.

21
by Phil (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 2:28pm

RE: #12

Wow....that's the best you could offer?

22
by EJP (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 2:31pm

NFC Central Freak

Don't be vague or obtuse with your thoughts; let us know how you really feel.

23
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 2:33pm

Freak, to form an opionion that someone is a "despicable human being", based on his opinion of the Terrell Owens/Eagles conflict, is to embace a severely warped view of human affairs.

Bank robbers, embezzlers, stock fraud artists, rapists, child molesters, murderers, etc., are "despicable human beings". Peter King is just a guy who is paid to utter opinions about football that you disagree with. Get a grip.

24
by charles (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 2:34pm

f. Great intro by ESPN on the Sunday night game. Really good. Captured the drama and the weirdness well.

yeah, that was a surprisingly good intro from espn.
Note that the song being played in the intro was BoneCrusher "Never Scared" not bob dylan.

25
by Phil (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 2:35pm

RE: #15

I think that it's clear that you've never attended a college FB game, or any game outside of Philly for that matter. I've been to FSU games, and that's intense. Motorhomes and things of that sort start to roll in on Monday. And on Campus you have war drums being beat for literally 24 hours a day until kickoff. I'm sure that it's very similar in other football towns outside of the eastern seaboard as King said. Just ask someone from Texas or Oklahoma....where they tread HIGH SCHOOL football like it's the pros. I don't think the Pro game tailgates could even come close to matching the college game tailgates in terms of intensity.

26
by charles (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 2:35pm

but you know nothing gets me hype to watch football like dylan, you know.

27
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 2:37pm

Yeah, that Bruschi, wotta war criminal...he once got into an argument with a bouncer!

28
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 2:38pm

Re: 19

I have to admit I'm surprised at how personal the commentary (including King's) on TO has gotten. ESPN's Mike Patrick made a comment on air last night that really surprised me. This sorta stuff makes detached, objective journalism tough to find.

On your point about his contract, I would think that most grown (mature) men who have nobody but themselves to blame for a mistake (TO's contract) would swallow hard, learn from the experience and move on. I don't think they would blame everyone but themselves and denigrate innocent bystanders (i.e. teammates) in an attempt to get a 'do over'.

29
by cma (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 2:40pm

re: 23

I once saw Peter King torture a kitten. It was very craven. And dastardly.

30
by cma (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 2:42pm

re: 27

I think Bruschi's real crime was that hair.

31
by NFC Central Freak (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 2:44pm

Will:

Sigh, my assessment is based upon having read Peter King's work for approximately a decade.

I will not recount every instance here which has led me to my current assessment.

32
by ToxikFetus (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 2:51pm

Re 19:

Certainly T.O.'s training camp shenanigans were in some (or most) part due to the contract situation. However, if I remember correctly, T.O. called out his teammates' Super Bowl performance BEFORE starting the contract fight with Eagles management last spring.

33
by NFC Central Freak (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 2:55pm

TF:

I am referencing the time when the Eagles first signed T.O. They knew then that this would at some point turn into a situation. That it has and Eagles management has avoided any responsibility is a credit to their PR abilities.

34
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 2:56pm

#31
I like how King talks about speeding and driving on the shoulder to get to his interview with Andy Reid. Classy guy...

35
by stan (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 2:56pm

#15,

In Knoxville, people who don't even like football wear orange on Fridays and Saturdays (even old ladies working at day care centers). People begin bringing their boats down the river to tailgate days before the game. Over 100,000 pack the stadium for every game, even if they are playing a no-name cupcake.

For Florida-Georgia in Jax every year, all the decent motor home spots around the stadium are taken by Wednesday.

No matter what time of the year in Alabama, upon meeting someone for the first time, it is not unusual to be asked whether one supports Auburn or the Tide. Possible friendship may well depend on the answer.

You can be absolutely certain that in hotbeds for football like Alabama, Nebraska, Knoxville, etc., on Mondays a higher percentage of the population knows the result of the last game than the percentage of Philadelphians who know whether the Eagles won or not. And it's not even close.

Of course, for real intense fan interest, go to Europe. When I was in Italy during the 1990 World Cup, the entire country came to a stop whenever the Italian team was on TV. No traffic, no crime, nothing moved for two hours.

36
by Phil (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 3:01pm

Freak...You are starting to go a little over-board now. You've been arguing on behalf of TO for 2 days now. Mostly complaining that it's the Eagles front offices' fault that they brokered a deal that favored themselves. It seems preposterous that you could believe that what the Eagles did was wrong. If it was so bad, the deal couldn't, repeat COULD NOT, be finalized by the Players Union, all that deal did was favor the organization. TO was advised by a number or different parties that he SHOULD NOT accept the deal, but did so anyway? What is so hard to understand that TO was a willing and able participant in the contract who knew what he was getting into BEFORE he signed the deal?

37
by NFC Central Freak (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 3:09pm

Phil:

First, I am not "complaining". Merely pointing out a possible rationale for semmingly irrational behavior.

Second, I have written MULTIPLE times that the Eagles/Andy Reid did what was in their best interests. That's fine. It's business.

ALL I AM TRYING TO POINT OUT is that it's unfair to point the finger solely at Owens. His behavior is far more high-profile. And utterly unprofessional.

But unless someone proves to me that the guy is completely mentally unstable there has to be a reason for this nonsense.

And I think it's because he feels cheated. And I I also think there is some justification to that sentiment.

Cripes, I am a REPUBLICAN for heaven's sake. I read myself and think I'm some Teamster shill. But exploitation is exploitation. And demonizing someone for wanting to earn what they think they are worth is pretty lame stuff.

38
by Phil (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 3:18pm

If you were to take out the words "Owens", "Eagles" & "Reid", I'd probably agree with you 100%. However, the fact remains TO is still in the top five for paid WRs, is he not (I thought I heard that somewhere, so I could be wrong)? So what's left for him to whine about? I don't think anyone has to prove to you that TOs unstable. If you can't notice that while he's doing sit-ups in his driveway while news crews are asking him questions minutes after being kicked out of practice, than I don't know what to tell you. It maybe unfair to point the finger soley at TO, but he's not making it easy not to. I also dissagree with the fact that the media ALWAYS takes the side of managment. Who ever says that is obviously not a Boston Bruins fan, or Brewers fan, or a fan of the old Expos--the list goes on. If an organization is cheap or stingy or ignorant toward their fans, give the fans/media enough credit to see that.

39
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 3:21pm

Look, there is a very reasonable line of thought that argues that it is a good idea to leave some money on the table when negotiating with somebody who one is going to have a long-term relationship with, and that squeezing every last nickel out of a transaction creates more bad feelings than the nickel is worth. The Eagles may be guilty of violating that tenet in this instance, and are certainly guilty of knowingly hiring an idiot. As I've stated before, hiring morons is often counterproductive, so it is a practice best avoided, or if the moron's other talents are so rare as to make him unavoidable, it is a practice that must be engaged in very carefully.

If one decides to hire a moron, however, it just may be that the best way to do so is to structure the deal as one-sidedly as possible, so the relationship can be dissolved with the least amount of harm. Since an idiot will always eventually revert back to his fundamental nature, and it is only a question of when, the employer may be better off structuring the deal with that fact in mind, and using the employees talents as best one can until the inevitable occurs.

Freak, whatever you have read of King's over the years, he's still jest'a jamoke scribbling about football, fer' goodness sakes.

40
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 3:21pm

Re: 33

I think the vast majority of folks believe that the Eagles should have known something like this would eventually happen. (Frankly, that's just more support for their need/interest in structuring his contract the way they did.)

There hasn't been a lot of media focus on this for several reasons.

1. TO's strategy. The 'make yourself an increasing pain in the ass until they give in' strategy creates some natural sympathy for the other side.

2. Timing. While TO is in full misbehavior mode, the team is not going to be the focus. Eventually, their mistakes will be revisited. In fact, a number of media types (including King, I think) already issued their I-told-you-so's to the Eagles during the preseason.

41
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 3:26pm

Freak, Owens is a very, very, stupid person. That is why this situation exists, and there is nothing more complicated about it.

42
by Ray (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 3:26pm

#37 "demonizing someone for wanting to earn what they think they are worth is pretty lame stuff."

That's not why he's being demonized. He's being demonized because he's consistantly throwing his teammates under the bus even though they have no influence on his contract situation. After all, there are several players who make a big fuss about their contract and they don't get this treatment. Why? Because they keep it between them and management, and they don't involve their teammates.

And by the way, his contract isn't that bad if you look at the first three years. From what I read when it was signed, those first two years are there as a probation period to make sure he can keep his act together. If he plays good football and is a good teammate for 2 years, then he gets a nice reward before year 3. Well, look what's happened.

