Andrew Brandt's spending philosophy

Since the Eagles hired Andrew Brandt as a consultant for player contract negotiations and salary cap management back in February, his name has only appeared on philly.com six times.

In April, when Sheldon Brown was voicing his displeasure, he said the Eagles told him to deal with Brandt.

"They disrespected my agent, in my eyes, first by [Joe Banner saying he was unaware of an issue], then by having my agent deal with some guy I've never even met," he told the Daily News at the time.

Leonard Weaver's agent, Harold Lewis, spoke favorably about working with Brandt and getting the fullback to sign with the Eagles.

"I was looking at a three-horse race with Seattle, Tampa Bay and Houston," Lewis told the Daily News in March. "Then I got a call from Andrew Brandt. We started goofing around . . . and shortened the gap."

So who cares, and why am I writing about this in mid-July?

Because we don't know too much about Brandt in terms of his exact role in the Eagles' organization.

But we do know he is the president and founder of nationalfootballpost.com. And last week, he wrote an interesting piece detailing his philosophy for building a winning team, the basic premise being that spending big and winning big are not directly related.

It's an interesting read for several reasons.

One, we complain all the time about the Eagles' organization being tight-lipped and not explaining their decisions to the media and the fan base. Here you have a consultant for the organization, who has been directly involved in contract negotiations, explaining the way he thinks.

Can you imagine Andy Reid or Joe Banner writing 1,087 words describing what they think the right way is to build a football team?

And number two, you see exactly why the Eagles brought Brandt in. Check out this passage from his column:

The lack of correlation between winning and spending is not a novel concept and one that has been proven for years. The proper way to build success in the NFL is to assemble and develop young talent that proves worthy of core contract extensions, ensuring continuity of key players at key positions on the roster. Selective and targeted acquisition of free agents is necessary to complement the existing talent base. However, continued spending on free agents, driving up player costs and pushing out players who have been coached and developed, is not a sound way to put together a team.

Might as well have been written by Banner, right?

Jason La Canfora of NFL.com wrote last month that the Eagles ranked 20th in terms of cash spending. Brandt said his numbers are "slightly different" but he agreed with the premise that cash spending, not cap spending should be the focus when looking at how much teams are actually paying players:

One of the biggest misperceptions that fans have about teams’ willingness to spend is that if they have a lot of cap room, they are not spending. That can be very far from the truth. A well-managed cap with plenty of room can coincide with having spent liberally to improve. I know that firsthand.

Anyway, check out the column if you have a chance, and let me know what you think about Brandt's philosophy in the comments below.

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