Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Question of Timing

There is a lot going on at the NovaCare Complex today....plenty of emotional press conferences in the wake the Eagles release of stalwart middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter. I watched them, and I really admire the class with which Trotter and the entire organization handled what was definitely an uncomfortable situation. I mean, last time (when Trotter the Free Agent fled for big pay-day from Danny Boy in Washington) it was an acrimonious departure, spurring all sorts of "Eagles FO is cheap" sort of talk.

Today, Trotter left no doubt at his press conference: it was an amicable break-up, with Trot basically declaring Philly his home and himself an Eagle-for-life. This is not the departure of a bitter man, but rather of one appreciative of the opportunity the Eagles have given him and a successful life (albeit, one with a future of creaky knees).

Will Trotter keep playing? I think the chances are pretty good that some team will come calling (perhaps following an injury), but teams probably won't come knocking down the door of a 30 year old one-dimensional LB with wobbly wheels...

But why now? Why today? I see several benefits to both sides:
- There are still several weeks left before the start of the season. Its enough time to sign and at least begin to assimilate a new defense, in case Trot gets offers elsewhere
- Just as important - the Eagles now have two "games" to get acclimatized to life with Trot in the middle. This was not a shock that you want slapping players in the first game against Green Bay (though I am sure it will to an extent).
- Finally, by doing it separate, giving Trotter his own stage today was a class move. He doesn't say his goodbyes accompanied out the door with the likes of Zac Collie, Bill Sampy, Mauricio Lopez and a few others of the inevitable cuts coming at the end of the month.

How will it all play out? We get our first taste on Sunday Night Football when the Eagles play the Steelers. You hear that Omar? You da man now OG. We need you to step it up.

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