No one will blame TO for wanting to be paid what he's worth. You made the point in another thread that you don't think people should be able to put a maximum to what you get paid, and you should be able to improve your earning potential. That's true, but you shouldn't expect what you're getting paid to change if you've signed a long-term contract which specifies that compensation.

TO knowingly agreed to his compenation on a long-term basis. And when he wanted to renegotiate, did he privately approach management and ask to look at his contract again? No, he went to the media and took shots at his teammates and the organization. I read a quote a few months back where one of the people on the inside of the Eagles organization said that if he had approached them privately first, they probably would have been willing to renegotiate based on his Super Bowl performance.

So yeah, in the end the Eagles signed Owens, and so the headaches that result from that are partially their fault. But in the end, it's still Owens who criticizes his teammates publicly and can't shake a grudge and causes a lot of drama inside the organization.

Everything that Owens gets from the media is deserved.

43
by Phil (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 3:27pm

Amen

44
by NFC Central Freak (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 3:27pm

Will:

Regarding King, he's made himself more than that by diverging into political and social commentary. That he is utterly clueless about economics, anti-free market, and less than compassionate to those who in other forums would be called "mentally challenged" makes my physically ill.

I read his column because he does have direct contact with folks in the game that I love. That someone so incredibly narrow-minded and lacks critical thinking skills is the conduit between us and the inside NFL is more than a tad disturbing.

45
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 3:29pm

And demonizing someone for wanting to earn what they think they are worth is pretty lame stuff.

Well, I think a lot of people were demonizing him for the way he was trying to get what he thinks he's worth.

Saying you're underpaid is one thing. Westbrook said he was underpaid all the time, and continued to say he was underpaid during the season. But he only held out for about a week in training camp, and then has been a model citizen ever since.

I mean, you can't really fault the Eagles here. TO wasn't really upset that the contract undervalued him - he was upset because he was convinced he was going to be let go next year due to the contract structure.

He even said that he'd be happy if the Eagles would just guarantee his next year. Let me stress that - this was about Owens being upset that he thought he was going to be cut next year. To him, the only problem with the contract was the fact that he thought it was a two-year contract only.

The problem is that the Eagles knew he might be a problem, which is why they structured his contract to give them an out after two years. Good idea - especially considering now they have umpteen millions of cap room if they ditch him next year.

46
by Eric Dickerson (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 3:29pm

"I just talked to Daunte Culpepper. He said he's bout-it bout-it. I'm bout-it bout-it. Back to you Al."

47
by Al (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 3:32pm

Thank you Dick...

48
by TO the prima donna software engineer (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 3:38pm

Man, I hate my job. I get paid $55,000 a year, and I should be getting at least $65,000. If my coworkers didn't suck so much, then everyone would realize how great the code I write is. It's that idiot McBann who screwed up and put that bug in the code, not me. None of the bugs are ever my fault. Not only that, but I didn't even get a free cake for finishing that software module 2 days ahead of time, although the company did say that they were only recognizing department wide accomplishments, but I still should have gotten a cake. I'm going to bitch and moan to all of my coworkers about how much the bosses suck and they should recognize me for what a great worker I am.

What, now the company doesn't like me anymore and doesn't want me to come in? Because I managed to make things so miserable that no one else could get any work done and my manager had to spend all day soothing egos after I pissed people off? My behavior was totally justifiable, because I didn't get a raise.

49
by Browns Dude (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 3:41pm

NFC Central Freak: Missing the point since the first time he missed the point!

50
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 3:41pm

Lemme get this straight, freak; King writes stuff you disagree with, so that makes him a "despicable human being". Really. I'll repeat with emphasis. Get a very, very, large grip, and do so as rapidly as possible.

Look, I'm not trying to be hostile here, but you appear to have blown up a discussion about an employee/employer dispute to proportions that defy understanding.

51
by Milton (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 3:43pm

I said No salt in my margarita...No Salt! I will not be leaving a tip!

52
by Fnor (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 3:45pm

Waaait a minute. So, The Eagles realizing that TO is a problem and making the contract to help them when that problem comes up is underhanded? What about TO's ability to just shut up and avoid the problem? Or are contract options only good when they gain the player extra cash? Is mangement somehow not good enough to have have the converse: to manage their risk just as the player manages their reward.

Secondly, you can be damn sure that Owens knew what was in his contract, and exactly what every single bit entailed. He and his lawyers negotiated it. He and his lawyers went over it. He then signed it. He agreed to all this, there wasn't any wool pulled over his eyes. If he needs new lawyers, fine. That's his problem, not the Eagles'.

NFC Central Freak said, "He could be mentally unstable. Or he could be incredibly angry. Or both." That's not true. He could be other things. Spoiled by his success, perhaps. Or greedy. Or trying to promote himself unconventionally. Any of those things.

Why do we CARE why Owens is angry? Why do we care that an agreement he entered into freely wasn't as beneficial to him as to the other party-- especially when the detriment was due to his own actions?

And the only reason we can talk about this at all is because of the lax nature of sports contracts. If this were a bricklayer and a general contracter, he GC would have his ass in court, get restitution, and never deal with him again. Owens had a very favorable field of contracts to work with, he had the option of going to another place with a different contract, negotiating a different contract, a whole bevy of options.

Excuse me if I don't feel sorry for him. The emotion is more disdain.

53
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 3:46pm

Will: Uh oh. NFCCF commencing detonation in 3... 2... 1...

Really, I kid, I kid.

54
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 3:48pm

Again, it should be noted that Owens wasn't really upset about the total monetary amount, just the fact that he was going to be cut after this year. Really. His agent basically said so.

The fact that he then blew up during the year, forcing the team to suspend him, thus torpedoing any chance of the team keeping him next year, just shows that he's uh, not very bright.

55
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 3:51pm

Re: 41

I don't see a lot of evidence that TO is unintelligent (at least, not by NFL standards). Poor judgement and an inflated sense of self importance seem like more obvious issues.

56
by DJAnyReason (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 3:54pm

A large part of the problem with TO is due to the fundamental one-sidedness of the current NFL CBA. TO (and a lot of Drew Rosenhaus clients) talk about the fact that they have basically no job security A LOT.

People in this thread have been talking about how TO ought to honor the contract he signed, but there's no guarantee that the Eagles will honor the contract they signed. In fact, as Pat points out, its likely they won't. The Eagles, like any NFL team, can cut bait whenever they wish as long as they can afford it under the cap. If they think a player is overpaid, he's gone. The team assumes little to no risk. If a player, however, feels he's underpaid, he can't do jack about it. A more fair system would allow players to pay back a pro-rated portion of their signing bonus and declare free agency. Of course, the NFLPA negotiated this one-sided deal, but the NFLPA is a complete and utter joke.

Its the fundamental one-sided assumption of risk in the contracts that drive this and other hold-out situations, and, as more agents take on Rosenhaus tactics, hold-outs and contract disputes will become more and more prevalant. The only people who benefit from that are the talking heads at ESPN and SI.

57
by NFC Central Freak (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 3:56pm

All:

We disagree. It happens.

But here is what doesn't make sense to me:

If he is very, very stupid as several have pointed out how can he have known much of anything? Much less a complicated personal services contract?

Look, for the UMPTEENTH time the guy's behavior has been unprofessional. I have used that adjective repeatedly.

But if he is DUMB, he's DUMB. And exploiting that lack of intelligence is typically not something that society believes is appropriate behavior.

Many of you think T.O. should be riding the "short bus". Would you swindle a person like that out of their lunch money?

58
by Fnor (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 4:09pm

#57: That's why contracts are negotiated by lawyers, not athletes. It's pretty irrelevant how stupid he is. He's not framing it, and all he's doing is telling his people to go out and get things for him, and have them explain terms to him. I really don't see how this is possibly an exploitation issue.

#56: They can do things. Most players can call for a trade or ask for waivers. Everyone can hold out for more money. Exactly how is the CBA different from at-will employment, like the rest of us have? Job security is rarely if ever a function of contract.

59
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 4:10pm

(psst, Will: Boom! :) )

If he is very, very stupid as several have pointed out how can he have known much of anything? Much less a complicated personal services contract?

Because he pays someone a whole, whole lot of money to explain it to him.

Either
A) Rosenhaus agrees with what he's doing, in which case TO, stupid as he might be, should realize Rosenhaus is now costing him $200K/week, fire him, hire someone new, and apologize a lot real fast for listening to the arguments of someone dumb,
or
B) Rosenhaus doesn't agree with what he's doing, in which case TO's not listening to the guy who he's paid to figure out these complicated contracts.

I nominate B.

