Philadelphia Eagles: Top 10 Most Disappointing Players of the Andy Reid Era
Have you ever had certain expectations about something only to be let down because they failed to be met? Such is the definition of the term disappointment. Many times expectations are raised due to other people creating a lot of hype.
It could be a movie (supposedly hilarious), restaurant (supposedly great food), vacation destination (supposedly not that expensive), or even something as mundane as a particular model vacuum cleaner (supposedly sucks up everything, but instead just plain sucks).
How many times have you ever heard several people say how great something was only to be disappointed when you actually tried it?
The same can go for NFL players and teams. I'm sure all Eagles fans experience disappointment every year when they fail to reach the Super Bowl. You can only experience disappointment if you have a certain level of expectation.
The Eagles have been very successful during the Andy Reid era and, because of that, expectations have been set high. This, of course, is why Eagles fans can experience disappointment. If your expectations are minimal or if you have none at all, you will not feel disappointment.
With that said, who can we say have been the most disappointing players during the Andy Reid era?
10. DE Darren Howard
He was the Eagles' big free-agent acquisition in 2006. He signed a six-year, $30 million contract with $10.5 million guaranteed. He had built a good reputation with the Saints and was expected to bolster the defensive line in Philadelphia. Andy Reid and Jeff Lurie did a good job of painting him as the answer to the Eagles' pass-rush woes.
Though overall he was an average player, Howard never really lived up to such lofty expectations after he joined the Eagles. In his four seasons with the team, he recorded 22.5 sacks, 10 of which came in his only good season in 2008.
He never became the left end he was supposed to be for the Eagles and was used primarily as a pass rusher from the defensive-tackle position on passing downs. He was largely ineffective when you weigh the expectations from him, his contract and his actual production.
9. LB Ernie Sims
However, the front office, and defensive coordinator Sean McDermott in particular, made Sims out to be an excellent addition and their future star weak-side linebacker. Remember the whole "there's a shark in the water" quote by McDermott?
He might have been a shark all right—one that liked to hunt, but could never catch his prey, ultimately starving to death. Sims routinely overran plays and displayed a severe lack of instinct (something a real shark would have).
He certainly did not live up to expectations and is not expected to re-sign with a team that has a perpetual hole at this position.
8. WR Reggie Brown
He was selected with the 35th overall pick in the 2005 draft. He set an Eagles rookie record with 43 receptions and showed good enough progression in his second year that the Eagles signed him to a 5-year, $27 million extension with $10 million guaranteed. He had a decent third year but quickly spiraled downward.
After such a promising start to his career, and a nice extension, he disappeared into oblivion. Everyone, including myself, felt that Andy Reid finally drafted a good receiver, one that would be around for years to come. After lackluster fourth and fifth seasons, the Eagles finally cut ties with him.
7. WR Freddie Mitchell
The 25th overall pick in the 2001 draft is remembered more for his outlandish yet comical behavior more than his production on the field. He was a heralded receiver coming out of UCLA, and many Eagles fans saw him as a good pairing with second-year receiver Todd Pinkston. Boy, were we wrong.
In four mouthy seasons with the Eagles, the "People's Champ" (or "Fred-Ex") had 90 receptions for 1,263 yards and five touchdowns. If the expectations of him weren't high enough because he was a first-round pick, they were increased because of his self-promotion as such a great receiver.
He was so good that after leaving the Eagles in the prime of his career, he couldn't find another job in the NFL.
6. WR Terrell Owens
He was acquired in 2004 in one of the more bizarre ways that I can ever remember. Technically, it ended up being a trade, with the Eagles giving up DE Brandon Whiting and a fifth-round pick.
Owens then signed a seven-year, $49 million contract, but his guaranteed amount was less than any of the other top-10 receivers of the NFL. That is what ultimately led to a fiasco in 2005, highlighted by Owens doing sit-ups in his driveway after being suspended.
The disappointment with Owens wasn't about his production on the field; he was stellar in that area. For me it was the expectations for the 2005 season. After witnessing just how good the Eagles could be with Owens and McNabb, and seeing them just miss in the Super Bowl, I felt that the Eagles were almost a shoo-in for another Super Bowl.
But alas, Owens had to be his controversial self and completely screw up a golden opportunity for a championship.
5. DE Jevon Kearse
As part of the glorious 2004 offseason, Kearse signed an eight-year, $66 million contract with $16 million guaranteed and a total of $24 million in the first three years. At that time, he was the highest paid defensive end in the history of the NFL. Expectations were enormous, and the fan base was ecstatic.
In four years he accumulated only 22 sacks and never more than 7.5 in a single season. He was also constantly running off the field for minor injuries he would sustain during the course of a game. Though he wasn't completely horrible and did help fuel the 2004 Super Bowl run, his overall production never came close to what was expected of him.
I probably could have ranked him higher on my list.
4. DE Jerome McDougle
He often makes many Eagles "draft bust" lists, and while he certainly was one, he was also a major disappointment. The Eagles traded up in the first round to No. 15 in the 2003 draft, giving up a second-round pick to do so.
His career was plagued by injuries (ankle, knee, hip), medical conditions (irregular heartbeat) and the mugging incident in which he was shot in the abdomen.
The Eagles were patient with him as they waited to see if their investment would ever come to fruition. But after four years, 29 tackles and three sacks their patience ran out. The Eagles were in dire need of a defensive end at the time they drafted him, so it was frustrating to never see him on the field.
3. OT Stacy Andrews
Even though he was coming off of a torn ACL, the Eagles still signed him to a six-year, $38.9 million contract in 2009. He was touted as being a great right tackle and was supposed to replace big Jon Runyan. He was also the brother of Eagles guard Shawn Andrews, and together they were going to form the "Andrews Wall".
Everyone claimed he would be ready to start from Day One and that his injured knee would be 100 percent. Well, the Eagles released him after only 10 poorly played games in 2009 and a contract restructure in early 2010. Was it the knee, or was he just that bad? In retrospect, I feel the biggest reason we ever signed him in the first place was to comfort his flaky brother Shawn.
2. TE L.J. Smith
The second-round draft pick in 2003 was immediately proclaimed for greatness due to his size, speed and athleticism. For six years Eagles fans kept waiting to see Smith display his immense talents on a consistent basis, but it just never quite happened.
Between numerous nagging injuries, countless dropped passes and multiple fumbles, Smith could just never put it all together for an entire season. One week he would look like a bona fide stud, and the next week he'd completely disappear.
But all the while Andy Reid and company kept telling us how good he was. His flashes of stud-like ability yet consistent inconsistency made him extremely frustrating and ultimately disappointing.
1. OT Shawn Andrews
The Eagles traded up to the 16th selection in the 2004 draft, picking Andres. He was a top tackle in the draft class and became an immediate starter on the offensive line.
He was injured in the beginning of his rookie year and missed the rest of the season with a broken leg. But he followed that up by making the Pro Bowl as a right guard the next two years and was considered one of the best, if not the best, right guard in the NFL.
However, Andrews decided to jump on Ozzy Ozbourne's Crazy Train in 2008. He went back and forth with what was ultimately described as depression (though some were never really convinced this was the case) and a disc problem in his back for a period of two years.
Shawn Andrews Continued
Andy Reid and the Eagles did everything in their power to accommodate and cuddle him.
From signing his brother Stacy to paying him more money and moving him to right tackle, the Eagles showed as much patience and understanding as one could expect. They finally decided to cut him in 2010 once it appeared he would never make his way back. If he would have kept his head on straight, he could have had a Hall of Fame-type career.
Easily the biggest disappointment of the Andy Reid era.