Andy Reid threatened to quit?
The Eagles were, in fact, interested Peyton Manning?
Both happened, according to a Los Angeles Times story published Friday.
However, not long after the story was picked up by the local media and spread like wild fire, Reid uncharacteristically released a statement essentially refuting the sourced claims.
In the Times article – a notes column -- “two NFL insiders” said that the Eagles coach was prepared to leave the team if he wasn’t given more control over personnel.
Reid’s response: “I have had final say on personnel matters for quite some time here and that’s never been an issue or a point of contention,” his statement said. “Our front office works very well together and that’s one of our strengths.”
In 2001, two years after becoming head coach, Reid was named vice president of football operations. The added responsibility came in the wake of executive Tom Modrak’s firing. Since then, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie has repeatedly asserted Reid’s authority in football matters.
Still, there has always been some murkiness in how decisions were made within the Eagles’ power structure, especially in regards to contracts. Team president Joe Banner has generally handled the money side of the ledger, although Howie Roseman has taken on more responsibility in contract negotiations since being named general manager in 2010.
But who decides how much a player is worth? Is it Reid or Banner/Roseman? It’s no secret that negotiations with wide receiver DeSean Jackson over the last year have been contentious. Many didn’t believe the parties would come to an agreement, but the Eagles and Jackson agreed to a five-year, $51 million deal last week.
Roseman took over in the off-season as the lead negotiator in talks with Jackson’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus. Roseman and Banner, though, have been known to split up duties or work in tandem in getting a deal done.
As for Reid threatening to walk away, many were under the impression following last season’s disappointing 8-8 record, that the coach would have little say over his future. Lurie was very critical of last season’s result and made it seem as if Reid’s job was on the line during a January dissertation on the state of the Eagles.
The Times piece posits that the Eagles’ recent flurry of signings of their own players was an offshoot of Reid gaining more control. Tackle Todd Herremans and defensive end Trent Cole were awarded extensions and free agent guard Evan Mathis and Jackson were handed new contracts.
Aside from last season’s spending spree in free agency, the Eagles have mostly conducted business as they are now. The Eagles aren’t usually accustomed to extending players near or over 30 – Herremans and Cole will be 30 in October – but both long-time Eagles are still playing at a high level.
The Manning news doesn’t come as much of a surprise. In fact, several publications – including this one – reported that the Eagles had internal discussions about trying to acquire the former Colts quarterback.
But the Times reported that Reid wanted to “jump in” the Manning sweepstakes, which could be interpreted as being considerably more than looking “into everything, as all teams do,” as Reid said in his statement.
“I have the highest regard for Peyton Manning,” Reid continued. “But as I said publicly last month, that wasn’t the direction we were heading in. Michael [Vick] is our guy.”
Reid never directly said then, during his interview with The Daily News, that the Eagles would not pursue Manning. Still, he must have known it was a long shot with Manning’s brother, Eli, playing in the same division as the Eagles.
Manning, of course, chose the Broncos earlier this week.