Dave Spadaro of the Eagles' Web site is at it again, in the wake of the announcement that receiver Todd Pinkston tore his Achilles in practice today and is done for the season. The Eagles will make do, says Spadaro blithely, and others will step up.
Someone needs to rap their knuckles on this guy's shiny hollow skull. Here's why. (First of all, I feel badly for Pinkston, who'd been booed in camp prior to his injury for no good reason. He's had his problems, but I don't think he deserved that kind of treatment.)
Anyway, this is the real problem. Pinkston's injury gives Terrell Owens roughly 72.5 tons of leverage. Because if he acts up, then the Eagles have to put up with it. And if he sits out, the Eagles are screwed, because they would be left with Greg Lewis, Reggie Brown, Billy McMullen, Justin Jenkins and a couple other guys no one has ever heard of. And don't think that TO wouldn't sabotage the Eagles' season. He is fully capable of it.
If TO stays and is happy, then the Eagles will be fine without Pinkston. Lewis is solid, Brown is good and catching on and apparently Jenkins is surprisingly able. As for the assertions, by Spadaro and others, that McMullen is somehow going to step up, what is that based on? Apparently he's been having a so-so, inconsistent camp, and he's in the third, make-or-break year of his career with a total of 13 catches to his credit.
The silver lining here is that it gives the Eagles the public excuse to meet TO's contract terms at some reasonable level of compromise. Apparently, his concern is that the Eagles will ditch him after this season, so that he'll wind up getting stuck with a below-market $3.5 million this year in the expectation of getting $9 million or so next year that will never come. So the Eagles could agree to bump some of that money into what he's due this year while finding a way to guarantee some of next year's money. I'm no contract guru, but clearly the Eagles could work this out if they wanted to.
Anyway, the battle lines are a lot sharper now. We'll see what happens in the next couple weeks. I would frankly be shocked if the Eagles don't do something, either with TO's contract or by bringing in a veteran receiver. (If Mike Williams comes on strong in Detroit, does oft-injured Charles Rogers become trade bait?) Incidentally, I'm glad Correll Buckhalter's knee injury wasn't serious, for his sake. That would have been such a crusher for him to go down so soon with yet another knee injury.