Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Jeremiah Trotter, warrior and class act, was one of my favorite Philadelphia Eagles.

His outright release is being commerated like someone died on the Eagles’ website. But, there was an awful lot to like about the guy from a fans standpoint. He carried our flag. He had that motor. He went to Washington, ripped that team and fans as indolent, and returned to Philadelphia chastened and full of love for us.

But he had to turn 30- which is a no-no on Reid’s roster. He was making a ton of bucks- and his replacement, I imagine Omar Gaither, was younger and, while not maybe “better”, certainly not four million dollars worse. And that is what the modern NFL is about- you cultivate the young guy until he’s within a hair’s breadth of the veteran- and make the switch. The Eagles got “younger” and “cheaper”- which is part and parcel of success in the League now, right along with “better”.

With a cap, you can’t normally keep multi-million dollar players for depth (outside of quarterback) either. Plus, as a ‘backer, Trotter was going to have to play special teams- and his increasing lack of mobility made that problematic.

The Eagles, in the past, could survive that foible because they could afford to have Trotter sell out completely to stop the run with their plethora of quality DBs. But some of their worst match-up problems last season were TEs and pass-catching backs. There are obviously some good ones in the NFC East, repeatedly tormenting Trotter in bad down and distance situations: 1st and 10, 2nd and 5, etc. The Eagles were forced to use a lot more nickel than made sense normally- just to get Trotter out of there.

That is not to say Trotter was a bad player- just one you had to find a specific, limited role for. If he could play straight ahead, down hill, he was still a pretty good player (not a Pro-Bowl one though anymore). But the Eagles have a second year, first day draft pick, who played pretty well for the most part, on the roster. Omar figures to improve. If you aren’t going to play him- then why draft him? And if he plays close to Trotter’s level, well, Jeremiah has to go elsewhere.