Players You Hate... Until They Come to Philly

Players You Hate... Until They Come to Philly

For the time being at least, it looks like the Eagles are going to wait on evaluating tight end Jeremy Shockey for a shot at their backup tight end spot. That might have something to do with Visanthe Shiancoe's workout at Lehigh today, which was said to go very well. Or, maybe the front office simply isn't in any hurry to bring a polarizing figure into their locker room.

Whatever the case, the club's interest in Shockey caused quite a reaction among a certain segment of fans -- no! Please, no. Anybody but him. As one of our regular commentators, scurvy5, pointed out, the former New York Giant and notorious big mouth would rank high on a list of players "you-absolutely-despise-right-up-to-the-moment-they're-on-your-team," mentioning Lenny Dykstra and Jaromir Jagr in the same breath.

Which got us to thinking: who are some professional athletes Philly fans can't stand, but you would love to see wearing one of the local teams' uniforms?

And we're not just talking about the obvious choices either. Obviously everybody would love it if say the 76ers went out and nabbed LeBron James or Kobe Bryant. Basketball fans usually either love or hate LeBron, but it's not personal in Philly. The latter can't be said for Kobe, but if people thought he would bring a championship back home, he would be a hero forever.

It's probably more interesting to skip the stars that transcend their respective sports -- not to mention who have no chance of ever coming here -- and stick to guys who might one day be available and have a shot at actually winding up here. In particular, athletes who have a history of breaking out hearts might be even harder to accept, such as San Francisco Giants closer and owner of the goofiest beard in sports, Brian Wilson.

Perhaps an even more thought-provoking question is which players do you despise so much, you couldn't even root for them if they were suddenly traded to your team?

While most people would probably be sensible about it, Sidney Crosby seems like he could be one of those guys. People respect his talent, but don't necessarily care for the way he conducts himself on the ice. Maybe I'm wrong about him, and if he was hoisting the Stanley Cup while wearing Orange and Black it probably wouldn't concern anybody at all, but there is severe disdain for Crosby across the NHL.

One such athlete is wearing a local team's uniform already. Michael Vick is simultaneously one of the post popular athletes in the country, arguably of all time, but his past also sickens many people. There are undoubtedly long-time fans who turned on the Eagles for good once he joined the roster, and I doubt seeing him lead a parade down Broad Street would change their minds.

Give it some thought, or say the first name that pops into your mind. Take the discussion in whatever direction you like. Who will you hate right up until the first moment he makes you jump out of your seat at the game?

Eagles to receive just under $8 million in salary cap carryover for 2017

Eagles to receive just under $8 million in salary cap carryover for 2017

The Eagles are getting salary cap help. Just not quite as much as they expected.  

The NFL Players Association announced the official 2017 salary-cap carryover figures on Wednesday, and the Eagles will receive $7,933,869 in extra cap space this coming year on top of the unadjusted salary cap figure that every team begins the offseason with.

The NFL’s official 2017 salary cap figure hasn’t yet been announced, but it’s expected to be somewhere in the $166 to $170 million range, up from a record-$155.3 million in 2016.

Under terms of the CBA, teams can receive credit in each year’s salary cap for cap space that went unused the previous season. This creates an adjusted cap figure that can vary by tens of millions of dollars per team.

The Eagles under former team president Joe Banner were the first to use this once-obscure technique in the late 1990s. Today, every team uses it to some extent.

The more carryover money a team gets, the more it has to spend relative to the combined cap figures of players under contract the coming year.

The NFLPA originally estimated in the fall that the Eagles would receive $8.25 million in carryover money, so the new figure is about $316,000 less than originally expected.

It’s also the ninth-highest of the 32 teams, although below the average of $9.18 million. That’s because the top few carryover figures are so much ridiculously higher than the average (Browns $50.1 million, 49ers $38.7 million, Titans $24.0 million).

According to salary cap data tracker Spotrac, the Eagles have 52 players under contract for 2017 with a total combined cap figure of $158,040,710.

With an $168 million unadjusted cap, the Eagles would have an adjusted cap figure of $175,933,869.

They have $7,055,933 in dead money, mainly from trading Sam Bradford ($5.5 million) and Eric Rowe ($904,496) but also from departed players such as Andrew Gardner ($250,000), Josh Huff ($138,986) and Blake Countess ($98,678).

Subtract the 2017 contract obligations – the $158,040,710 figure – along with the dead money – the $7,055,033 figure – and that leaves the Eagles with roughly $10.84 million in cap space.

That figure may not include some 2016 bonuses that have not yet been made public. And it doesn’t include, for example, a $500,000 pay raise Peters got by triggering a contract escalator.

So that reduces the $10.84 million figure to $10.34 million.

From there, about $4 ½ million or so will go to the 2017 rookie pool.

So that leaves the Eagles currently with somewhere in the ballpark of $6 million in cap space.

Now, the Eagles will obviously be able to increase that number by releasing players.

They would more than double their cap space just by releasing Connor Barwin, who has a $8.35 million cap number but would cost only $600,000 in dead money for a cap savings of $7.75 million.

Jason Peters ($9.2 million), Jason Kelce ($3.8 million), Ryan Mathews ($4 million), Leodis McKelvin ($3.2 million) and Mychal Kendricks ($1.8 million) would also clear large amounts of cap space.

So for example by releasing Barwin, Kelce, McKelvin and Mathews, they would increase their cap space by a whopping $18.75 million. 

Of course, then the Eagles have to think about replacing those players with cheaper versions while still trying to build a playoff roster.

Whatever happens, the Eagles are in a unique position as they enter the 2017 offseason, with far less cap flexibility than other years.

“Yeah, it's unusual, certainly since I've been here, to have a more challenging situation,” vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said earlier this month.

“But part of our job in the front office is to look at this over a long period of time. So as we sit here today, it isn't like the first time that we are looking at that situation, and we'll do whatever's best for the football team.”

Report: Sixers 'will take a hard look' at Jrue Holiday in free agency

Report: Sixers 'will take a hard look' at Jrue Holiday in free agency

Has The Process come full circle?

The Sixers "will take a hard look" at point guard Jrue Holiday in free agency, according to ESPN's Zach Lowe

Holiday, of course, was the Sixers' starting PG from 2009-13, before he was traded on draft night by then-GM Sam Hinkie for Nerlens Noel and a future first-round pick (which became Elfrid Payton, who was traded for Dario Saric).

In four seasons since, Holiday has averaged 15.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.4 steals for the Pelicans. He's fought injury and missed 122 games since joining New Orleans.

The Pelicans have Anthony Davis but little else. They're going to need to make some tough decisions moving forward and one will be with Holiday.

As Lowe points out, there aren't many teams in need of a point guard — he lists the Sixers, Kings, Knicks and maybe the Magic as players for a PG in free agency.

"[Holiday] fits what [the Sixers] need around Ben Simmons, and the hilariousness of Philly bringing Holiday back after flipping him to start The Process is irresistible," Lowe writes.

Holiday has never been a great three-point shooter but he's been decent from long-range his entire career, topping out at 39 percent and sitting at 36.8 percent over eight NBA seasons.

He's coming off a four-year, $41 million contract, and although he has a lengthy injury history, he'll still command a nice-sized contract in free agency, especially with the cap expected to increase again.