Thursday, September 14, 2006

Stallworth or Branch? MY Take

Interesting question on the forums today, should the Eagles have pursued ex-Pat WR Deion Branch, for whom the Seahawks traded a 1st round pick in 2007 and then promptly signed to a mega-bucks contract...($39 million bucks)?

Lets take a look at the facts as I understand them...Just two weeks earlier the Eagles made an excellent trade, LB Simoneau and a conditional 4th round pick (looks like it'll be a 3rd pick the way Donte' started) for the speedy Donte' Stallworth, who is in a contract year (i.e. the last year of his rookie contract)...
The difference between Stallworth and Branch: bitching...Deion was holding out and making a big stink over his lack of an extension and was basically driving himself out of Bah-ston...Anyone hear a peep from Stallworth, who was coming off a career year last year...Nope...was he probably unhappy with his situation with the 'aints...yup, but he was at least in camp (albeit limited by a few nagging nicks ((real or not))). I didn't read any stories about fines piling up...and trust me the Eagles have/had ABSOLUTELY NO interest in troublemaking WRs (see the distinct lack of interest in some players I happen to think are pretty good: Ashley Lelie, Jerry Porter, the aforementioned Branch).

Why else wouldn't the Eagles do it: Branch wanted his contract re-done and he wants plenty of green...why would the Eagles do that with a WR and cough up a significant chunk of change for a player who spent no time in camp, is not in game shape, and probably won't be able to contribute all that much for at least several weeks....Donte', on the other hand, seems content to play for his pay, and knows the Eagles have the space, and probably will pony up with an extension if he works hard and proves himself...(I think we have the very professional Joe Horn to thank for that [cell phone incident excepted])

Would having both of them be cool, you bet, but this the real world, not Madden 2007 (which I won't get to play until Nov. AUGH) and there is no chance the Eagles would part with a #1 pick in '07 and a huge contract (especially if faced with the potential to suddenly have to try and satisfy Stallworth's expectations later on). So the Eagles made their choice....I like Donte'; I think he realizes if he plays well, that the Eagles have the cap space and a history of locking players they like...Branch wanted to be paid for past performance (which he had in spades); Stallworth seems to undestand that once he displays his professionalism, attitude and ability that the Eagles will be there with an offer (and if Week 1 becomes a trend, there will be offers made by Nov -you heard it here)

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