The Morning Extras: No New Deal For DeSean?

The Morning Extras: No New Deal For DeSean?

Yesterday evening, Paul Domowitch broke in Philly.com's Eagletarian blog that Pro Bowl wide receiver and kick returner DeSean Jackson is unlikely to receive the contract extension he is asking for. Cause for concern? Well, it shouldn't be. Everybody is aware by now the ramifications from the expiring collective bargaining agreement are far reaching, especially for young players. Many have seen their free agency unexpectedly restricted in an uncapped season, causing their paydays to be put off another year. The Eagles are using it to purge their overpaid veteran players while their is no cap hit. 

In DeSean's case, like some other young stars, the language of the current CBA, plus the uncertainty of what will be in a new deal, makes it nearly impossible for the organization to hand out an extension now, no matter how deserving he is. For starters, the current rules only allow for a maximum raise of 30% in base salary from season to season. As Domo explains, with a base salary in the hundreds of thousands, it would take years for that figure just to reach $1 million. And don't expect the Birds to cough up a bonus-laden contract just for the sake of getting a deal done, especially when nobody knows what rules they'll be paying by 11 months from now.

So where does that leave the two sides? The hope here is that DeSean Jackson and his representation understand the difficulty in reworking his contract now. Under ordinary circumstances, the Eagles would likely recognize his extraordinary achievements, and by mid-season they would agree to an extension that lasts the better part of his career. Now though, they aren't compelled to hand over a contract that looks like they dropped their pants in case anything goes wrong or a new CBA is radically different.

Problem is, Jackson didn't go to the trouble of hiring Drew Rosenhaus for no reason, and we've seen how contentious things can get on multiple occasions when he represents a client who doesn't get paid what he wants, when he wants it. Rosenhaus is undoubtedly a smart guy, but nobody would put it past him to cause a stir over a contract the Eagles couldn't justifiably do anything about in the first place. That is the concern of the day, that somehow when there is no need or point for it at all, we will have an unhappy superstar this summer, skipping workouts and holding them privately—for the media—in his driveway.

Maybe we're just jumping to conclusions, but players often don't see the fact that something is "impossible" when it comes to their bank accounts.

LINKS

7. Peter King explains while the new proposal to fix the NFL's overtime rules is probably the strongest that's come along, it will likely take years before anything new is adopted. We'll have more on the topic later today. [SI.com]

6. One plucky reporter managed to pin down Kyle Kendrick and get his "true" feelings on Jamie Moyer. [Philly Gameday]

“I think everyone is glad he’s still hanging around here,” said Kendrick. “Not because we feel like it’s wrong to want an older guy to step aside when we all know his time has passed, but because we genuinely respect what he’s trying to do. Which is to literally pitch himself to death, I think.”

5. Despite a terrible season for the Sixers and one spiraling out of control for the Flyers, Ed Snider seems to be taking the results in stride. You can be certain the competitive fires are burning underneath the calculated exterior though. [Delco Times]

4. What are the expectations for the Philadelphia Union this year? One writer predicts they'll take some lumps in their inaugural season on their way to a last place finish. [SI.com]

3. Dei Lynam reports Andre Iguodala has been battling a case of plantar fasciitis in his right foot, which has caused him to strain the left as well. Not mentioned in the story is his battle with a case of bad attitude resulting from constant losing, so say some observers. [Dei-Tales]

2. The key for the Flyers is no longer standing in net. If this club is to be taken seriously, the forwards need to get involved in the dirty work of blocking shots. Still sound advice after losing Carter? [Flyers Goal Scored By]

1. Chase Utley, asked about the tendency for his production to tail off toward the end of a season, says there will be slumps over the course of a long baseball season. That doesn't exactly answer the question, though I'm sure there's no good answer. [Delaware News Journal]

COMMENT OF THE DAY

def dont trade either [Jamie Moyer or Kyle Kendrick]. Starting pitching is a premium always. And as we saw last year you never know when an injury will strike. Especially when either on can easily be used in a bullpen, that in my opinion still is short on help. Frankly I was counting on one of them to help to fill out the bullpen. Moyer needs to be a little more professional, than he was last season about taking on a relief role. I know he is the veteran and all, but he was very effective in relief. His first priority should be to help the team in whatever way possible.