And exploiting that lack of intelligence is typically not something that society believes is appropriate behavior.

The Eagles didn't exploit TO being dumb (if anything, they exploited his agent: but that's the way things have to work in a contract negotiation). TO was fine with the money in the contract. He just believed he was going to be cut next year.

When, in truth, that contract was negotiated to ensure that if TO didn't work out in the locker room (in other words, if he wasn't worth the money) the Eagles could cut him.

I nominate Aaron starting an Irrational Terrell Owens Contract Thread. Anyone else agree with me? Anyone?

60
by james (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 4:11pm

re: T.O

I love it! Finally, an organization that has chewed up and spit out its players and gotten away with it for years is catching hell for the way it treats player demands.

Let me get this straight

81 takes you to a place you've never been before..superbowl

Then 81 wants to be payed like he's never been payed before. Even exchange if you ask me.

Eagles say "fuck you". T.O says "fuck you". Edge in the battle of leverage as of 11/07: T.O.

These guys might not make the playoffs and I look directly at the organization. 2 million more dollars and they are in the playoffs, which is well worth it.

Instead they are out. T.O has conquered Hugh Douglas and now the Eagles organization. "Who's Next?".

Being the bully has not payed off. Sometimes you have to know when someone has you by the balls and be smart enough to give em what they want, especially if you will make more money(playoff home games) if they are happy.

Instead the organization arrogantly chose to play hardball.

Eagles fans should be up in arms and pounding Jeffrie for his tactics.

T.O looks bad, but who is worse off? Eagles not in playoffs after a trip to the superbowl or T.O, who noone thought highly of in the first place.

I love this T.O guy. Keep doing what you're doing 81.

61
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 4:12pm

DJ, this was discussed yesterday in another thread, but I'll point it out again. There is nothing in the CBA which prevents an unrestricted free agent from stating that he will only look at contracts which have 100% guaranteed money. That players with an extreme amount of leverage, such as Peyton Manning, don't play out their rookie deal, and then make such a demand, reveals a preference for the current system of large signing bonuses followed by option years to be exercised by the team.

Certainly the franchise player designation inhibits the pursuit of this strategy, and I would expect the players to vigorously strive to remove that provision in their next CBA. The current system of large intitial bonuses, followed by option years to be exercised by the teams, is something that both sides reveal, through their behavior, to be their preference.

62
by Andrew (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 4:18pm

Phil #25:

I'm familiar with college fervor, and have witnessed ti up close and personal in Happy Valley.

That being said, its hold is generally limited to the alumni and students.

For certain professional sports teams, the fervor grips entire cities and states.

63
by DJAnyReason (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 4:20pm

#61

Not entirely.

The entire system is currently run under the bonus/option scheme, which heavily benefits management. For a player to strike out on his own and say "I will only work for guaranteed money" would be contractual suicide - he'd have to be one of the best players in the league to even get a deal, and then it'd probably be far less than his cohort set. Not just because teams like the current set-up, but because its different, and thus the risk seems even higher, as teams don't know how to deal with it. Plus, given the realities of the cap situation, having the option system makes sense.

I'd also like to point out that Drew Rosenhaus clients don't seem to be very happy with the bonus/option system, as evidenced by the number threatening and performing hold-outs this year. And, since Drew is currently seeing a major influx of clients, we can expect other agents to soon adopt his tactics and mindset, leading to more players whose representatives cultivate their displeasure with the bonus/option system. More hold outs aren't good for players, aren't good for owners, aren't good for fans. They are good for the media.

64
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 4:23pm

These guys might not make the playoffs and I look directly at the organization. 2 million more dollars and they are in the playoffs, which is well worth it.

blink

Where can the Eagles get another QB at 2004 McNabb's level for $2M?

Seriously, if you think the sole reason that the Eagles aren't going to the playoffs this year is because of Owens, you're nuts. Owens was in the lineup last week against Denver - they didn't win. Owens was in the lineup versus Dallas - they didn't win.

Finally, an organization that has chewed up and spit out its players and gotten away with it for years is catching hell for the way it treats player demands.

I think someone's just spiteful that the Redskins signed so many of the Eagles players that they refused to retain (because, uh, they weren't worth the money they were asking for).

65
by Sean (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 4:23pm

Re 19: I happen to agree with you. But I think that it's actually about more than the money. I think that McNabb and Reid permanently damaged themselves in TO's eyes by their performances in the Super Bowl, and that Owens came to the conclusion that neither one of them were, for lack of a better term, "winners." Since that point, he's been angling to get paid or get out of town and try to win a championship somewhere else.

That's the thing about TO- it's not like he's an all stats guy or that he doesn't care about winning. He clearly cares a great deal, and that he's decided that he can't win in Philly. So he's going about getting out of the situation the only way he can- by making himself completely intolerable to everyone in the organization. It's not a nice guy approach, but it's not stupid, and I don't think it's all about ego, either.

66
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 4:32pm

"Swindle" certainly implies some act of deceit by one party to a transaction. I fail to see any deceit on the Eagles' part. They clearly stated the terms they were offering. Owens agreed to them. Where's the swindle?

Has Owens been declared legally incompetent? It is possible, after all, to be a complete blithering idiot while maintaining one's legally competent state. In fact, it can be reasonably argued that one of the vital functions of the free market is to reduce the capital that is retained by, or flows to, blithering idiots, in that society as a whole benefits when more capital is directed by those who are not blithering idiots. Thus, the barriers to declaring someone legally incompetent, beyond the desire to avoid authoritarianism, is correctly placed very high.

Mawbrew, at what point does a person's judgement become so poor that it is accurate to state that that the person is a moron?

67
by Ray (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 4:32pm

RE:#63 "For a player to strike out on his own and say 'I will only work for guaranteed money' would be contractual suicide"

Tell that to Adam Vinatieri.

68
by Phil (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 4:36pm

Andrew #62

I'm very sure that Happy Valley can get pretty crazy sometimes. However, I'd say that Penn State maybe more of the exception than the rule when it comes to big-time college programs, because of its geographical location, and number of outlets for sports fans. If you get a chance to go to a college football game in the south, do it! You'll never experience anything like it. We haven't even mentioned basketball fans, yet (See: Indiana, Duke, UNC). This is coming from someone who lives in New England, and has followed New England teams since birth. Ever hear how passionate Red Sox fans are? I think I have a frame of reference when making comparisons.

69
by Vash (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 4:37pm

As usual, King covers all his base for Monday night, picking the Colts but saying the Pats will probably win.
Either way, he can say, "I called it!"

70
by Chris Owen (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 4:38pm

I think that one of freak’s main points is that whatever you think of TO’s situation, King is simply not qualified to offer his perspective, and I agree. Maybe King is nothing more than a management shill. If so, that’s a perspective one is entitled to. And as noted above, TO has done everything he possibly could to foster sympathy for management’s position. But does it really take a genius to point out that TO is a complete idiot? A halfway helpful analysis of TO’s situation would at least mention on TO’s March roster bonus, which was supposed to be the checkpoint at which management could decide whether to keep Owens. TO wants to win and to make money, and you can argue that the Eagles have given him a great opportunity to do both. Now TO wants out of Philly, and the legitimate question is not whether he is in Philly next year, but where he ends up and on what terms? Will TO really ink a fatter contract with a Super Bowl contender next year? It’s hard to argue that someone as selfish as Owen is truly helping himself out.

But King doesn’t seem capable of bringing this issue up; he’s more interested in using his brand of celebrity-worship journalism to make McNabb, Reid, and management look better in comparison. Gee, that’s tough. But I don’t think King is a management shill. I think he’s too stupid to be one. When Owens was threatening to hold out, King repeatedly stated that Owens was only one year into a seven year contract, and called TO out for not honoring it. King also repeatedly stated how clever the Eagles were to structure the contract so that they could cut Owens as early as one year into the contract without taking a big salary cap hit. Not once did King seem to notice his inconsistency on the sanctity of a contract. Yes, I know the language of contracts allows teams to cut players and prohibits players from holding out. It’s still an inconsistency on King’s part, and as the freak hinted, this is just one of many issues that King “reports� on without even vaguely understanding them. The comments to the effect that only the Northeast gets excited about sporting events was only one of several examples in this very piece.

King’s comments don’t make him a despicable human being, but they do expose him as something of a fraud. If anything, SI is just as guilty here for encouraging King to write in a format that reveals his ignorance rather than his talents.

71
by DJAnyReason (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 4:40pm

#67

I also said: "he’d have to be one of the best players in the league to even get a deal"

Adam V. certainly qualifies as such at kicker. Moreover, the Pats were heading into perpetual franchise-tagging if they didn't sign a long term deal, which is essentially guaranteed money. And, finally, Adam V. is noted as making less than both Olindo Mare and Martin Gramatica. Would you rather have Adam V. or one of those two on your team? Note how I said paid less than the cohort set?

