I thought guard Evan Mathis and kicker Alex Henery might have avoided the shutout… But no, not unless they get into the Pro Bowl as alternates.
It's no big whoop as far as the actual NFC vs. AFC All-Star Game in Hawaii goes. I don't even watch the game. I just watch the pregame features, maybe catch an isolated series of plays if our guys are involved.
But I can't deny, to be completely snubbed as a team for 1st team NFC selections certainly feels as a fan like the gods of football are rubbing it in. What did we do to deserve such an utter fall from grace?
It's been many many years since an Eagle was left off the NFC first team.
Not since since 1998, the season that forced owner Jeffrey Lurie to replace Ray Rhodes with Andy Reid as head coach, has this happened for the Eagles, who almost certainly will replace Reid after this season.
Long snapper Jon Dorenbos, who made it in 2009, has had a flawless season. He actually still may go, as the long snappers haven't been selected yet.
Middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans has had a solid season, but not a spectacular one in terms of creating turnovers.
Offensively, left guard Evan Mathis likely merited consideration, but because the line as a whole has struggled all season with second- and third-teamers at every spot except left guard, Mathis probably never stood much of a chance. The Eagles' offense has been terribly unproductive, which generally keeps any offensive linemen, no matter how well they're playing, off the team, unless they already had established a great reputation. Mathis, a journeyman until settling down with the Eagles last season, has not yet earned that level of respect.
He has, however, earned alternate status, according to a league source. That's nice—but still hard to swallow that he was beaten out by Chris Snee of the Giants.
Finally, there's second-year kicker Alex Henery, who made a franchise-record 22 field goals at one point this season and is 27-for-30. Pretty darn good, but not good enough to beat out Blair Walsh of Minnesota.
What makes the Pro Bowl snub even a more bitter pill is the number of guys we thought were locks to make the NFC team back in preseason. This included Shady McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Jason Babin, maybe even Nnamdi Asomugha or Trent Cole…but it all vaporized into a mist of injury and underachievement.
Instead, we are left with a reverse reality: A number of Eagles players could be gone after the season.
Tackle King Dunlap and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are among eight players due to become unrestricted free agents. Rodgers-Cromartie has indicated a willingness to return but did not play consistently well this season.
Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha presumably will be asked to accept a salary cut if he wants to stay. Asomugha is due to make $15 million in 2013. “I think it’s really important to stay,” Asomugha said last week. “All I can say right now is I really wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I definitely want to be back here.”
Defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins may be asked to take a second salary cut in as many years to stay. Jenkins agreed to a restructuring before this season that reduced his base salary to $820,000 and overall pay to $5.8 million instead of $7.2. He is scheduled to make $4 million in 2013.
Jenkins, 31, got off to a slow start this season but has come on strong since the defense abandoned Jim Washburn's scheme in favor of a more basic alignment. “This defense is similar to what I was playing in Green Bay, so I’m used to it,” Jenkins said last week. “I don’t have to think anymore out there. I can just react.”
Safeties Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman are certainly on the bubble to return. DT Mike Patterson may have played his last game in an Eagles uniform. As for Michael Vick?—he could wind up anywhere, but if he's back with the Eagles it will most likely be under a restructured contract.
There is a chance the Eagles could bring Vick back. If Reid is fired and the new coach favors an option-oriented attack such as those used in San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, Vick would be a more attractive option at quarterback than Foles. But that’s only if Vick would be willing to take a dramatic salary reduction.
If the Eagles pass on Vick, other teams figure to be interested. Arizona, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Minnesota, the New York Jets, Tampa Bay and Tennessee could all be looking for another starting quarterback. And since the 2013 draft class is thin at quarterback, Vick could be a hot commodity.
“Whatever happens next year happens,” Vick said. “I’m just going to be a guy who, wherever I’m at, I’m going to make the team better.” That's a debatable point right now, however. GK Brizer likes Vick as the ultimate backup QB. The "3-headed monster" Woody is on record as advising Vick to retire now for his own health.
DT Fletcher Cox and LB Mychal Kendricks both remain out with concussions suffered in last Sunday's loss to Washington. Coach Andy Reid was not able to gauge the progress of either or guess whether they could be cleared this week.
"They're going through all their exam stuff right now," Reid said. "Right now, it looks like Cox is a little worse than Kendricks, but I can't tell you [about either]. He's got a headache today but he also has migraines. They're evaluating that to see what's what there. They'll go through the protocol and just see what happens with it."
If Kendricks can't go, Akeem Jordan is set to start for him on the weak side.