Reid's agent, Bob LaMonte, created a big stir over the weekend by coming to training camp and inviting a few reporters for an interview. Then he proceeded to say the following (courtesy of Jeff McLane of Philly.com):
Lurie "has stated again and again, any time that I’ve been with him, that was as long as he’s the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles Andy Reid would be his coach," LaMonte said. "And I’d say the proof of the pie is in the pudding. He’s been here 14 years."
This prompted a very quick response from Jeff Lurie when he issued the following statement about two hours later:
Bob is a great agent who we have an outstanding relationship with. As much respect as all of us have for Andy Reid, it is the nature of the profession that all coaches, executives and players are evaluated each year. That’s the way we have always operated. But our focus right now, and I know Andy feels the same way, is solely on the upcoming 2012 season.
When I first heard this news, I couldn't believe that something like this was coming up now, at this particular point in time.
For one, you have to remember that agents don't just say things like this for the sake of conversation, they have a purpose in mind. For two, Andy Reid just buried his son last Tuesday.
Why on earth would Reid's agent come into town and start stirring up this kind of crap right now? And did Andy Reid give him the OK to do so?
Reid still has two years left on his current contract, so it's not as if he's entering the final year and has a "lame duck" status.
The first question that came to my mind, right, wrong or indifferent, was: "Is Reid (or his agent) trying to use Garrett's death to some kind of advantage in getting a new contract?" McLane followed up with a column in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Monday posing the same questions.
It feels wrong just saying that, but I can't help but think it. I don't want to think that they would try and take a tragedy and use it for personal or business gains.
However, I can't think of any other reason for the timing of LaMonte's statements.
This could—and should—wait until later on in the season. If Reid or LaMonte wanted to take advantage of a situation, that situation should be when Reid and the Eagles are steamrolling their way into the playoffs.
If you think about it for a minute, they could very well be trying to take advantage of the current situation.
After the news of Garrett Reid's death, the outpouring of support from players, coaches and other members of the NFL community was tremendous. Also, the Philadelphia fanbase showed great support for Reid as well.
Basically, it all showed how much Reid is respected and loved in and around the NFL.
Is Reid or his agent trying to use Garrett's death to their advantage?
Is Reid and/or LaMonte trying to "ride the wave" of emotion and use it to have Lurie show everyone his commitment to Reid by making sure he remains in Philly even longer?
Or maybe they think they can paint Lurie into a corner by saying these things and thinking that Lurie would not, in this time of grief for Reid, say anything publicly to the contrary.
In other words, their strategy could be that it would make Lurie look like a "bad guy" if he didn't want to extend Reid.
But as you saw, Lurie was having none of that. The fact that he responded so quickly is telling. There must have been conversations between the two sides that precluded the statements made by LaMonte.
Therefore, good for Lurie. Apparently, he is standing his ground and doing what a responsible owner should do, which is waiting to see how this season unfolds before making a decision on Reid's future.
Reid, to his credit (I guess), did try to distance himself from his agent's comments:
I don’t get into any of that. I’m a one-day-at-a-time kind of guy, one year, one play, the whole deal. So that’s not how I operate. I don’t worry about all that.
I think the best thing that Bob said was if and when it ever came down to that, it’s between Jeff and I. So I’m lucky, lucky to have him as an owner, and I respect that every day, but I don’t even go there.Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
That’s not what this is about. This is about right now and getting this football team ready, and that’s all I care about.
That's all well and good from the coach, but remember, Bob LaMonte works for Reid and it would be odd that he didn't get the okay from the Big Guy before stirring the pot here.
After an offseason like the Eagles have had and after a 2011 season that was a bust, the team doesn't need to have this kind of distraction hanging around.
The really odd thing is that Reid—and LaMonte, for that matter—prefers to handle things privately and not take to the public for these matters.
Maybe it's all "harmless" and not meant to be any kind of negotiating tactic. But if that were the case, why would they be going through the trouble here? It doesn't make any sense otherwise.
For the sake of the season, I hope this is quickly forgotten about and Reid earns an extension by reaching the goal we all want him to attain.