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Why Hank Baskett Should Still Be an Eagle

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 7: Hank Baskett #84 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs on the field against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium on December 7, 2008 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Lou DiPietroAnalyst ISeptember 17, 2009

Hank Baskett is an Indianapolis Colt.

The only question I have is, why Hank Baskett?

Obviously, the answer is because the Eagles wanted to get Michael Vick on the practice field as soon as possible, and with seven receivers, one was the likeliest candidate to get cut.

But it shouldn’t be Hank who is gone.

And not just because his wife is the smoking hot Kendra Wilkinson.

I personally agree with Lloyd Vance’s view—it should have been Reggie Brown.

Yes, his contract extension gave him $10 million in guaranteed money, so it would be ridiculously expensive to cut him.

But as opposed to being ridiculously expensive to give him little more than a sideline seat?

While Baskett will never be an elite receiver, the truth is that Brown probably won’t, either. And Brown has clearly fallen out of favor.

Last Sunday, he was one of two receivers on the inactive list, along with sixth-round pick Brandon Gibson. However, it’s obvious Gibson fits in the team’s future plans.

Brown, meanwhile, was inactive for the biggest game he’s ever seen—last season’s NFC Championship Game.  He was injured most of last season, completely missing nine games and being almost invisible in four others. Fourteen of his 18 catches (and 210 of his 252 yards) came in three games.

Looking straight at them, Baskett’s numbers (33 catches, 440 yards, 3 TD) weren’t too much better than Brown’s last season.

However, his combination of height (6-foot-4), speed (he runs a 4.4) and big-play ability (3 of his 6 career TD went for 87 yards or longer) gave the Eagles a dimension of versatility.

Brown has never done that, even in his best season.

He’s a pure possession receiver, a No. 2 at best, who apparently wasn’t good enough to be active over Baskett for in Week One.

Yet, because he’s a former second round draft pick owed a lot of money and Baskett is an undrafted free agent acquired for peanuts (Billy McMullen), it’s Brown who’s still in green.

Never thought I’d see that in the NFL where money is simply a proposition most of the time.

Sounds a lot like Reggie Brown’s playing time, actually.

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