Last week, the story was firm, on good sources, that the Eagles had promised quarterback Michael Vick that he would be traded in the spring and that in his new NFL home he would return to a starting position and live happily ever after. Then it all changed on Tuesday when Michael Lombardi of the NFL Network reported that the Eagles plan to keep Vick and pay him the reported $5.2 million bonus he is owed on March 5 and as far as any previous reports, well, disregard them.
Whom do you believe? Who really cares? It is the time of the year when rumors are flying everywhere, when reporters have space to fill and TV time to use for juicy gossip and fan-fueling reports.
Expect this to continue right up until the Eagles figure out what they are going to do to build their roster and fill 53 spots and determine who lines up where and when. The quarterback position is, of course, the headliner here and every time Donovan McNabb sits in front of a camera, or an Eagles front office member conducts an interview or head coach Andy Reid is cornered by a reporter, the questions begin anew and the stories flames just a little bit more.
There are a whole lot of people out there who think they know what is going to happen with McNabb and with Kevin Kolb and with Vick, no matter how many times the Eagles say they haven't made any concrete decisions on their quarterback plans. Nobody has even considered the possibility that the Eagles honestly, truly haven't put all the pieces in place because, well, the season is only three weeks over and the process doesn't work that way.
Doesn't matter if the Eagles are being honest that they can't predict the future. In today's world, the media knows before a team knows, and certainly before a team has a chance to announce anything official.
Take Tuesday night. Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network and NFL.com, Tweeted around 9 p.m. that the Eagles had hired veteran defensive coach Dick Jauron as a defensive backs coach. Once that Tweet went out, La Canfora wrote about it on NFL.com, and it was passed from one news outlet to another and to another and within a matter of minutes the Bible of the Internet, Wikipedia, had indeed been hired by the Eagles.
To help you understand the process, a team can never announce news until a contract is signed, until everything is official, until every I is dotted and every T is crossed. What happens if the contract is never signed? What happens, for example, in free agency, if a player is walking up the stairs and trips and falls down and is injured and, well, I think you get the point.
Official is not official any longer, especially at this time of the year.
Hey, it keeps us hopping. Every night is bound to bring a new story, a new rumor. All of this hub-bub kills time until free agency begins on March 5 when the real NFL off-season begins.
So what is real and what is not real? After a couple of hours in this bizzarro world, it doesn't matter, not a bit.
* NEWS, NOTES AND SOME OF THIS AND THAT*
What to make of the signing of punter Durant Brooks? I think it is the best real competition the Eagles will have at punter since Sav Rocca beat out Dirk Johnson in 2007. Brooks had a storied collegiate career and has a real leg. He didn't have much success in Washington in 2008 after the Redskins used a sixth-round draft pick on him, and Brooks didn't make it in Green Bay last year. But you never know how long it takes with kickers, and David Akers is a prime example. I just like bringing in talent and seeing how Bobby April, who has a chance to be a great, great, great hire, improves Brooks' technique and his game.
- A hire of Jauron, if it happens, is a huge move. The Eagles were so young on the defensive side of the ball and Jauron would add a great veteran presence. His work as a defensive coach is undeniable and when you look at the success the Bills had in the secondary last year, well, it's easy to get excited about what could happen.
- Good move to add Dwayne Wright to provide some practice competition at depth at fullback. Leonard Weaver is the starter and I expect him back in 2010, but the Eagles need to make sure they stock the roster with as much young talent as possible. The Eagles liked Wright in a workout and here he is. I'm telling you, new GM Howie Roseman is an aggressive guy, and he will encourage as much moving and shaking as possible to get this roster as strong as possible.