Plus, as a kicker, he's in the virtually lowest risk position, both for injury and skill atrophy. Think a RB could easily get a guaranteed deal?

Just because the majority chooses not to rock the boat on the system in place doesn't mean they'd choose to keep the system if given an unbiased choice. The amount of noise from Rosenhaus clients this offseason seems to suggest that there is a current of discontent throughout the league

72
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 4:47pm

DJ, there is a player with 100% guaranteed money: Adam Vinateri. He demanded it , and got it, likely because the Patriots we're quite comfortable with him personally, and because the risk of injury to kickers is low. You seem to believe that there is something in the CBA which prevents a contract from being 100% guaranteed. There is not, although, as stated above, the franchise player designation certainly inhibits the players' leverage in this regard. If I were a player, it is this provision which I would most object to.

Again, there is nothing, and never has been anything, that prevented Peyton Manning from following the same strategy as Adam Viniteri. He didn't do so because he came to the conclusion that what he likely would have received in 100% guaranteed offers from other teams was inferior to what the Colts were offering.

As to Rosenhaus' clients, and prospective clents, if they wish to demand 100% guaranteed money when negotiating contracts, then by all means they should do so. I don't see any evidence that his clients hold out with greater frequency than other prominent NFL players.

73
by TomC (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 4:47pm

re: 21 & 27 -

My point was not that Bruschi is an axe-murderer, but that this week's hero has been in trouble with the law, while this week's villain has not.

re: 34 -

Amen! How screwed up are your priorities when you think that risking lives is better than making an NFL coach wait a few minutes?

74
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 4:50pm

Re: 66

About the time they step off the roof of a three story building to get to the street faster.

Not sure TO's their yet.

75
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 4:53pm

Well, yes, DJ, players whose services are very highly desired have more negotiating leverage than players whose services are less highly desired. Thus, players with highly desired services are much better able to negotiate terms which they find favorable. In what way is this notable?

76
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 4:57pm

Regarding guaranteed contracts, I think players that insisted on such contracts would (assuming demonstrated NFL talent), in fact, get them. Of course, most such contracts would have very limited duration. :-)

77
by Capt Trips (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 5:03pm

Hey, if you really want to punish T.O., send him to the JETS! (J.E.T.S. = Just end the season!)
& Herm would probably have an impact on him, and he wouldn't be allowed to talk to the media to begin with.. it could be a win/win deal ~

78
by Ray (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 5:04pm

RE:#71

DJ, the point really is that players CAN negotiate guaranteed contracts if they WANT to. When they DON'T sign a guaranteed contract (which is by far the most common case) it's because they've apparently decided that it's not worth it.

Now, I'll throw in an exception for low-drafted and UFA players who would be signed for the league minimum anyway. They probably won't have leverage to get a guaranteed contract.

But pretty much any player who's getting a signing bonus could probably decline the bonus and accept a lower salary to guarantee the contract. Why not do it then? Because when first signing the contract, the draw of a signing bonus and the possibility that the unguaranteed contract presents is enough for players to prefer that path.

So the fact is that unguaranteed contracts are a CHOICE made by players. I think the actual number of guaranteed contracts in the NFL says more about human nature than it does about the NFL or the NFLPA.

And contrary to the apparent perception around here, players DO get contracts renegotiated upwards, although it is usually referred to as an extension. Case in point is Anquan Boldin. Grossly outperforming his rookie contract, he's making nice money after renegotiating in the off-season.

But in the end, the contract structure of the NFL is heavily influenced by the frequency of injuries to NFL players. NFL teams (and owners) would be in a sorry state if they were to guarantee all contracts, because many would be carrying so many players who could no longer add value to the team that they couldn't afford to field enough talent to be competitive.

79
by NFC Central Freak (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 5:08pm

"But in the end, the contract structure of the NFL is heavily influenced by the frequency of injuries to NFL players. NFL teams (and owners) would be in a sorry state if they were to guarantee all contracts, because many would be carrying so many players who could no longer add value to the team that they couldn’t afford to field enough talent to be competitive."

I am doing research on that very question.

Currently, the research does NOT support that statement. Though I am sure NFL management would want folks to believe otherwise.

80
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 5:13pm

Sean, what do you think the odds are of T.O. getting as much money next year from another organization as good as the Eagles, with what he likely would have earned from the Eagles, given his behavior over the past eight months? He isn't 25 years old, with plenty of time to make it up on the back end, either in terms of winning a Super Bowl, or in terms of pure dollars.

Maybe he will prove me wrong by ending up with one of the handful of other clubs which are run well enough to contend in any given year, by accepting contract provisions which will make his current Eagles deal seem generous, in which case it will be accurate to state that Owens was willing to engage in a superbly crafted Machiavellian strategy to achieve his goal of winning a Super Bowl, at the cost of financial gain. Until then, it is much more likely that Owens is a blithering dolt.

81
by dryheat (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 5:15pm

#16 To be fair, Belichick also cut Terrell, which many coaches wouldn't have the stones to do so soon after signing him.

#28 I was also stunned to hear Patrick's blunt commentary on Owens. What was it? "Biggest Jerk in NFL History"?

82
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 5:18pm

Well, owners wouldn't be in a sorry state if they guaranteed contracts, because they being reasonably rational human beings with reasonable powers of analysis, would simply discount their offers to reflect the injury risk. I agree with the rest of the post, however.

83
by james (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 5:21pm

pat no. 64,

I think Trotter is the only guy the skins signed from the Eagles. "So many" is an overstatement. Now if you say Jets, then I say touche. Is my statement from jealousy? Sort of. The Eagles have always managed the cap 10x better than the skins. I've always said that type of player management is going to catch up and I'm praying this is the beginning of that. There is a lot of homerism in my statement.

Who's to say why the Eagles are playing so poorly this season? I have theory about team harmony. I think that philly always had great team harmony. For at team that always outplayed its talent, this year philly seems pretty flapable(sic).

IMO, with the same "swagger" they had in year's past they have maybe one loss against this schedule. In year's past they could insert detmer or feely and keep rolling. Now they can't. I think the T.O situation has taken its toll.

You can point to dvoa and say they just aren't playing as well but in my opinion that is the cart. T.O is the horse. Or we can call level of play the chicken, but T.O is definitely the egg.

If he's happy, the Eagles are rolling right now.

The skins are entirely average at best, so I'm not going to take 5-3 and run with it. I am surrounded by Philly fans and am delighted to see so many speechless. E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES! Gets annoying when 19 year old girls who know nothing about football scream everytime the Eagles run a play. Maybe if they are just .500 this year I won't have to hear that any longer. Make no mistake, I am praying for such a thing. If it happens I will definitely have T.O to thank. I love that guy!

84
by cma (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 5:24pm

TO done in Philly. Let the speculation of where he'll end up next begin! I vote Baltimore so that Ray Lewis can kill him.

85
by NFC Central Freak (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 5:27pm

Will:

For heaven's sake. Have you examined the action of the MLB owners the last three decades?

Clearly, you give far too much credit for the people making the financial decisions.

NFL teams decisions appear rationale because the cap provides them with a clearly defined structure to work within.

If not for that artificial boundary I would expect behavior much like what is seen in MLB and WHAT WAS seen in the NHL.

Before the NHL realized that free will and finances don't go well together.

Don't any of you have teenagers?

86
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 5:29pm

Re: 81

I'm not sure he included 'history', but that seems pretty close. I think it's possible to report on this without engaging in namecalling, but that seems to be the exception. They are all entitled to say/write what they want it just seems a little juvenile (and unprofessional) to me.

87
by Ray (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 5:39pm

RE:#82 "Well, owners wouldn’t be in a sorry state if they guaranteed contracts, because they being reasonably rational human beings with reasonable powers of analysis, would simply discount their offers to reflect the injury risk. I agree with the rest of the post, however."

Assuming this was in response to my post...

Yeah, I know that if the CBA was changed to guarantee all contracts that the value of those contracts would change too. However, most people who argue against guaranteed contracts don't seem to realize that.

The see that Owens signed a $49 million dollar contract and say "That should be guaranteed!" The reality is that if it was guaranteed, it would never have been close to that value in the first place.

The only other opinion regarding this I give is that similar to NFC Central Freak's comment above about fiscal responsibility, I don't think that the size of the guaranteed contracts would balance out to equate to the same amount of risk that the current unguaranteed contracts have. In other words, I think teams would take on greater risk to sign an impact player to a guaranteed contract perportionate to the amount of risk they take on now.

