Eagles president Joe Banner acknowledged during a WIP Radio appearance this evening that the team might need to work out a long-term deal with Michael Vick in order to have salary cap room to sign disgruntled wideout DeSean Jackson.
Actually, Banner only spoke hypothetically, unwilling to address specifics while talks go on. But he agreed it might be necessary to do something with one negotiation that would leave room in another. Vick is franchised this season at $16 million.
Banner also cautioned that, hypothetically, the second player could be asking for so much money, it wouldn’t matter how much room you were able to create with the first player.
Later, asked about the effect of Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald’s eight-year, $120 million deal on a hypothetical negotiation, Banner said: “Every contract that gets done has an impact,” and is used by one side or the other. Then he said Fitzgerald is the league’s consensus top receiver, and that the question for other receivers might be how far below Fitzgerald they are. He also said there is a good reason why some positions make more than other positions, and that you can mess up your team’s entire structure by overpaying for something other than a QB, corner, left tackle, defensive end, etc.
It didn’t sound much like the Eagles will be announcing a Jackson contract before tomorrow night's preseason game against the Browns.
Banner confirmed one more time for host Howard Eskin, who apparently does not read newspapers, that the team can indeed franchise Vick again next year if necessary. But given that you can only franchise one player at a time, and the team is much more likley to reach impasse with Jackson and agent Drew Rosenhaus, obviously, franchising Vick again would be much less than ideal.
Banner was asked if he got every player he wanted in free agency. He said he did not, though he was able to address every position he’s targeted. Then he said there was one position where the Eagles would not have signed a player they ended up signing, had they been able to sign another player. A good guess here would seem to be Plaxico Burress and Steve Smith, who unlike Burress, isn’t yet healthy.
Banner agreed that in the wake of the lockout, there is more talent available now than usual at this point in the preseason. But he also said you have to balance whether a player who is better than a rookie right now will still be better in Week 4 or Week 10, given the experience of playing.
On Asante Samuel, “the closer you get to the season, the less likelihood of something happening.” Banner said the Eagles have concluded they are better off with Samuel than with what people are offering, and they have had no recent trade conversations.
Banner said the hope is that Smith, recovering from microfracture surgery, will be available for the season opener.
Our post from earlier today: Vick Enjoys High Standing Among Peers