Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo

Skins trying to close deal with former Eagle star


Recommended Posts


Skins trying to close deal with former Eagle star

By JIM DUCIBELLA, The Virginian-Pilot

© April 17, 2002

ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins are in serious negotiations with former Philadelphia Eagles star linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, and could have an agreement soon.

Washington coaches met with Trotter, Philadelphia's defensive MVP last season, at Redskin Park earlier this week. The addition of Trotter would give them three Pro Bowl linebackers: Trotter in the middle, LaVar Arrington and Jessie Armstead on the outside.

``I'm looking for a place where I feel comfortable and come in and help the team out,'' Trotter told several Washington media outlets. ``They have a great staff here. They're laid back. They love to have fun, and they love the game. It's like me. .


. I have a passion for the game. That's something I look for in coaches.''

How Trotter, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, comes to be available is complicated.

Trotter was labeled the ``franchise'' player by Eagles management after last season. That meant that the Eagles would have to pay him the average salary of the top five linebackers in the league to retain his rights -- about $5.5 million.

But when Trotter's agent let it be known that his client was going to sign the tender, the Eagles quickly withdrew the franchise designation, making Trotter a free agent. The Trotter contingent then met with Redskins owner Dan Snyder over dinner, after which the Redskins made a one-year offer.

``If we could fit him in, we'd love to have him,'' coach Steve Spurrier said. ``But we've only got so much dough. Free agency isn't really free.''

No matter what the Redskins offer Trotter, however, he could turn out to be a bargain. The only other teams that have showed interest in Trotter are Green Bay and the expansion Houston Texans. He'll meet with the Packers on Thursday. He met with Houston management recently.

``We would have the best linebacking corps in the league,'' Trotter said. ``I hope we can get something done.''

Meanwhile, the Redskins continued their pursuit of Chicago backup quarterback Shane Matthews, a former Florida Gator who played under Spurrier. Both teams have expressed interest in consummating the deal -- which became easier when Chicago signed Chris Chandler recently -- but compensation remains an issue.

Washington likely would have to surrender at least a fifth- or sixth-round selection, and there are some inside Redskin Park who are advising the team to wait.

With Chandler in Chicago, the Bears might eventually just waive Matthews, though that probably wouldn't happen until after June 1. Spurrier would like to have him aboard before then.

With the draft Saturday, the Redskins seem to be focusing on defensive tackles, receivers and guards. They're also looking at trading their first-round pick, the 18th of the round.

``We have to look in both directions, how it is best for the organization to maximize the pick,'' vice-president of football operations Joe Mendes said Tuesday. ``Whether it is better for us to move up and get one quality player or move down and get one quality player and other picks.''

One possible obstacle to moving up is that the Redskins do not have a third-round pick to package with their first. That went to Kansas City as compensation for coach Marty Schottenheimer.

Washington most likely would have to dangle something like a second-round choice in 2003.

NOTES: The Redskins' preseason schedule is set. After opening in Osaka, Japan on Aug. 3 against San Francisco, the Redskins play at Carolina on Saturday, Aug. 10 (8 p.m.), at home against Pittsburgh on Sunday, Aug. 18 (7:30 p.m.), in Tampa on Saturday, Aug. 24 (8 p.m.), then close out against Super Bowl champion New England on Thursday, Aug. 29 (8 p.m.). All games except the American Bowl against the 49ers will be televised locally by WAVY.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Going off on a tangent for a sec... This makes absolutely no sense to me:

But when Trotter's agent let it be known that his client was going to sign the tender, the Eagles quickly withdrew the franchise designation, making Trotter a free agent.

Why in the world would the Eagles do this?

They're $10m under the cap. They could've easily signed Trotter to that one-year deal, kept their defense together (and their defensive leader), and still had plenty of cap room to spare: in fact, even if they inked Trotter, they'd still have the most cap room in our division, $4.5m.

Instead, they basically cut the guy for nothing. But why?

The only thing that would make sense is if the Eagles needed that $10m cap space for a trade or something along those lines. Maybe those Sapp trade rumors aren't so outlandish after all. Maybe Reid realizes that McNabb needs a #1 receiver after all (they'd better not get Owens or Boston :cuss: ). Maybe they'll get a RB out of left field, who knows?

They're up to something. I just can't believe that Reid would be foolish enough to make this kind of manoeuver without having some motive behind it.