With the current system, teams can be mired in salary cap hell for years because of a bad contract given to a player who doesn't live up to it. Imagine how much worse it would be if the salary ramifications of a similar contract were guaranteed. Unless there was a MAJOR shortening of overall contract length, I think the effects would probably be even worse.

88
by LnGrrrR (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 5:47pm

#60,

Uhm... exactly how did TO take them to the Superbowl? Considering he didn't play in the playoffs? How did he pull that one off?

Hey, here's one for you. I work for the military...but two years in, I realize that the training I've received from them would allow me to get out and make 100,000 a year as opposed to my current 25,000 a year salary. So should I yell and scream at the military until I'm making at least 50,000?

That's fair, right?

89
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 5:56pm

NFC:

Sometimes, people looking for work take less money in exchange for having the job they want. People will take less money because they want to work for a certain company, or because they will be able to live near good schools for their children, etc. It happens every day. And if that person later says to their employer "Hey I took less money to come here because of these advantages but I don't care about those anymore - pay up!" they're usually going to be told to go jump in a lake.

TO didn't have to go to Philadelphia. The contract Baltimore had on the table was bigger in terms of guaranteed money and escalators than the contract that Philadelphia was offering. But TO didn't want to play in Baltimore. He decided instead to go to Philadelphia, taking the less money in exchange for being able to play where he wanted to play.

That's all on TO. If he wanted the bigger bucks, he could be suiting up for Baltimore.

T.

90
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 6:21pm

Freak, the Yankees spend about 200 million on salaries and do well, the Twins spend about 60 million and do o.k.. Sound's rational to me. The NHL owners felt things weren't rational any longer, so they took measures to rectify it. I didn't claim that people were perfectly rational, but merely were reasonably so. Over time, the NFL owners would discount their contracts, either in terms of money, or length, in order to reflect the fact that the contracts were 100% guaranteed. The fact that players, even players with a lot of negotiating power, like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, do not push for 100% guaranteees reveals what their preference is.

91
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 6:35pm

I think Trotter is the only guy the skins signed from the Eagles.

James Thrash. I was also really pulling for Freddie Mitchell, too.

I have theory about team harmony. I think that philly always had great team harmony.

I have a theory, too. It's called "offensive line". I think that Philly always used to have a great offensive line, able to open up holes for a running back the few times they decided to run (leading to one of the most successful, yet underused, running backs last year in Dorsey Levens) and give Donovan McNabb great pass protection, and great blocks on screens as well.

This year, we see three things: no/little pass protection for McNabb. No running game. Little success for screens.

My theory is that Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan, 8 and 10 year veterans respectively, are having trouble keeping up.

I think my theory works better.

92
by james (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 6:37pm

re 88,

1.before 81 zero superbowls;
after 81, one superbowl...only reason why the superbowl was close...81

2. Either way you look at the situation, the way the Eagles handle players is evidently catching up.

Lets say that T.O is not the problem. In that situation, the Eagles system which for years featured a plug and play format has crumbled. They aren't winning and they have looked very bad in 3 games out of 8(Atl, Den, and Dallas).

If it's not T.O bringin the team down, then there is a much bigger problem. The system isn't working anymore.

I'll be happy with either

93
by james (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 6:41pm

Pat,
James Thrash was a Redskin first.

Then signed by the Eagles after the skins wouldn't pay him.

On your o-line theory,
Agreed. The organization is not as smart as they thought, which is my point. If they were they would have seen that. 8 and 10 year vet is not very old for an o-lineman to be falling off.

94
by CoreyG (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 6:57pm

I think #65 has the best reasoning for TO's actions, and that's further supported by his declining a better Baltimore deal to play in Philadelphia. I happen to agree with TO's viewpoint (assumed at this point) that McNabb and/or Reid are incapable of winning the "big game" and I don't blame him. I hate losing and I'm just a couch-potato video-game junkie.

95
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 6:58pm

Then signed by the Redskins when the Eagles decided he wasn't worth the money.

8 and 10 year vet is not very old for an o-lineman to be falling off.

This, um, does not agree with what you said above. The organization should've seen that Thomas and Runyan would fall off... earlier than most offensive linemen do?

Ooo-kay. Forgive me if I don't blame the organization for not anticipating McNabb getting injured and then having to deal with a problematic offensive line. I'll just point to the tremendous amount of cap room next year that the Eagles have, and say, yah, I think they can turn it around.

Of course, you're assuming that the Eagles, with at least 1 gimme road game left, and 5/8 remaining games at home, won't go at least 9-7, which I think is quite likely.

9-7 as a 'down' season? Man, how horrible. Mock on.

96
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 7:02pm

They aren’t winning and they have looked very bad in 3 games out of 8(Atl, Den, and Dallas).

If the outcome of the game is ever in doubt after halftime, you don't look bad.

They didn't look bad in a road game in Atlanta. Nor in Denver. They did look bad in Dallas.

97
by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 7:14pm

I'm assuming that the "no Super Bowl appearances before T.O." argument means "with this group of players" and not "in franchise history."

I think it's a mistake to assume that intensity for/at a sporting event can only be found in a particular area. You can make arguments and counter-arguments for any number of different teams and sports; personally, I would agree with stan that it's difficult to compare anything to a World Cup match, and that's a great example.

Unless you're a soccer fan, the importance of a World Cup match (or, for that matter, even a qualifying match) really can't be explained. Most people outside of Texas wouldn't understand what it's like to watch a high-school football game there. Duke-UNC basketball; Michigan-OSU football; Edmonton-Calgary hockey ... so maybe what PK should have said is that it's difficult to explain what it's like when the Eagles are playing if you aren't from there.

If you really want to punish T.O., send him to a team with a history of losing, a bad QB, poor coaching, and little hope in the future. Send him to D... no, I can't say it. It might come true. (shudder)

I wonder how many of the people who are jumping on T.O. now were lauding the Eagles for signing him two years ago. Mind you, I don't condone his actions, I just see this as part of the I-saw-it-first mentality that seems to be prevalent in the media these days. Everyone wants to be the first to say that Owens is a jerk and we all knew it ... now, if somehow he manages to go somewhere and be a model teammate, the same people will be saying I-told-you-so and what-a-great-story-this-is.

98
by Justus (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 7:20pm

#80 - I agree with Sean on this one. TO decided the Eagles were a bunch of chokers and while you might disagree it isn't too hard to see why someone might form that opinion. No, TO isn't going to get big bucks from his next team but I not sold on that being his top consideration if he goes to another team. I guess we won't know until those negotiations happen, though.

99
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 7:23pm

I wonder how many of the people who are jumping on T.O. now were lauding the Eagles for signing him two years ago.

I was. I was also praising the Eagles for structuring the contract such that they could ditch him if it all went bad.

Hey, he had a great season last year. That's fine by me, it was fun to watch. This year, I'm just glad they got rid of him so that the announcers can at least focus on the rest of the team.

I mean, no mention of the fact that in his first game as a starting wide receiver, Reggie Brown gets almost 100 yards and 1 touchdown? This kid's a rookie WR. They're supposed to suck under Reid.

100
by Richie (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 8:07pm

Is Peter King/Tony Dungy's prediction of the 2006 schedule accurate? He says New England will play Chicago and Detroit. But if New England plays one NFC North team in 2006, won't they play all 4?

I thought the schedule format (for an AFC team) was:
6 games in division
4 games vs one NFC division
4 games vs one AFC division
2 games vs the two remaining AFC teams who finished in the same place as you in their respective divisions.

101
by Ted (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 8:19pm

"So Vermeil, leaving himself open to get skewered if the strategy didn't work, decided to go for it. The Chiefs called a Larry Johnson run up the gut.

And Johnson scored. "You can't say enough about that final play,''' Trent Green said. Agreed. Great call. And I wouldn't have ripped him if it didn't work."
Does anyone honestly believe that King wouldn't have ripped him if it didn't work? Anyone?

102
by Tyler (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 8:23pm

Re: 97

You and Stan are right; no sporting event in this country can match the World Cup. Entire nations are captivated not for just one day, like the Super Bowl here, but for 3 weeks. Imagine the Super Bowl being played every day for 3 weeks, with about 60 more years of tradition behind it, and you'll have an inkling of what it means to most people on earth.

Warning, political rant--

How appropriate that NFC Central Freak, a Republican, is standing up to protest the exploitation of a multi-millionaire.

Here's a hint, Freak. Take some of your righteousness and direct it at corporations that use sweatshops to produce goods. But of course, that might mess with the holy free market, so I guess exploiting millions of children is acceptable collateral.

103
by masocc (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 8:27pm

Thank you, Peter King!
Forevermore, I shall be referring to Owens as:

TITO!

