The team that made the most commanding moves in the 2011 off season: The Philadelphia Eagles.
After signing key defensive players including Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Babin, and a trio of superstar corner backs in Asante Samuel, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and Nnamdi Asomugha, the Eagles were dubbed the “Dream Team”.
This title quickly proved to be just that, a dream.
The team faced adversity throughout the season while on their way to a modest 8-8 record.
Michael Vick threw 18 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. His passer rating was 84.9. Compared to his 2010 campaign, 2011 was disappointing to say the least.
Vick was not the only player who brought less than expected to the table.
DeSean Jackson and his agent treated the 2011 season as though it was solely focused on Jackson and his paychecks.
In order to express his desire for a new contract he held out of the Eagles’ training camp from July 28, until August 8 (He returned only to avoid facing penalty beyond the $30,000 per day he was already being fined.)
His efforts to acquire a new contract only lead him to a season full of pitfalls the football world were not accustomed to seeing with Jackson.
Jackson was deactivated on November 13 against the Arizona Cardinals due to missing practice. He faced a $10,000 fine for unsportsmanlike conduct when facing the division rival New York Giants.
His in game performance was hindered as well. Jackson was pulled from the game for the entire fourth quarter against the New England Patriots after two potential touch downs were dropped.
These distractions are inexcusable in a professional organization. The only viable option is to release Jackson.
The franchise possesses the talent to be an elite team. They lack veteran leadership, and are consequently forced to deal with immaturity.
Andy Reid, along with the rest of the staff is staying put in spite of the disappointing season. The Eagles know that 2012 has as much, if not more potential than the 2011 season.
Insert Randy Moss’ return to the NFL … here.
Moss proved in the late years of his career that he could be a major piece of a high caliber offense. He proved to be explosive with record numbers in 2007, 23 touchdowns. He reached 1,264 yards in 2009.
Moss still has it.
It’s safe to say that his speed is not what it once was, but his size and knowledge of the field still give him the ability to perform at a high level.
The Eagles 2011 offseason was brilliant. With the right moves in 2012, their regular season will be brilliant as well.
Get rid of the distraction in DeSean Jackson, bring veteran leadership to the field in Randy Moss, and make the dream team, a reality.