Prepare for a big move by them this weekend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Because Andy Reid, a fine football coach, is proving to have an ego only slightly smaller than Jerry Jones hisself.

Reid miscalculated by letting the situation get out of hand. Trotter was angry about his negotiations, talked disrespectfully about the Iggle brain trust and didn't care who inside or outside the organization he spoke to.

A star player publicly voicing mistrust of the front office is a problem. A team leader openly disrespecting the coaching staff is a huge problem. The one-year deal gave Trotter the freedom to take home a dandy paycheck while doing as he danged well pleased and then leaving for bigger bucks next year.

Reid wasn't going to allow that to happen. He showed everybody who's boss by franchising Trotter while the free agent dollars for linebackers dried up. He never intended to sign Trotter as a franchise player, just wanted to tie him up to screw him. Once Trotter decided to sign Reid pulled the offer away to let the guy hang.

Jerimiah Trotter is an angry man and I don't blame him. Boy would I love to have him on our side for 2 games against the Iggs next year!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the answer is the Eagles were looking to unload Trotter. After failing to get any 2 #1 pick offers from teams, Reid who is now the GM as well as HC, decided to move on and release Jeremiah from the team.

Reid doesn't tolerate 'personalities' on his team. He runs a top down shop where players are supposed to be 'team' oriented.

Trotter got the reputation even before last season as a guy that was out for himself and wasn't going to let the organization shut him up.

He continued to talk to the media about his contract after Reid said the subject was closed.

In a way, the availability of Trotter is similar to how the Skins ended up being able to pick up Jessie Armstead.

Armstead also had a long-running battle of words with the Giants' front office and truthfully the team couldn' wait to be rid of him.

Again, the Giants like the Eagles are an organization that doesn't know or want to know how to deal with players that have an attitude.

Unfortunately for them, most of the pro bowl players in this league are proud enough to have an independent voice and if you are looking for a team of YES MEN like Marty was last year, then you end up with an 8-8 record, or worse. :(

Remember Gibbs had the Darrell Greens and Tim Johnsons but he also was able to work with and coach the Gary Clarks and Wilber Marshalls as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


The same line grabbed my eye when I read it.

The only thing I can think of that's more guaranteed to produce bad feelings in a locker room than using "The Tag", is using it and then yanking the offer.

(Well, I can think of one thing that might be more despicable: that's hanging the label on a player, then cutting him, say, when the season starts. I don't think the tender offer has any guaranteed money, so I guess they could have waited till everybody spent all this year's money, then cut him without any cap implications. But I can't think how that would help a team, since at that late date it's hard to bring anybody in).

And, I don't understand why they didn't just let him sign the tender. If somebody else comes along, I think they could have cut him then. (And, in the meantime, somebody might have offered a third-rounder for him).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the eventual release was a combo of three things:

One, it wasn't a good fit. Trotter wanted a huge bonus on a L-Term deal, and the Eagles don't like to give out signing bonuses, that's why their cap situation is solid. They aren't stuffing huge salaries into the cap through the use of huge bonuses and backloaded annuals.

Two, I'll assume that Reid doesnt' want his highest paid player to be a MLB ... my hunch is he'd prefer to get by with less at MLB, and invest more heavily in DL, DB, and maybe RB.

Three, althought teams extend the tender, and set aside the necessary cap room, no team really wants to lock up that much cap room all of the sudden. For example, the Skins didn't really want to pay Davis $4 Mil three years ago, and they saved a ton on the cap when the redid it into 7 year deal. My hunch is that the Eagles were in a similar bind ... that money was slotted for some other priority.

Plus, I assume there was a clash with Coach/GM.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the Eagles don't like to give out signing bonuses, that's why their cap situation is solid. They aren't stuffing huge salaries into the cap through the use of huge bonuses and backloaded annuals.

Copy to Mr. Snyder, please.

Every time I hear the term "restructure", I cringe. While I wouldn't mind new contracts for several players, if it's done for purposes of extending their stays here, the term usually means "let's borrow some money against the cap from 2005, so we can pay some guy that we can't afford right now (because we were planning on this guy being dead money this year, and he turned out to be good)".

I keep thinking NFL GMs are going to get tired of writing contracts where the assumption when it's written is that "we're writting this contract for 6 years, but he's really only going to play for 3, and then count against the cap for another 2", and then, down the road, having to do it again to keep the plates spinning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...