104
by james (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 8:35pm

Pat,

A couple of points than I will cease to annoy you.

1. Right now I'm like the guy who's never scored a touchdown doing an elaborate celebration that is worth 3 or 4 15 yard penalties. The skins haven't played this well since 99'. Not that this well is anything great, because they haven't beaten anyoen but I forgot what it's like to beat a "good" team.

2. I think the way that the Eagles handle contracts is arrogant and that they have been lucky to get contributions out of some of these guys. The way T.O situation has turned out illustrates whats wrong with their approach IMO. However, make no mistake, the Eagles are a 1st class organization. What they do seems to work, I just hate them. I'm a hater what can I say?

3. With Runyon and O-line, my point is that they have let productive players go and kept guys who are killing them. That is worth pointing out.

4. In the past McNabb being injured has not hampered the offense. They did fine while other guys filled in. Why is McNabb injury an excuse now?

5. I've assumed nothing. The Eagles scare me still, but int he same way that Tyson was still scary after Jail. Not as good as before but still have been champions. I won't be surprised to see the skins finish 8-8 some kind of way. The eagles could pick up and win 12 straight. I'm seeing some kinks in the armor though.

Atl- They did nothing on offense and McNabb got killed all game. Atl ran the ball at will.= bad

Denver scored 49 points = bad

dallas- now words needed

While a normal NFL team has these kind of games sometimes I hold the Eagles to a different standard. As the defending champs they are never supposed to look like they have in these games. They had their chances to pull it out in Denver and Atlanta but they looked bad in doing so.

6. Like I said I'm the guy who's never been there before so I'm a little off kilter today. Well, I always say stuff that others tend to vehemently disagree with, but sometimes it makes sense later.

Secretly, I'm a fan of McNabb, Dawkins, Kearse, Westbrook, and T.O as individuals. Philly fan makes me hate the organization. I love to see philly fan upset, because they are the sorest losers I know. Rant done. Back to normal drive stat/est. wins postings.

The last thing I want to see is Philly not in the playoffs. Wouldn't seem right. They'll probably still make it. Don't get me started on the Giants. Eli can stay home, and watch his brother show him how its done. BTW Pats win tonight.

105
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 8:40pm

Tyler and Freak should take it to another venue. Are there not enough places in cyberspace where people can declare their Republicanism or Democratism, and have others criticize the obvious moral decrepitude, and sheer despicability, of belonging to either group?

106
by joel in providence (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 8:43pm

PK wrote: . "I think the one thing you can't understand unless you live somewhere on the Eastern Seaboard between Washington and Boston -- or unless you once lived there -- is the intensity of a big sports event."

trust me, peter, you would leave san siro with pee stained jeans if you went and saw the fan intensity at a typical match in italy between, say, inter-a.c., or lazio-roma.

yeah, i do think east coast nfl teams probably do have the most intense sports fans in the u.s., but it still doesn't even compare to the intensity of soccer, where the sport is much more clannish and (for better or for MUCH worse) tied to social issues like class and political affiliation.

107
by Dieter (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 9:03pm

Re: Richie #100

If you will look back at the article, King is listing NE's home games next year.

So the Pats must be travelling to play the Packers and Vikings on the road.

108
by Trevor (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 9:15pm

Considering King's from NJ, I'm surprised that Cameron Indoor Stadium wasn't one of those frenzied placed (Go Puke, some teams just make me sick!) Isn't that where all of their supporters come from.

2. Quite simply, Steve Smith is the MVP so far this year, period. Who else catches balls for the Panthers? Jake throws INTs trying to get him the ball.

109
by Richie (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 9:29pm

Dieter (or anybody else) -

I looked on NFL.com, but couldn't find the schedule formula. Does anybody know what it is? Why does Indy keep having to play regular season games AT NE? I realize there is a set formula for it, but just want to see what it is.

110
by OMO (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 9:48pm

James...I like a few of your points...nicely done.

But as someone who sometimes checks out this website at work...I'd love it if you would not use anymore f-bombs.

Thanks, OMO

111
by Playit (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 9:59pm

TO does bring out the irrational in people. Even for a site like this that prides itself on taking bias out of the conclusion...

1) I don't think TO is dumb or particularly bright. I think that places him somewhere in the upper half of the NFL. However I think most of the people on this forum are quite bright. Having said that, very few in either group seem to be able to fully grasp the details of an NFL contract or more importantly an NFL team’s salary cap management. TO hired an agent to ensure he was being paid according to his worth. That agent arguable did a poor job. The contract signed heavily discouraged the Eagles from keeping TO on the roster past two years. It was essentially a two year deal, which does not in fact place him at the upper echelon of NFL receivers in terms of pay (when considering NFL bonuses and pay over the life of the contract). NFL receivers near or at 30 years old are overpaid on the latter parts of their contract compared to production. Contracts are written such that it’s not prohibitive for the team to keep the player on the roster, or that it is prohibitive to cut the player. A good agent would have ensured that TO has such a contract to maximize his earning potential. Instead TO got a 2 year contract. That leaves him trying to again bargain for a contract after two more years of injury risk and age increase. I think Drew R, who was not his agent for the first contract, probably explained this to TO and along with his Superbowl performance convinced TO that he should readjust his contract to be more in line with the kind of contract a top level receiver should demand.

2) NFL players don’t have many options to renegotiate. As was pointed out before NFL teams can drop a player at any time while players cannot equally cancel their contract. Some people tied to compare this to the regular workplace but not very accurately. This would be more like… If Microsoft hired a programmer for a 5-year contract, they can fire him at any time. However if he chooses not to continue working for Microsoft, he has to pay back much of the money he was given, and he cannot then work for anyone else, and even if he does stay on he can’t try a sit-in or work slowage as that is prohibited by the contract. Many people seem to forget that the NFL teams have a monopoly on this employment. As fans we should treat both sides equally… if we think holding out and skipping camps is evil, we should think the same of cutting a player before his contract is out.

3) People that have been diagnosing TO as insane are seriously insulting those that do in fact have mental illnesses. Just a little checklist for future references… Having to keep your helmet on during interviews because of intense social anxiety = probable metal illness. Whining about a contract, being mean to your coworkers, and putting on a show for the press = probably not a mental illness.

4) None of us were in the locker room with TO and Hugh. TO does not have a history of physical fights with players. As others have pointed out, he has never been arrested and there is no reason to believe that he instigated the event any more than Hugh did.

5) If Philly, the team and the fans, would just stop making TO the focus of their lives and start ignoring him like the spoiled baby that he is, they’d have a better receiving corps on the field and a better chance to win their remaining games. How insecure is McNabb that he has to be personally apologized to by TO because of what was written? How silly must Reid feel that he has to handle domestic disputes between his coworkers by forcing them to apologize? I can’t imagine my boss telling me to apologize to a coworker because I said someone else is better at doing his or her job. This is silly. It fires up fans who have forgotten this is a business to the players and not an accurate duplication of the “team spirit� they had playing high school ball.

112
by Michael David Smith :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 10:09pm

Richie, it's nothing specific to Indianapolis, it's just the way the schedule works -- for example, Pittsburgh hosted New England last year and this year, and will next year, too. I have a handy chart that explains the whole thing, but I don't know if it's online anywhere.

113
by Richie (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 10:28pm

Yeah, I know Indy isn't being singled out. I thought a lot of it had to do with the coincidence of final regular-season record. So, I am surprised that it is already known that Indy has to play AT New England again next year.

114
by Michael David Smith :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 11:01pm

Basically, the way it works is you always have a conference opponent you play twice in a row at home, and then if that team happens to finish in the same place in the division as you do, you get them for a third time.

115
by Fnor (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 11:08pm

Playit: Actually, it is very similar. the "5-year" contracts for, say, microsoft, contain a clause for the employer to get rid of you if you do similar things as TO, ie, make yourself a nuisance to the workplace. All that stuff in the employee handbook can still be thrown at you, regardless of what contract you signed, since it's part of the contract, even though you get it AFTER beginning employment. And then they can put a clause in the contract to keep you from working for competitors, even if you worked for the contract's entire duration.

Plus you have the EXTRA FUN that said 5-year contract won't be written. Since it can be completed within a year (by you dying, for instance) it doesn't need to be reduced to writing, so they can turn it into a verbal agreement, avoid you getting a lawyer, and state it to you in all sorts of vague ways that gives them wriggle-room. Then they get to throw the employee handbook at you anyway. Unless you're really good at what you do AND play company ball, job security is all about it being unprofitable to have to hire and train your replacement.

