Life beyond the Donovan McNabb bars, the Philadelphia Eagles and Mike Vick had it made. The renewed veteran and NFL Comeback Player of the Year did as great stars do: He won, leading his team to a 10-6 record and a playoff relevance.
Yet, somewhere, somehow, a hoarders complex turned Eagles management insane this offseason with a spending an upward of $100 million for new talents.
Adding Namdi Osomugha is one thing, but to continue the gluttony with Culen Jenkins, Vince Young and Ronnie Brown is another. Stack in newly-acquired Steve Smith and things get more outlandish.
The acclaimed "Dream Team" is bringing lofty expectations with its high caliber of Pro Bowl talents. In an NFC East as unpredictable as a quarter slot machine, the moves seem like a small cry for help.
This season the Eagles have set themselves up for quite a storyline—though enticing and paralyzing—automatically placing them as the most hated team in football.
They also upturned a common divisional denominator—the Redskins—who are well-known for zealous spending and are now minuscule in comparison to the Eagles flaunt of cash.
But, why now ?
Considering that the best they ever got the future Hall of Famer Donovan McNabb was an unhappy Terrel Owens and injury prone Brian Westbrook, proposes a larger question that may be rumbling quietly beneath the surface.
Is Mike Vick for real? Signing the 31-year-old to a one-year franchise tag answers that as "no".
What then can we make of this current spending spree that has catapulted the one-time prudent Eagles toward Miami Heat status?
You got me.
I am certain the impending embroilment between Vick, and an undervalued Vince Young is a storyline the Eagles management is interested in. The former Longhorn is 30-17 as a starter, and like Vick, can win games with his feet.
But more compelling will be what Vick can do this season with a fattened offense. As nice as he looked as a pocket passer all last year, he now will be forced to do so even more with Ronnie Brown in the back field—a talented player able to slot out and run with efficiency.
With three flankers in DeSean Jackson, Steve Smith and Jeremy Maclin, can Vick continue in a pass-first offense molded around a need for a governing slice and dice-wheeler dealer?
He is not a Brady, Manning or Brees—but a guy who at times still showed signs last year he is uncomfortable under pressure in the pocket, resulting in an injury that cost him two weeks, the Eagles a first-round bye and their loss to the Packers in the playoffs.
Two losses in a row from the man and four turnovers warrants team concerns. But it also, considering the nature of pro athletics, could be water under the bridge with an early rise this year.
Last night's line: 13-6 W over Baltimore, 4-6, 74 yards and a touchdown says that is a fair possibility. We'll have to wait and see whether or not this "Dream Team" will crumble in LeFraud fashion or flourish in a hoarder's heap.