Since the beginning of the NFL off-season, teams have looked to (and have) made many choices. Both criticized and love from fans on both sides of the arguments. We’ve seen players like DeMarcus Ware and most recently DeSean Jackson get released. Darren Sproles get traded. All big names, all great players. So the thought that goes through my head (as I’m sure it does many of the fans), why?
Aquib Talib – CB
Starting with Talib, I found this as a shocker (as well as most Patriots fans). Talib been noted numerous times as saying that he “loves being a Patriot.”. So when he signed the 6 year deal with Denver for $57M including $26M guaranteed, I sat there and started laughing hysterically. It’s obvious that Elway and Fox made a huge power play here adding a huge something to the Denver defense after cutting former CB Champ Bailey. But the Patriots had reason not to bother trying to even somewhat match the offer.
Given Talib’s injury history, the Patriots weren’t too keen on offering him a huge contract as Denver did. For a group that’s had as many Super Bowl runs as they have, with the fiscal responsibility that New England has, it wasn’t a hard decision. Needless to say the team would’ve gladly signed him to another deal, there was just no way they could offer a contract that big to a player they view as injury prone.
Darren Sproles – RB
What can I say about Darren Sproles? The man or rather beast that he is has slowly crept up and stolen my heart. His ability to go anywhere he’s needed and score when he has to is astounding. And the best part about this trade? He became an Eagles for a 5th round draft pick! On top of that exciting news, the Eagles have him for 3 years paying him 10.5M over that time. That is less than they were paying DeSean Jackson per one year.
The Saints, believing a still seemingly potent Sproles was going downhill, traded him to one of the most deadly offenses (with or without Jackson) going into the 2014 season. I must say, as happy as I am to be an Eagles fan this year; It’s even better knowing what you’re going to get in a top tier draft pick talent such as Sproles.
DeMarcus Ware – DE
Another exciting power move by Fox and Elway was picking up six time pro bowler DeMarcus Ware after the Dallas Cowboys released him opening up $7.4M in the salary cap. Jerry Jones – Cowboys GM and Owner comments,
“A decision like this, involving a man who is a cornerstone player in the history of your franchise, is extremely difficult,”
Now as much as I may not understand some of the other moves this past off-season, I get this one. Jerry Jones is the biggest idiot in sports history bar none. Ware wasn’t only the “cornerstone player in the history of your franchise”, he was half of your team. The fact that he had a career low 6 sacks last year after missing three games due to his quadriceps being strained is no reason to cut the man. But then again, I don’t know how much I can reiterate how big of an idiot Jerry is. You just let your star player run off and sign a contract with the Broncos for $30M with $20 guaranteed. It’s the same as being an ugly kid with gorgeous girlfriend, but deciding to break up with her because she got the flu.
As happy as I was to hear the news on this… wait, there’s no if’s or but’s. I was just happy. Seeing the downfall of the Dallas Cowboys makes me extremely happy. Like a kid with an endless supply of video games.
DeSean Jackson – WR
I’m amazed at how, almost overnight, the fans rationale went from extreme anger, to glee knowing one of our breakout superstars has been dropped. Neither feeling is unfounded, then again as much as the Eagles share with us; we still don’t know much about what goes on behind the scenes.
There have been reports of Jackson having “Gang affiliations” to a small extent, and for some reason the media blew it up as if that may have been cause for the cut. I personally don’t think that had anything to do with it, nor does ESPN Analyst and former Eagle’s Safety Brian Dawkins.
“I will say this, this is not something that all of a sudden had the gang affiliation thing tied to it and that was the thing that they only looked at it — they being the Eagles — looked at to say: ‘You know what? This is the thing we’re going to allow him to walk for.’ No, it was all the other things that have happened over the time that he’s been here, and the things he has not corrected in his character, some of the things that he does when in the building with coaches and the like, that they were concerned about.”
“We’re held up on this gang affiliation thing; it’s not just that. It’s being a professional. It’s being able to be counted on to be with your team, do what you’re supposed to do, not skating around the corner, not cut corners, not doing some of the things that he’s allegedly been doing while in Philadelphia.”
Well thankfully, he’s not in Philadelphia anymore. And releasing him opens up $10M+ to the cap. So while we wave bye bye to DeSean, we think maybe Kansas City? Reid seems uninterested in his once star player as a head coach for the Eagles. So he late goes on to sign with Washington for 3 years with $24M with $16M guaranteed. I’m sure they feel lucky to have snatched him up after a myriad of other teams interest in Jackson deceased quickly. We’ll see what kind of baggage they’ll have to deal with in paying for his skill set.
So he scores points, but so does almost every other player on the Eagles offense! He seemed to be about the only problem in the locker room (that the public knew about) and now that the distraction is gone, Chip should be able to move his team in full force. In the meantime, sit tight and read some more of my blog (or eat a Snickers). We’ve still got a little while longer till football season.