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Eagles Droppings 4/7: Kolb Extension, Celek Response to Brooking, Prospects In Philly, etc...


Eagles Droppings 4/7: Kolb, Celek and Prospects

By Lance Epstein


Kolb Not Getting A New Deal:

Now that Kevin Kolb is the starting quarterback, he is seeking a long-term deal from the Eagles. However there is a bit of a problem for him and the Eagles constructing a fair value contract.

That problem is he cannot get a fair market deal due to the "30 percent" rule. Essentially the rule limits the amount he and other players can get in a renegotiation contract (can only get a 30 percent raise from their current contract). Since he, like fellow Eagle wide receiver DeSean Jackson, have such a low base salary it makes it nearly impossible for them to receive a contract that lives up to their value.

Still, the 30 percent rule does not include team’s giving a hefty signing bonus. While the Eagles could give Kolb and Jackson huge signing bonus, they would have to pay it to both players up front due to the 30 percent rule. This makes it very unlike the Eagles are going to give a player a long-term deal with a $40 million signing bonus upfront.

One of the reasons that this is a big deal for the Eagles is because Kolb made it known to the franchise that he would not sign an extension unless he was named the starter in 2010 per Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports.

Currently, Kolb’s contract makes him grossly underpaid for being a starting quarterback in the NFL. He is being paid only five percent of what former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb is expected to make this year with the Redskins. Do not feel too sorry for Kolb, he is still making $550,000 this upcoming season.

With that said, it is looking more and more probable that Kolb is going to have to play this season under his old deal because the old collective bargaining agreement. Since there is an uncapped year in 2010, the old agreement is handcuffing teams from being able to renegotiate long-term deals with their up-and-coming stars.

Eagles fans should not fear that Kolb walks at the end of the year when his contract runs out. If no CBA is agreed upon, Kolb will still have two more years as a restricted free agent and at worse, the Eagles would franchise their young QB.

Despite all this, it is a double edge sword for both the Eagles and Kolb. Kolb will take the field knowing that after every snap, he is at risk of losing millions if he is injured. As for the Eagles, if Kolb turns out to be the franchise quarterback that they project, he could use it as bargaining tool and his salary demands will skyrocket.

Nevertheless if the ladder turns out to happen, fans demand that the team pay the star quarterback. Especially since Michael Vick is on his way out after this season and no other quarterback on the roster ready to take over. Furthermore, it is hard to imagine that Jeffrey Lurie would not open his checkbook to pay the most important position on the field.

Do not be surprise if the Eagles try to work around the 30 percent rule and somehow increase Kolb's pay to show their gratitude for being the backup for the last three season and not making a fuss about it.


Celek Response To Cowboys' Brooking:

Last week before the McNabb trade, linebacker Keith Brooking told a radio station in Dallas that trading McNabb would be a mistake considering they knew the plays before the Eagles ran them. He even went as far to say that the Eagles were predictable and that's the reason for the three losses to his team this past season.

"The way we dominated them, obviously [Donovan] McNabb didn’t play his best, but they were very predictable," Brooking said. "We knew exactly what was coming on every play. A lot of that didn’t have to do with Donovan McNabb."

Today, tight end Brent Celek heard about the comments and he decided to fire back on ESPN's Galloway and Company radio show.

"It kind of irked me a little bit," Celek said. "I don't think they knew exactly the plays that we were running, when we were running them.

"They played better than us in those games and I'll give them credit. They did do a good job. But for him to say that, I totally disagree with him. I'll tell ya what, I can't wait to play him next year."

Celek's is a very emotional player and has started to look like the new leader of the young Eagles offense. When he was asked what he would say to Brooking next year when the two teams meet, Celek had a very intriguing answer.

"I can't say that on radio, guys," Celek said. "Every time we went down there, and you see him trying to get the crowd riled up on that big jumbotron, it just gets me going, so I can't wait to play him again."

Besides responding to the criticism of the Eagles’ play calling, Celek discussed how highly he thinks of his new starting quarterback Kolb. He even took it a step further saying the front office made the right move by anointing Kolb as the starter.

"They did the right thing," Celek said. "They got faith in Kolb, and I'll tell ya what, I think Kolb is gonna be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in years to come. I hate hearing people say that we're rebuilding right now cause we got a lot of good players on our team and we're gonna win a lot of games this year."

Celek better hope that the Eagles' brass made the right decision because last year with McNabb as the starter, he set career highs with 76 receptions for 971 yards and found the end-zone eight times. Regardless, he claims to have seen Kolb's development over the last three years and the rest of the team really believes in his abilities.

"The people in the front office and coach Reid have seen Kevin's development over the last three years, and they feel it's time. And I'll tell ya what, a lot of guys on the team feel the exact same way. We're ready to rally behind him and get this thing going."

Based of Celek's comments about the matchup between Dallas and Brooking things are going to be very interesting in the NFC Beast this season. In one rivalry game, the young Eagles team and the division favorites are ratcheting up their hatred for one another.

