Ex-Patriot thanks Freddie Mitchell for Super Bowl win

Ex-Patriot thanks Freddie Mitchell for Super Bowl win

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Fourteen years later, the Patriots are still pissed at Freddie Mitchell.

Rodney Harrison, who Mitchell dissed before Super Bowl XXXIX, told NBC Sports Philadelphia Tuesday that without Mitchell, the Patriots wouldn’t have beaten the Eagles that day.

“Thank you, Freddie Mitchell,” said Harrison, who is part of the NBC Sports Super Bowl broadcast team. 

“Without you running your mouth, we wouldn’t have won the Super Bowl.”

Mitchell was quick to fire back on Twitter.

It was in a couple days before the Eagles and Patriots traveled to Jacksonville that Mitchell infuriated the Patriots by pretending he didn’t know the names of any of the Patriots' defensive backs and then saying, “I got something for you, Harrison.” 

Harrison was a three-time Pro Bowl strong safety and two-time All-Pro for the Chargers and Patriots in a 15-year career spanning 1994 through 2008.

Mitchell was the Eagles' first-round pick in 2001 but caught just 90 passes for 1,263 yards and five touchdowns in a four-year career.

Harrison lashed out at Mitchell during Super Bowl week in 2004, telling reporters: "You have so many young guys nowadays, so many young guys that don't have respect for the game. Some people are just immature. Some people really haven't experienced certain things."

The Harrison-Mitchell feud became a running storyline in Jacksonville during Super Bowl week. Mitchell claimed he was joking but the damage had been done.  

Head coach Andy Reid blasted Mitchell during a team meeting after he learned about the wide receiver’s remarks. 

A few days later, Mitchell blasted the team’s public relations director because he wasn’t given his own podium at Super Bowl media day, a designation that goes to the team’s best players. Instead, Mitchell was assigned a spot in the bleachers.

The Patriots beat the Eagles, 24-21, in Super Bowl XXXIX at ALLTEL Stadium. The two teams meet again Sunday in Minnesota in Super Bowl LII.

Harrison had two interceptions and a sack in the game and is one of only four players in Super Bowl history with a sack and interception in the same game.

Mitchell caught one pass for 11 yards. 

A few days after the game, Mitchell went on ESPN radio and said the only reason his numbers were down was because Terrell Owens returned after missing the first two playoff games with a broken ankle.

"I couldn't shut a lot of people up that I wanted to shut up,” Mitchell said.

He never played another game.

Trey Burton denies report questioning his Eagles future

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Trey Burton denies report questioning his Eagles future

Several hours after an NJ.com report surfaced that the Eagles were unlikely to re-sign Trey Burton, the tight end denied it on Twitter.

Replying to a tweet about the report from former Eagles teammate Emmanuel Acho, Burton said he hasn't spoken to anyone.

NJ.com's Matt Lombardo reported Friday that the Eagles made Burton an offer that the soon-to-be-free-agent "didn't consider serious."

"We are fully expecting Trey to sign elsewhere," the source said.

It wouldn't be surprising whatsoever if Burton leaves in free agency. A team will likely pay him starter's money and offer him a chance to start, which he doesn't have here with Zach Ertz firmly entrenched.

The Eagles are over the projected salary cap, and while they could create space in numerous ways, they also have to worry about re-signing key linebacker Nigel Bradham.

6 ways for Eagles to create cap space

6 ways for Eagles to create cap space

The Eagles are coming off a thrilling season but there's a lot of work to be done. 

The NFL's new league year begins on March 14 and the Eagles must be under the salary cap by then. The problem is that based on projections, the Eagles are set to be more than $9 million over the cap, according to OverTheCap. So it's time for some maneuvering. 

The good news is that Howie Roseman's specialty has always been finding unique ways to get the Eagles out of cap trouble. There are ways for him to do it again.

Cut Torrey Smith 
Probably the easiest one. Smith was a great teammate and a solid addition to the Eagles' locker room, and he really stepped up his game in the playoffs, but it's probably not enough to bring him back. He just wasn't good enough last season, and cutting him would save the Eagles $5 million in cap room with no dead money. The Birds still have Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor, while Mack Hollins is entering Year 2. 

Cut Brent Celek
This one will hurt, but Celek can take away the sting if he decides to walk away as a champion. He's set to have a cap number of $5 million. That's just way too much for what Celek provides these days. By cutting him, the Eagles would save $4 million in cap space. So just between Smith and Celek, the Eagles will almost get back to zero ... but there's other work to do. They'll still need money to sign free agents and draft picks. 

Extend Brandon Graham 
Graham is entering the final year of his contract with a cap number of $8 million. He wants a new contract and deserves one. Good news: An extension would work for both sides. Graham would get more money long term and the Eagles could get his cap number down this season. 

Rework/cut Vinny Curry
Curry is coming off of probably his best season in the NFL but will have an $11 million cap number. That's tough to swallow, especially with Derek Barnett waiting for his chance to start. It seems likely the Eagles will ask Curry to take a pay cut or rework his deal. If not, cutting him would leave $6 million in dead money but would also save $5 million in cap room. 

Trade Mychal Kendricks
If you remember, Kendricks actually wanted a trade last offseason. Good thing that didn't happen. Kendricks ended up being a big part of the Eagles' success in 2017. Depending on what happens with Nigel Bradham in free agency and with Jordan Hicks' Achilles recovery, trading Kendricks might again be an option. A trade would save $4.4 million in cap space. 

Trade Nick Foles 
This is such a tough one — we explore it more here. But basically, Foles is a pretty amazing insurance policy until we know when Carson Wentz is going to be ready. If the Eagles do trade Foles, it would save them $5.2 million that they could certainly use. The problem is that by the time they know Wentz's status, free agency will be long gone and that cap space won't help this year. But it could help in 2019.