I'm not going to touch the argument about him having a bad agent or whatnot with a 10-foot pole. It stinks. TO knew what he was getting into. He's paying people to explain it to him. He turned down a much more favorable contract in Baltimore. So what if he now thinks he's not getting his due? There's no reason to feel sorry for people for "messes" they got themselves into.

116
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 11:56pm

First of all, playit, you aren't privy to all that has transpired between Owens and his employer, and neither is anyone else here. As I stated above, one really can't evaluate the wisdom or legality of the Eagles actions without such knowledge. There is a grievance procedure regarding suspensions without pay, and so the facts will have a chance to be aired to an arbitrator.

What is known, however, is that the NFLPA advised Owens to not sign the contract with the Eagles, advice that Owens ignored. What is known is that Owens and his agent have expressed the desire for Owens to get more guaranteed money. What is known is that Owens' behavior has a substantial chance of costing him four game checks totaling $800,000, and has substantially sabotaged his negotiating power, which is essential to his receiveing more guaranteed money, when he is released, at a time when he is approaching his middle thirties.

What part of this behavior does not qualify as that of a numbskull?

117
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 12:36am

I just heard Al Michaels say that the Eagles are also going to try to recoup 1.8 million in signing bonus money that Owens received last year. I have no idea of the chance of their success; I suspect the bar is set higher for recouping past bonuses than it is for denying future game checks. However, if there is a better that one-third chance of the Eagles succeeding in this pursuit, any doubt that Owens is dumber than a box full of hammers can be put to rest.

118
by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 1:08am

With Runyon and O-line, my point is that they have let productive players go and kept guys who are killing them. That is worth pointing out.

james:

I know you want to be giddy, but don't comment on the Eagles personnel moves. They're not your team - you don't know what you're talking about. The Eagles offensive line is virtually unchanged for almost the past five years.

With regard to other personnel moves, there is no player you can name that I will agree they should not have left go. Corey Simon? Not worth $6M/year. Mitchell? You're kidding me. Staley? Has barely been healthy. Vincent/Taylor? No way. Nate Wayne? Released by the Jaguars before the season. Thrash? Not worth the roster space. Jermane Mayberry? Better than Shawn Andrews? Yah, right.

The biggest two losses in the past several years were Derrick Burgess and Ike Reese. Find me another franchise that's only lost 2 good players in a long, long while.

119
by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 1:15am

Will:

No, it's almost a given. Owens's contract says that his signing bonus is recoupable for "actions detrimental to the team".

It should be noted that language like this has held up before an arbitrator already when Keenan McCardell held out. This is pretty much a gimme win for the Eagles if they've documented things well.

120
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 1:26am

Good gravy, Pat, we really are delving into world-historical regions of numbskullery here. The only open question is what Owens will garner on the open market next year, and from whom. I suspect that Owens is in for more unpleasant surprises.

Rosenhaus makes out o.k., though, since he would have received zip if the Eagles kept the current contract. I hope ol' Drew sends T.O. a nice Christmas card. Perhaps he'll also include a fruit basket.

Gee whiz, maybe, just maybe, T.O. would have been better served financially by keeping quiet, putting forth his best effort, and daring the Eagles to cancel the contract.

121
by Playit (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 1:32am

I agree that I'm not privy to the details, which is why I'm just using the facts that I know. Those facts don't justify much of the one sided hatred focused at TO, but that is just my opinion.

I'm sure that they will try to recoup the SB, but I'm not sure how low the bar is set for "actions detrimental to the team". I doubt the Players Union will want that to be a low bar, and will likely be 100% behind TO in this endeavor. Frankly I doubt any players will want that either, nor should we as fans. I certainly don't want players afraid to talk to the press, or scuffle with fellow players for fear that the team will take their SB back. This is certainly a different situation from holding out, where the issue is not actions detrimental, but instead not playing. Certainly I think the Eagles are only doing this for barganing position. I think they'd like to get him to reform and thus be tradeable, not that it will happen considering his current contract.

TO certainly took an agressive stance in his dealings with the team. The team called his bluff, and in the end he certainly might not be better off. I wouldn't go deciding that just yet. It certainly could be that he becomes a model citizen and Snyder or Al Davis grabs him during the off-season for huge money. It's just too early to say. If this only cost him 800k, and he doesn't risk injury for the rest of the year, I don't think that he will consider this a huge loss. TO was a huge pain in SF, where he critised the coach and the QB, that didn't stop teams from falling over him in free agency this last off-season. At the end of the day he had huge talent and he always plays hard.

122
by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 1:44am

Well, the big question is who's documented things more: the Eagles, or Owens? My guess would be the Eagles, easily. Remember that Owens held out from practice, and the Eagles could've recovered his signing bonus then (and that is "case law" from McCardell - it's already been decided, and McCardell lost).

Honestly, this looks like an open and shut deal for the Eagles. They could've done this at any time due to Owens's behavior after holding out, and the Eagles likely warned him about this a long time ago.

So I guess the question now is: has a top-5 receiver ever been gotten as cheaply as the Eagles got Owens for 20 games?

123
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 2:06am

Playit, I may sprout wings and fly to Vegas without aid of an airline the next time I go there. That isn't the way to bet, however.

Owens wasn't likely to get a huge bonus even if he didn't have behavior baggage, for the simple reason that he is two years older, and thus it is less certain that there will be as many years to prorate it. Toss in the behavior issues, and it is overwhelmingly likely that the money in his next deal will be heavily linked to performance/playing time, which doesn't leave him in any better shape than what he had already with his current deal, and doesn't make up for the money he will lose this year.

Half the 2005 injury risk was already gone, and if it was a tolerable risk/reward ratio in the first week of September, and thus warranted his showing up, then it certainly was tolerable in the first week of November.

Rosenhaus does o.k., however.

124
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 2:30am

This is just a rumour, but I heard the Eagles went so far as to document that Owens persisted in using a handicapped parking spot after repeatedly being asked to not do so. Gee, that'll really do wonders for Owens' earning potential. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

Look, players often state, when questioned about holding out, that the owners are hard- nosed businessmen, so they need to react in kind. I agree whole-heartedly. Part of being a hard-nosed businessman is coldly calculating how one may maximize one's earnings, and tailoring one's behavior accordingly.

125
by zerlesen (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 5:40am

Re Owens throwing Irvin out of the locker room: since this comes right after King accuses Irvin of being embroiled in the "quasi-journalism" business, I think he means if Irvin was a journalist covering the Cowboys fifteen years ago rather than, um, an All-Pro wide receiver. So I kind of get where he's going there.

On the other hand, w/r/t NE's "pedestrian" WR corps, I must admit my first thought was "of course they're pedestrian. If they drove little golf carts out along their routes, that would be cheating." Not the greatest piece of sportswriting in history, I'm saying.

126
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 9:35am

Re: 123

I'm guessing this hurts Rosenhaus in the long run. While he will get his $$ from whatever contract TO signs next year (assuming TO doesn't fire him before then, certainly a finite possibility), I suspect this whole episode will cost him potential clients.

127
by Andrew (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 10:12am

james and Pat:

I don't think the Tackles are necessarily playing poorly. Rather, it may be that the line is still getting used to playing with Hicks and Andrews at Guard. Hicks played last year for the first time, and this is essentially Andrews rookie year because of his injury.

Is Philly playing worse? here's the past few years starts:

2000 - start 3-3 then 5-4
2001 - start 3-3 then 6-4
2002 - start 3-2 then 6-3
2003 - start 2-3 then 6-3
2004 - start 6-0 then 9-1
2005 - start 4-2 now 4-4

Its not measurably different than 2000, 2001, and 2003. The main difference so far is that when they were at 4-3 those years, they won the 8th game, while this year they lost it.

I'm not clear what your complaint about Eagles player management is about. Are you criticizing the Eagles for bouncing players who attacked the team - John Welbourn, Freddie Mitchell, now TO? Are you criticzing the Eagles for players refusing their contract offers - Jeremiah Trotter, Hugh Douglas, Duce Staley, Troy Vincent - with some of these players returning on hands and knees after being cut? Or are you criticizing the Eagles for not resigning or retaining players who are clearly at the end of their career - Brian Mitchell, Dorsey Levens (twice!), Antonio Freeman, Jeff Thomason, Sean Landeta, Blaine Bishop, Bobby Taylor, Brandon Whiting, Chad Lewis? Or are you criticizing the Eagles for not signing players to contracts that are wildly out of hand and lead to huge annual cap charges? Or are you criticizing the Eagles for retaining cap room at the start of each season and using it all up to extend key young players during the year?

128
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 11:51am

You may be correct, mawbrew, but then I'm sure that when all is said and done Rosenhaus will eventually claim that this was all Owens' fault, which does have an element of truth.

