Paul Domowitch, Daily News Sports Columnist
Posted: Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 12:49 AM
REGARDLESS OF whether Andy Reid stays or goes - and if Big Red were a betting man, even he would bet the ranch on "goes" right now - there will be a lot of changes at One NovaCare Way in the offseason.
Here's one man's look at those most likely to be playing somewhere else in 2013:
Going, going . . . *
Michael Vick: No matter who the Eagles' head coach is next season, Vick will not be back. He'll be 33 in June and has an $18 million salary-cap number next season. That 6-year, $100 million contract the Eagles gave him last August was really only a 2-year, $29 million deal. Only $3 million of his $16.5 million base salary in 2013 is guaranteed, which isn't enough to prevent them from showing him the door. Even if Nick Foles falls on his face, which I don't expect to happen, this will be
* Demetress Bell: signed after Jason Peters ruptured his Achilles' tendon in March, Bell has been a major disappointment. Because he's athletic, the Eagles thought he would be a perfect fit for Howard Mudd's zone-blocking system. But they thought wrong. He has struggled from Day 1. His 5-year deal essentially was a one-and-done arrangement. He earned $3.2 million this season. He's scheduled to receive an $8.5 million roster bonus in March. Hell will freeze over before he ever sees that.
* Jason Babin: The only way Babin stays is if his Henry Higgins - defensive line coach Jim Washburn - stays. And that isn't likely if Reid gets axed. Babin was a nomadic pass-rusher with only 19 1/2 sacks in his first six NFL seasons before he found a home, and two Pro Bowl selections, in Washburn's wide nine. But he will be 33 in May, has only 3 1/2 sacks in nine games this season and is scheduled to make $4.2 million next year. Wherever Washburn is next season, that's where you'll find Babin. Either there or hunting quail in Texas.
* Nnamdi Asomugha: When the Eagles signed Asomugha last year after the lockout, they thought they were getting one of the two or three best cornerbacks in the league. He wasn't that last year and he isn't that this year. He hasn't been a bust, but he hasn't been a difference-maker, either. In nine games this season, he has given up three touchdowns and allowed 18.2 yards per catch. He'll be 32 next July and is scheduled to make $15 million in 2013. There's no way that will happen, though the Eagles' cup isn't exactly running over with replacement options. And their other starting corner, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, can become a free agent in March.
* Cullen Jenkins: Jenkins is one of the few guys on the defense who legitimately can be considered a leader. But he'll be 32 in January and is due a $4.5 million roster bonus before next season. His 2013 cap number is $5.5 million. He hasn't been very good against the run this season and has only one sack in 239 pass-rushing snaps. He is showing signs of wearing down. I don't see him returning unless he agrees to a pay cut.
* King Dunlap: After what happened Sunday, I'm surprised he's still on the roster. He'll be a free agent after the season. Chances of his being re-signed are about the same as Paula Broadwell joining Holly Petraeus' sewing circle.
* Jamar Chaney and Casey Matthews: With Chaney's speed and Matthews' genes, you'd think both would have a future as core special-teams players. Then you watch the video.
Time will tell *
Jason Peters: At the end of the 2011 season, Peters was considered the best offensive tackle in the game. He was a near-unanimous All-Pro selection. Then he ruptured his Achilles' tendon in March and ruptured it again in May. Maybe he makes a complete recovery and picks up where he left off last season. Maybe he doesn't.
We're talking about a soon-to-be 31-year-old, 6-4, 345-pound tackle who, before his injury, was an athletic freak. He's scheduled to earn $10.4 million next year. Before the injury, his return was a no-brainer. Now? We'll see. I know one thing: Peters isn't the kind of guy you approach about a pay cut. You either pay him the $10.4 million or you don't pay him at all.
* DeMeco Ryans: Ryans has pretty much been everything the Eagles hoped he would be when they traded for him during the offseason. He leads the team in tackles, has been a solid run defender and has done a pretty good job in coverage. If Reid's successor decides to stick with a 4-3 defensive scheme, the Eagles won't think twice about paying Ryans the $6.6 million he's due next year. But if they switch to a 3-4 like Ryans' old team, the Houston Texans, did, they'll think a lot more than twice.
* Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: He'll be a free agent after the season and will be looking for big money. He has a lot of talent, but doesn't always play up to it. And his tackling this season makes Asante Samuel look like Brian Urlacher. But considering the eroding skills and big paycheck of Asomugha, can the Eagles really afford to let DRC walk?
* Jason Avant: Avant has been a sure-handed, productive slot receiver for the Eagles. Caught a career-high 52 passes last season. But if Riley Cooper can continue to make plays like that one-handed touchdown grab against the Cowboys, and rookie Damaris Johnson continues to develop, Avant and his $2 million 2013 paycheck could become expendable.
* Darryl Tapp, Derek Landri and Akeem Jordan: Like DRC, all will be free agents after the season. None will command big money. All three are blue-collar types who can help a defense, even in a limited role. But the next coach might prefer to go younger and cheaper.
Safe for at least another year *
DeSean Jackson: For at least this year and next, the Eagles can afford to have Jackson average .22 touchdown catches per game. His base salary will be only $6.7 million next year and his cap number $9 million. But his salary jumps to $10.2 million and his cap number to $12.5 million in '14. If he's not visiting the end zone more frequently by then, he'll probably be playing for someone else.
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