As for the Washington Redskins, you have the story line of McNabb against his heir apparent and former team. Also he is coming back to the Linc to be greeted by the fans that were very fickle towards him. If you thought Brian Dawkins coming back to Philadelphia was a circus, it might be even worse as McNabb makes his appearance.

The last rivalry comes between the Eagles and Giants, where the Giants would like nothing better then to kick the Eagles while their down for sweeping them this past season. Additionally, Tom Coughlin would like to put a number on the Eagles after they kept McNabb in the division since he was a Giant killer for 11 years.

Yes, it looks like the NFC East yet again will be the most fascinating division in football.


Draft Prospects in Philadelphia Today:

According to James Madison linebacker/defensive end Arthur Moats, the Eagles had at least 17 draft prospects at the NovaCare Center today. Since the draft is only two weeks away, expect the Eagles to increase the amount of prospects they bring in and scout.

Some of the more notable players invited to the NovaCare Center were top safety prospect Eric Berry, Heisman finalist Toby Gerhart, TCU defensive end Jerry Hughes and Georgia Tech’s power running back Jonathan Dwyer.

Moats said that the visit included a meeting with head coach Andy Reid and a private workout. However for Moats, it was also a chance to catch up and get advice from with his former James Madison teammate and current Eagle Akeem Jordan.

Moats said that Jordan discussed with him, "how it's a real good organization, and to enjoy this experience, but know it's a business when I get there."

Of course, Moats probably did not need Jordan to tell him how great of a franchise the Eagles are considering he told a Virginia TV station that the facilities were top of the line and the city was "real nice."

This is good news for Eagles fans holding out hope that the Eagles are going to make a move up the draft board for a playmaker like Berry. Last year, the free safety position was a mess as rookie Macho Harris and veterans Sean Jones and Quinton Demps could not replace the departed All-Pro Brian Dawkins. Berry possesses rare skills that have earned him comparisons to Ravens' safety Ed Reed.

Obviously with 11 draft picks at GM Howie Roseman’s disposal, he can move up from the 24th overall selection into the top 10 to get Berry. According to the NFL Draft point value chart, the 24 pick and 37th pick would allow the Eagles obtain the 10th overall selection from the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Eagles could also package the 24th, 55th (second round) and 70th (third round) to jump inside the top ten as well.

Also, it is a sight for sore eyes to see the Eagles working out two of the bigger power backs in this year’s draft. Gerhart is 6-foot-1, 235 pounds and Dwyer is 5-foot-11-inche 230 pounds. Both would be good compliments to starting tailback LeSean McCoy. Additionally, Mike Bell is only under a one-year contract, so the team could be looking at one of these two backs to replace him in 2011.

Finally, having these two backs in for a workout might mean that Reid will finally commit to more of a balanced attack. Maybe he is more committed to running the rock now since Kolb will be entering his first season under center as the squad’s starting quarterback.


Unexpected Visit By Local Player:

According to National Football Post's Brad Biggs, Villanova wide receiver Brandyn Harvey is scheduled to workout for the Eagles tomorrow at the NovaCare Center.

In 2009, he pulled in 53 receptions for 694 and five touchdowns. In Villanova's biggest upset of the season against the Temple (Bowl team), he dominated as he recorded a touchdown and 142 yards on nine catches.

While a lot of fans have never heard of Harvey, he is generating a ton of momentum among scouts and is rising up team's draft boards. At his Pro Day, Harvey (6-3, 201) ran a 4.51 40-yard dash, a 40-inche vertical and 10-feet seven-inch broad jump. Harvey was not invited to the NFL combine but if he had been, his broad jump would have surpassed any of the receivers there.

Nonetheless, Harvey is expected to be mid-to-late round pick, but he fits the bill of the type of receivers the Eagles have been working out leading up to the draft. He may be a bit raw, but he has a big frame unlike any of the Eagles wide receivers besides Hank Baskett. Moreover, team’s impressed with his unique athleticism.

The Eagles have struck hit the jackpot before by drafting local talent out of Villanova. In fact, they got arguably the best running back in franchise history in Brian Westbrook.


3 comments:

  1. I am all for Kolb playing on his current contract this year, he should have to prove himself for a raise anyways. It is actually a great situation for the Eagles to be in that they have an out not to extend him this year, by trading away McNabb Kolb already would have had them over a barrel as to an extension amount. If Kolb plays well he probably gets the same money he would have gotten in a normal year, if he doesn't play well he gets less.

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  2. An extension for Kolb doesn't make sense on the Eagles' end. If Kolb doesn't pan out this year and the Eagles end up having a sub .500 record [Which, with bad QB play, is very realistc], the Eagles might just decide to start over and draft a QB in the first round in the 2011 draft and get rid of Kolb. I predict an extension coming mid-season if Kolb can prove himself by then [Which I think he can do]

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  3. Pope, I like your thinking and if I recall the Packers pretty much did that with Rodgers.

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