- asd

EXTRA POINT

Best case scenario for this fifth starting spot? While I would like to see Kendrick get the job, Moyer is under contract. I'd rather see Kendrick begin the season in the minors so he can continue to start, so that when inevitably there is an injury in the rotation, he'll be ready for the call.

kulp700level@gmail.com

Phillies prospect Dylan Cozens honored with Joe Bauman Award

donald-holohan-reading-fightin-phils-dylan-cozens.jpg
Photo courtesy of Donald Holohan

Phillies prospect Dylan Cozens honored with Joe Bauman Award

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Phillies prospect Dylan Cozens stopped by the winter meetings on Monday and left with a little something extra in his wallet.

Cozens was honored with the Joe Bauman Award, given annually to minor league baseball’s home run king. The award came with an $8,000 check -- $200 for each homer he hit in 2016.

“That will make shopping this holiday season a lot easier,” Cozens joked.

Cozens, a left-handed-hitting rightfielder, hit .276 with 40 home runs and 125 RBIs for the Double A Reading Fightin Phils. He was named Eastern League MVP. During his acceptance speech at Monday’s awards luncheon, Cozens thanked his Reading teammate, first baseman Rhys Hoskins, for pushing him to his power heights. Hoskins also had a huge season with the bat. He hit 38 homers and had 116 RBIs on his way to becoming the Eastern League’s Rookie of the Year. Night after night in Reading, Cozens and Hoskins staged a friendly power competition. At the end of the season, they shared the Paul Owens Award, given annually to the Phillies’ minor-league player of the year.
Cozens, 22, recently finished a 25-game hitch in the Dominican winter league. Despite hitting just .165 for the Aguilas club, he had four home runs – all against lefty pitching, which has been a nemesis.

Cozens, a 6-6, 250-pound behemoth, made some off-the-field news in the DR when he was involved in a pregame fight with teammate Boog Powell, a Seattle Mariners prospect. Cozens downplayed the incident.

“Just a little boys-being-boys type thing,” he said. “I feel like it was blown out of proportion like almost everything is these days. But, after it happened we became good friends. It was more the level of respect there and I’d say we’re still friends, so it’s good.”

Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said the incident was in the past and would have no long-range ramifications for Cozens.

“There is no concern,” Klentak said. “Dylan is an intense kid and he plays the game really hard. That is a good thing. If you’ve watched that, you can see that in his at-bats and when he runs the bases and is running around in the outfield. That’s just his style of play. That aggressive nature at times can boil over. You hope that it doesn’t boil over into altercations with teammates. But we have no long-term concerns with that at all.”

Cozens was recently added to the 40-man roster and will be in big-league spring training camp. Though he projects to open the 2017 season at Triple A, he’s conceding nothing.

“I’m just going to go out there and try to get better, turn some heads and make people notice and hopefully get called up as soon as possible,” he said. 

Plate discipline and strike-zone management are the areas in which Cozens needs the most improvement. He struck out 186 times and walked 61 times in 134 games in 2016. Phillies officials would like to see the strikeouts come down.
 
“I’m learning how to take my walks more often, having better strike-zone judgment, maybe not chase after as many pitches,” Cozens said. “I want to be aggressive, but if they don’t want to pitch to me, just take a walk. I feel like I did not do a good job of that and it’s something I can improve on next year.”

Matt Read out approximately a month; Flyers recall Taylor Leier, send down Scott Laughton

Matt Read out approximately a month; Flyers recall Taylor Leier, send down Scott Laughton

Updated: 7 p.m.

Flyers winger Matt Read will miss approximately a month with an upper-body injury suffered in Sunday's 4-2 win over the Predators when he was checked by Filip Forsberg. Sources tell CSNPhilly.com's Tim Panaccio the injury is an oblique muscle pull in Read's upper torso.

The 30-year-old has six goals and four assists for 10 points through 27 games. Five of those goals came in the Flyers' first five games.

To replace Read's roster spot, the Flyers recalled Taylor Leier and sent Scott Laughton to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley. That likely means penalty-kill specialist Boyd Gordon (back), who is eligible to come off long-term injury reserve, will be activated.

Leier, 22, has been playing well with the Phantoms, posting six goals and 14 assists in 22 games (see Future Flyers Report). This is Leier's second stint of the season with the Flyers, albeit his first was short — one game on Oct. 25 in which he was a healthy scratch. He made his NHL debut last season and played six games.

Laughton was a healthy scratch the past five games.

If for some reason Gordon is not activated, the Flyers can call up another forward from Lehigh Valley. Jordan Weal is tied for second in the AHL with 24 points (nine goals, 15 assists) in 20 games, while veteran winger Colin McDonald is an experienced, bottom-six option.