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.
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.
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.