This is what the end of an era looks like (well, this and trading Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino mid-season): Andy Reid, looking like a boyfriend going through the motions in a relationship that is destined to end in disaster, giving somber press conferences the day after a horrific loss. Team sources distancing themselves from Reid. Other sources leaking information about the owner’s laughable decision to extend his disappointing GM.
The season is only half over, but it’s over. The Eagles, Reid are done. Karl Rove doesn’t think so. He’s still holding out for an 8-0 finish. But it’s over.
So let’s turn to some of the other pressing issues of the day.
The offensive line may have just gotten worse. Todd Herremans is reportedly done for the season: [CSN Philly]
There’s a very good chance the Eagles will lose starting right offensive tackle Todd Herremans for the rest of the season with the foot injury he suffered Monday night during the Eagles’ loss to the Saints, according to two people familiar with his test results.
That’s bad. Herremans is literally the only capable offensive lineman the Eagles have. With him gone, there is a more-than-distant chance that Michael Vick loses a limb. Or his head.
[The funny thing here, as pointed out by (@SportsPickle), is that Juan Castillo was a good offensive line coach.]
Speaking of Vick, he’ll likely be a free agent after the season. The Eagles will have paid him just about everything he’s owed on his roughly $36 million contract and they probably won’t opt to pay him another $16 million. Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead takes a look at potential landing spots.
Switching gears to hockey: there might have actually been some progress in talks as reps from both sides met last night. The league may honor existing contracts (a major sticking point for the players), but Sam Carchidi points out a few more that remain: [Philly.com]
The players figure to battle the NHL's proposal to limit contracts to five years, along with several other issues, including the league's desire to make the original team responsible for the salary-cap hit of a player who signs for more than five years – even if the player retires after being traded.
That means players will likely accept the decrease in revenue-share proposed by the league – from 57% to 50% – but will push back on other, somewhat draconian line items. Limiting contracts is a necessary step. Limiting them to five years, however, is ridiculous. The other item – which would require teams that have signed players to deals longer than five years to pay those players if they retire before the contract ends, regardless of what team they’re with – could affect the Flyers, who would be forced to pay Mike Richards and Jeff Carter if they retire before their long-term deals are up.
I expect the league will back off that latter item, but the contract length thing might be the final sticking point here.
Finally, the Phillies.
Matt Gelb of Philly.com points out that Ruben Amaro will be in a tough spot this winter. The free agent pool isn’t so good. Small market teams have been to retain their players before free agency, a result of increased revenue from league and team TV contracts: [Philly.com]
Two players – outfielder Josh Hamilton and righty Zack Greinke – could snag $100 million contracts. The Phillies are not expected to pursue either, having already used $144 million to persuade Cole Hamels from tasting free agency. San Francisco employed a similar tactic by locking up Matt Cain in April to a six-year extension worth $127.5 million.
Those moves were just two examples of clubs retaining their top talents before free agency; Andrew McCutchen in Pittsburgh and Joey Votto in Cincinnati also apply. That has contributed to a less attractive market.
In a way, small market teams being able to compete is a good thing for parity. The other side of that coin, however, hurts teams like the Phillies, who don’t have pockets as deep as the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers, because their advantage over small market teams is lessened, a bit, at least. The best example of that is McCutchen. He’s the one player I really (unhealthily so) wanted the Phillies to go after. Only 26 and entering his prime, McCutchen is a five-tool player who plays a position at which the Phillies sorely need help– center field. He would have been the perfect signing for this team: he gets on base, hits for average and power, has speed, is a good fielder. And is young. But, the Pirates were able to lock him up. So we’re on to Plan B… perhaps Shane Victorino?
— Shane Victorino (@ShaneVictorino) November 7, 2012
Shit. Four more years?