Cullen Jenkins Wants to Retire an Eagle

Cullen Jenkins Wants to Retire an Eagle

The Eagles began making preparations for free agency in earnest on Tuesday, announcing the restructuring of defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins's contract. Details are still trickling in right now, but Jenkins was originally set to carry a cap figure of $7.75 million into next season, and another $6.5 mil in 2013 and '14, after earning $4 million this season.

The new deal, which reportedly shaves one of the five years off the contract Jenkins signed back in July, is expected to provide the Eagles some cap relief. However, it also ensures Jenkins, who was a Pro-Bowl alternate this season, will remain with Philadelphia for the foreseeable future -- which he indicated was influential in his decision. Via Roob:

"I want to retire an Eagle. I want to finish my career as an Eagle. That’s definitely something we took into consideration."

Jenkins, who joined the Eagles from the Super Bowl XLV Champion Packers, was one of the few big-name signings from last offseason who actually panned out. He racked up 5.5 sacks, was strong against the run, and became a leader in the locker room as the season progressed. Quite simply, he was one of the top interior linemen in the NFL, and he will be paramount to the club's success for the immediate future.

Originally signed for five years at $30 million, the 31-year-old Jenkins was owed a roster bonus worth $5 million on top of his base salary of $2.5 this season. Update: He agreed to slash his base salary to six figures in 2012 along with the reduction in the length of the contract, but according to Andrew Brandt, Jenkins still receives the entire bonus in March.

Jenkins downplayed the amount of restructuring, but hes believes it could benefit the franchise.

"If by me doing this can help the team in any way, that's something that you have to feel good about."

By all accounts, the Eagles were already under the salary cap by a healthy margin. However, several of their key players are free agents (DeSean Jackson, Evan Mathis), others will be up for extensions in the near future (LeSean McCoy), and most observers anticipate some additional activity in free agency (linebacker?).

Sounds like a great move for both sides. The Eagles get what they want, a good player in an affordable contract, while Cullen Jenkins -- entering his ninth season in the NFL -- gets to stay in a situation where he is comfortable and has a chance to contend for a championship. Considering how well he played last season, we're not so sure his return was ever really in doubt, but it's great to confirm it with this bit of win-win news.

>> Jenkins likes Eagles enough to take pay cut [CSN]

Sixers fail to take care of business against Denver Nuggets

Sixers fail to take care of business against Denver Nuggets

It really felt like we could've gotten this one. The Denver Nuggets are hardly pushovers, but they came into this one a 7-13 team that'd lost their last three games, and even last night they seemed fairly beatable, even for a Philadelphia 76ers team still missing Robert Covington (in additional to our usual mini-roster of absentees). But Philly's energy sagged in the third quarter as Denver caught a second wind, and they spent the final frame hitting shots that the Sixers couldn't answer. Final score: Nuggets 106, 76ers 98. 

The most sobering part of the loss was that Joel Embiid finally played what would best be described as "a bad game." Not that bad, of course — even at his worst, Joel still managed 16 points and notched career-high five blocks. But he only shot 5-15 from the field, turned ball over three times, grabbed just four boards and played a large part in the sinkhole offense that the Sixers played in the late third and early fourth that ultimately cost them this one. JoJo still has trouble reading double teams and knowing when not to attack into traffic, and his frustration was extremely evident as he kept trying to do too much and paying the price for it. 

Nonetheless, even with an off Embiid night and a still-slumping Sauce — officially down to Left in the Car Overnight temperature after a night of 4 points on 1-7 shooting in 35 minutes — Philly probably still coulda gotten this one. Sergio Rodriguez appears to have swiped Nik's swag at least temporarily, with a season-high 17 points on 7-14 shooting to go with seven dimes and three steals, while Dario Saric and Ersan Ilyasova also poured in 17 and 8 each, and the Nuggets wings were largely kept quiet for two and a half quarters. But even while struggling, the Nuggets paraded their way to free-throw line — 34 FTAs for the night, including 12 for Danilo Gallinari alone — and once they caught fire late, the Sixers just couldn't keep up. 

A bummer for a team that's now lost seven in a row, and has to face the Grizzlies tonight in Memphis — their fourth game in five nights, and the first of a three-game road trip — without Embiid and also without Jahlil Okafor, out with illness. Even with the Grizz missing their own big names (no Mike Conley, Chandler Parsons, Zach Randolph or Vince Carter lately) and likely suffering from fatigue of their own after a double-OT road win last night in New Orleans, the 4-17 Sixers are gonna have a tough go matching Memphis' grit and grind tonight. Anytime you feel like Supermanning in and saving the day now would be cool, Nerlens Noel. Just sayin'.

Sixers name Elton Brand as Player Development Consultant

Sixers name Elton Brand as Player Development Consultant

Elton Brand is back with the Sixers, albeit not on the court.

The Sixers agreed with the former NBA forward to name Brand Player Development Consultant. In a press release, the team said Brand will be working with Sixers players in 'every facet of their on- and off-court development' while also working in the front office.

“We are extremely excited to bring Elton Brand back into the organization where he will be a valuable resource to our young and developing team," Bryan Colangelo said in the release. "Elton’s leadership and character displayed throughout his playing career as a player align perfectly with our vision, direction and culture of this basketball team, coaching staff and management group."

Brand retired during training camp after 17 NBA seasons, including five with the Sixers over two stints. The 6-foot-8 forward came out of retirement last season to provide a veteran presence for the Sixers and eventually played in 17 games when the team was snakebitten by injuries. 

He will now continue to be an influence on the Sixers' young core thanks to his new role with the basketball operations department.