Don't Play Games, Andy Reid, Tell Julius Peppers How You Feel

WesAnalyst IFebruary 1, 2010

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 10:  Julius Peppers #89 of the Carolina Panthers walks off the field in the rain after being defeated by the Arizona Cardinals 33-13 in the NFC Divisional Playoff Game on January 10, 2009 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Throughout my entire life I have routinely been left in the dark by women.

They drop subtle hints and say things that leave me second guessing myself up to the moment that I land in a pile of you know what.

Why can’t they just come out and say what they are thinking?

Why can’t they be like Carl Carey, who is the agent for Julius Peppers.

I’d say Carey is pretty clear when he said, “(The Carolina Panthers) are definitely giving Julius the silent treatment, but sometimes silence actually tells you more than words do. We can only conclude that they have moved on."

It all seems so simple now. Peppers is a free agent and he will go to the highest bidder.

Shoot. I forgot. Agents can be just like women and as they often baffle me and say things that they don’t mean.

It’s okay though.

Andy Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles need to make sure there is no ambiguity whatsoever. Someone in the NovaCare Complex needs to pick up the phone, call up Carey, and ask one question: How much do you want?

Is there any doubt left with that question? I don’t think so. And every agent, player and person in America speaks the language of money so clearly nothing can be misconstrued.

The Eagles need to open up the wallets and make it work.

Last season Peppers earned $17 million after he was slapped with the franchise tag. If the Carolina Panthers did the same thing this year Peppers would pick up a smooth $20 million. To keep the argument going let’s pick a middle number and go with $18.5 million. Please don’t tell me you think that is too much. It is not your money and none of it is going to be added to your taxes, much like newly built stadiums are.

Oh, no. This one is on Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie who owns a franchise worth over $1 billion. Now I’m not going to say the Eagles don’t spend money and I’m not going to say they don’t sign big name free agents because they have done both. What I am going to say is that spending the big bucks to land such a valuable free agent is worth the investment.

He is the perfect defensive end for the Eagles and immediately makes every player on the defensive unit better.

Think about it for a moment.

The best defensive linemen for the Birds right now is Trent Cole. He is most effective when the Eagles blitz up the middle because the offensive line can ill afford to double team Cole. One of the principles of the offensive line and any running back or tight end that is asked to protect the quarterback is to block the middle first and then pick up the outside. With the O-line losing an extra player to block the outside Cole can find a way to pressure the quarterback, register sacks, and force errant throws.

The downside to the blitz is that the cornerbacks and linebackers will usually be asked to play man coverage.

With Peppers on the opposite side of Cole you no longer need to blitz.

In a passing down it is not uncommon to see the five offensive linemen take on the duty of protecting the quarterback without additional help. When that happens the Eagles are guaranteed that either Peppers or Cole are going one-on-one against a tackle. With four down linemen the Eagles can potentially cause as much havoc as a blitz would.

To make the situation even better the Eagles cornerbacks will no longer be asked to play man-to-man coverage. And if you think Asante Samuel came up with a ton of picks playing man coverage, just imagine how solid he would play in zone coverage.

The trickledown effect doesn’t stop there. Instead of asking one safety to make a read, and offer support to the correct side of the gridiron, you can now have two safeties sitting back offering help to both sides of the field.

Now I know what you’re thinking. The opposition will use a tight end to help block one defensive end while the opposite guard and tackle take care of the other defensive end. This one simple move will blow everything up and the Eagles are back to square one.

Not. So. Fast.

A tightend that stays in to block is a tightend that can’t burn the Eagles in the passing game. I still have nightmares of Zach Miller rumbling 86 yards down the field because Jeremiah Trotter could not cover or tackle the Raiders tightend. So go ahead. Keep the tightend in to block. That makes us better too and the trickle-down effect of Peppers continues.

With the linebackers no longer having to be preoccupied by a tightend releasing off the line they can cheat up to the line of scrimmage every now and then to offer better run support.

Andy, pick up the phone and call. Jeffrey, open up the wallet and pay.

This one guy just made your entire defensive unit better across the board.

Now you can draft an offensive linemen to replace Shawn Andrews or a cornerback to replace Sheldon Brown assuming one or both exit stage left. The Eagles would obviously have to pay their draft picks, but they would save money paying a draft pick instead of shelling it out for Brown or Andrews. Take the extra cash flow and put it toward the “I wanna win a Super Bowl Fund.”

All that Andy has to do is come out and say what is on his mind. Leave nothing to chance on this one and don’t play mind games. The last thing you want to do is leave Julius and the fans in the dark.