The past two years, the Philadelphia Eagles have not given us too much of a reason to be excited past the month of October. As painful as the team was to watch during the 2011 season, the Eagles have taken it to a new level of misery this year. However, diehard Eagles fans will continue to watch each Sunday whether the team wins the rest of its games or loses the last six games. Although at this point it is looking more like the latter, we should take notice of how a few players in particular finish out the season. Their production could determine whether or not they will be Eagles in 2013 under a new regime.
Jeremy Maclin: Joining the team in 2009, Eagles fans anticipated Maclin teaming up with Desean Jackson to form one of the most dangerous wide receiver duos in the league. Truth is, we have only seen glimpses of that. Although Maclin is not a bad player, he does get nicked up often and he can go for games without making an impact. Considering he had an illness in training camp last year, this year was supposed to be his breakout year. That hasn’t happened. Depending on who is coaching the team next year, they may look to get a bigger, physical, possession type receiver to play opposite of the highly paid Desean Jackson. I think that a receiver with those traits would be a perfect complement to what Desean does. Considering that next year is the last year on Maclin’s rookie contract, the new regime could look to move him unless he becomes in the last six games the receiver we thought he would be.
Nnamdi Asomugha: None was more excited and surer that the Eagles had obtained the second best cornerback in the NFL late last July when they signed Asomugha. Boy was I wrong. Asomugha has been a huge disappointment on so many levels. He is highly inconsistent, lacks speed and as a result he gets burned often, lacks physicality (which I thought was his specialty by jamming wr’s at the line of scrimmage), lacks leadership, and seems to play without any fire or intensity. With all that being said, he will be 32 next July and is scheduled to make over $15 million next year. Unless he dominates and does not give up one reception during the last six games, I cannot see how a new coach could bring him back with that large of a salary next year. If the new regime does decide to release him, the Eagles would only be liable for $4 million of his $15 million salary.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: Whether to resign DRC or whether to let him walk next year will be a very interesting decision. Although last year was a rough start for the cornerback, this year he seems to have settled in and is playing with more confidence. He has made some great plays with his speed and ball skills, however; the past couple of games have not been the corners finest work. The truth is he is going to be 27 next April, and although he comes from the Asante Samuel School of tackling; the right defensive scheme and coaches could value him as being a young, fast playmaker for the 2013 defense. That is if his play doesn’t continue to decline the last 6 weeks of the season as it has the past few games.
Demeco Ryans: Throughout this year, Ryans is one of the few players that I can say that I am proud he is an Eagle. He has been consistent since day one anchoring the middle of the defense. Unfortunately, there is not much heart and desire around him. Although you would think the best player on defense would be guaranteed to be back in Eagle green next year, there are a few things to think about with Ryans. He will turn 28 next year and still should have a few good years ahead of him. However, if the new regime wants a more athletic Mike linebacker or wants to install a 3-4 defense then Ryans could be gone. In addition, he is due almost $7million next year and if the Eagles cut him, they would not take a cap hit. That could make it tough for Ryans to stay if his play slips at all.