129
by jimmo (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 12:13pm

TO coming to Detroit? For laughs, his second favorite coach, behind Reid, could bring in Knapp as coordinator so the happy foursome of Mooch, Knapp, TO, and Garcia could celebrate again...

130
by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 12:46pm

Andrew:

Whoops, forgot about Welbourn. And yup, there's another one where the Eagles got rid of a not-so-stellar talent, as well. Two years with the KC Chiefs - started 10 games last year, out with injury. This year, only started one.

Man, they should've kept him. Trading him for a third-round draft pick? Silly!

Maybe james is complaining about the fact that ex-Philly players never really continue on to have good careers elsewhere. That might have something to do with the fact that they don't let players that are worth the money go. :)

131
by Michael David Smith :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 12:56pm

I would love to see T.O. in a Lions uniform. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

132
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 1:05pm

MDS (#131 )--

That would presuppose 2 things: first, the Lions would have to fire Mooch. (You might not consider that a drawback, but still.)

Second: Matt Millen would have to sign a big-name free agent. His track record tells me that most of his FA signings range from disappointing, to bad.

Based on Owens's complete flake-out on a *good* team, I'd be inclined to predict "bad" from the Lions' signing him. Then again, it might get Millen fired.

Desperate times, indeed...

133
by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 1:22pm

Incidentally, don't forget that Owens is 32, and is starting to accumulate a bunch of recurring injuries. I wouldn't be surprised to see him have maybe one good year with a new team, and then start to struggle. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised to see him flame out completely.

134
by CoreyG (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 1:54pm

Re #122:

Owens showed up to every practice and did not hold out, unlike Westbrook who missed some of training camp because of a contract dispute. T

135
by Michael David Smith :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 2:01pm

"the Lions would have to fire Mooch."

See, that's the beauty of it. Sign T.O., Mooch gets so pissed off that he resigns, and then the Lions aren't on the hook for the remaining two years of his contract.

136
by Andrew (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 2:24pm

CoreyG #134:

Westbrook wanted to extend his contract that was expiring.

Owens wanted to rework and inflate his contract he had just inked.

137
by Ray (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 2:28pm

The real difference between the Owens and Westbrook situations is that Westbrook didn't trash his teammates in the process of complaining about his contract.

138
by jimmo (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 2:47pm

re: posts 4,7, 8, 11... I've never seen the clock not stop when a guy goes out of bounds, at any time in any game. It may stop for a few seconds, it may stop for longer (there were a couple of instances last night where the clock by my unofficial count stopped for roughly 25 seconds), but it stops.
Is the ref's discretion a rule, or an interpretation of a rule? I can't find it in my book, but I'm mostly skimming...

139
by Playit (not verified) :: Wed, 11/09/2005 - 2:15pm

Re #122 and #124

As 134 pointed out, Owens didn't infact hold out. He only skipped the voluntary mini-camps I believe. He didn't want to be fined from the team as I recall.

Also I would think that the bar for conduct detrimental to the team is going to be greater than parking violations.

Lets not forget that the whole reason Keyshawn was made inactive and not suspended is because the team wasn't sure his actions could be defined as this conduct. I'm not so sure the Eagles think it can either. This is relatively untested water and is completely different than the McCardell case.

I did notice that the Eagles are now saying that they won't try to recoup the SB, which in all likelyhood they couldn't anyway. They also said if they lose on appeal they will just make TO inactive. He gets all of his money this year and he doens't risk injury. He was never going to get any money from them next year anyway. After all of this is settled, I'd like to see a sports writer (or stat-centric website) write and article on how TO really came out of this whole thing. I think the results might be surprising.

Keyshawn had the same situation and signed a 4+ million contract with the Cowboys. I remember people saying that only Bill Parcells would sign him after what he did with Gruden. Apparently that wasn't the case or he'd be playing for the Vet Min.

140
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 11/09/2005 - 4:47pm

Owens showed up to every practice and did not hold out, unlike Westbrook who missed some of training camp because of a contract dispute.

Sigh. You're wrong.

Timeline here

August 29th. Owens fails to report to a mandatory minicamp, saying he was seeking a renegotiation of his contract.

This isn't any different than the McCardell case. Except for the fact that the Eagles gave Owens a second chance, and he blew it.

141
by David (not verified) :: Wed, 11/09/2005 - 5:31pm

I have a question for everyone out there: why don't the Eagles just cut TO?

According to what I read online, there would be no cap ramifications.

It seems spiteful to keep a player away from playing football just because he doesn't like you and you don't like him. Owens clearly wants to play for the Eagles. He obviously has serious issues with McNabb and the Eagles' front office, but I see no evidence that he was dogging it on Sundays. Now, if the Eagles feel he is a negative influence and hurts the team - then fine - CUT HIM!

I must note that I am a fantasy football owner of TO so I am biased.

Despite my bias, I think I have a decent point - and the NFLPA is calling for the same action.

I find it curious that the media has not discussed this point more.

One also must admit that it would be absolutely delicious to see the frenzy that would occur if TO become a UFA at this point of the season.

I'm surprised the media is not actively rooting for it. It would be a ratings bonanza.

142
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Wed, 11/09/2005 - 5:51pm

why don’t the Eagles just cut TO?
By keeping him on the roster, inactive, they deny his services to any other team.

They still have a reasonable chance to make the playoffs, and obviously feel that the roster spot and the (modest, by NFL standards) game checks are a fair price to pay in order to *guarantee* they don't face him later this season or in the playoffs.

*Much* cheaper than hiring a cornerback capable of covering him, for example.

143
by David (not verified) :: Wed, 11/09/2005 - 7:01pm

If that's the rationale, then that is wrong. Personally, I don't believe TO has done anything to warrant a suspension.

I think his actions warrant his release from the team. He is disloyal to the team and seems to negatively impact the team's unity. It was also well documented that this would be an issue before.

Why his latest remarks suddenly required a suspension is strange to me, considering his latest comments were not at all his worst comments. In fact, he's been criticizing the team on his radio show for the past few weeks prior to this latest interview. So, I don't get why - all of a sudden - this became such a national story now.

In any case, if the Eagles don't want him anymore then they should cut him. They already tore down his images from the stadium.

To hold onto him for competitive reasons and also not pay him for four games seems extremely unfair.

144
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Wed, 11/09/2005 - 7:56pm

David--

It sure is unfair. It's also the Eagles' right under the CBA. Fair rarely has anything to do with the NFL, at least in terms of player contracts. He also gets (minimum) five game checks for hangin' the rest of the year, so it's not exactly hardship, either.

I suspect that the Eagles will suffer for it long-term, as big-name free agents will be somewhat more hesitant to sign with them. Of course, there aren't many free agents who are also even close to the kind of head-case that Owens is, so the Eagles might not suffer much.

145
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 11/09/2005 - 8:17pm

Yah, I don't think that TO is going to win this. Financially, this is not hurting him at all (other than the 4-game suspension). I don't see how they will have any possibly argument as to why the Eagles have to cut Owens. The CBA rules are there to ensure that football players have a chance to earn an income, not play football.

146
by David (not verified) :: Wed, 11/09/2005 - 8:58pm

You could argue it hurts his future earning potential to not be playing when he is healthy enough to do so.

From a completely different perspective, the league itself should be upset about a situation where a hall-of-fame player is suspended for non-criminal activity.

We must be living in some sort of bizarro world where disloyalty to the team is worse than smoking pot during the season (Randy Moss), doing steroids (Romo among many others), domestic abuse (way too many its so sad) and drinking and driving (Droughns among many others).

Peter King went off on Owens as if he committed all of those crimes and participated in the Enron scandal.

I think everyone needs to seriously calm down and re-think the whole situation.

I'm not one that likes to agree with Drew Rosenhause, but asking for a new contract, bitching about teammates, and complaining to the media about your organization are not exactly new things that have never happened in the history of sports. Hell, I seem to recall Billy Martin and Mr. October getting involved in stuff far worse than what has gone done here.

I guess back in the 70s people were less concerned about loyalty. Today, loyalty is the rage. Loyalty to team, the company, the party line...

The outcry and righteous indignation should be against the players who actually DO bad things.

Not against those who dare to ruffle some feathers.

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by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 11/10/2005 - 5:32pm

You could argue it hurts his future earning potential to not be playing when he is healthy enough to do so.

Yes, but this bag of worms can't be opened. Every player who's deactivated for a game could make this claim, regardless of the reason.

We must be living in some sort of bizarro world where disloyalty to the team is worse than smoking pot during the season

For some reason you're assuming the Eagles wouldn't've had just as harsh a reaction if any of these things had happened to one of their players.

I don't believe that's true.