Is it possible that the best case scenario for the Eagles with their signing of
If things work out and Vick is a productive member of the team, making big plays out of some semblance of a "Wildcat" package, Eagles fans will call for him to get more and more playing time. That, of course, would mean less time for
Remember when Patriots owner
To truly understand why this creates an uncomfortable situation for McNabb, you have to understand how he is viewed by the Philadelphia fan base and the local media.
The Eagles, of course, gave McNabb substantial additional compensation and financial guarantees this offseason, even though they didn't add any additional years to his contract in the form of an extension. That is extremely rare, and McNabb told me recently that the impetus of the move was to eliminate any doubt about who the quarterback is in Philadelphia. Doesn't this signing of Vick change that?
Fans don't care about contract implications or public statements. They just want to see winning football, and unless McNabb plays virtually error-free ball, the Vick option will just be too much of a temptation for the rabid Eagles fans, some of whom appear to be almost bored at this point by the McNabb era.
I understand the thinking that this is really just a one-year deal, with possibly an offseason trade in mind, and that the Eagles are a strong organization that can withstand the public relations bullets. Maybe the idea is that Vick doesn't even play very much this year and the Eagles are just a one-year stop to rehabilitate his image, hone his craft and assimilate him back into a professional football environment. I can live with that, but can Eagles fans? If McNabb is anything less than perfect? I doubt it.
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I've always said that you can't really buy leadership because it takes time for any new player to assimilate himself into a new team's locker room. What you can bring in, however, is a role model and a veteran example of what to do and how to conduct yourself as a true professional. Especially if, like in Vrabel's case in Kansas City, he has a familiarity with the general manager. The other Chiefs can look at Vrabel as the type of guy that does well in a
Money. The owners and the players are currently unable to come to an agreement on a new CBA because they are haggling over how to divvy up the revenue that is coming in. One way to reach an accord is to find a way to increase that revenue, which is what adding more games would do. Yes, there will be more injuries and the product could eventually get watered down, but there are always more players out there ready to step onto an NFL roster and put on those uniforms.
If a player is out for the year he will most likely be placed on injured reserve because there is no value for the team to negotiate any type of injury settlement and lose the player's rights at that point. Once placed on IR, that player is entitled to receive every dime of his paragraph 5 salary for that season, unless he has signed a split contract. A split contract is signed by all of the undrafted rookies and even some older veterans who agree to a minimum-salary contract. The split contact enables the team to pay a fraction of the salary, which typically is slightly less than 50% of what the player would have earned on the active roster, if he got hurt and landed on injured reserve.
My guess is that sitting out the year is a veiled threat, just a negotiating ploy on the part of Crabtree's representatives. Reportedly, he'll sign in September, which probably hurts the 49ers more than it hurts Crabtree. At the end of the day, he'll probably sign a five-year deal and then it doesn't really matter how well he plays or how productive he is until his fourth year, when the discussions will begin on a second contract.
I guess it is a small advantage to have a bye week later in the season, but to some extent that is all circumstantial based upon the injury situation of that particular team. If a team gets a lot of injuries early in the season, it probably helps if the bye week is early, so those players miss one fewer game. In the end, the competitive advantage is so minute that it isn't really worth fretting over. The Ravens basically lost their bye week last season after the hurricane hit Houston and still made it to the AFC Championship Game.