Trey Burton feels 'hurt' by Eagles

Trey Burton feels 'hurt' by Eagles

Trey Burton will always be a hero in Philadelphia. He’ll always be the guy who helped pull off one of the most magical plays in Super Bowl history. He’ll always be the player who worked his way up from an undrafted rookie to a fan favorite. 

So it’s unfortunate he might be leaving Philadelphia with a slightly bad taste in his mouth. 

Burton, who has agreed to a four-year, $32 million deal with the Bears, a league source confirmed (see story), joined the WIP afternoon show on Tuesday and was asked about the conversations his agent had with the Eagles about possibly retaining him. 

Those conversations apparently didn’t get too far. 

“Nah, I was really disappointed, man, honestly,” Burton said. “If I’m going to be open and transparent, I was really disappointed there wasn’t any offer. Didn’t even seem like they were really trying to make it happen. In reality, you can make anything happen if you really want to. That was my mindset. I’m really disappointed in that. It kind of hurt me a little bit. 

“But I’m excited about where I’m going and where we’re heading. I think it’s a great fit for us. Really good days are on the horizon.”

In some ways, Burton is right. If the Eagles really wanted to retain him, they could have prioritized moving money around to fit him in. But Burton’s new deal with Chicago will pay him $8 million annually, making him the fifth-highest-paid tight end in the NFL. Well, the Eagles already have one guy above him on that list in Zach Ertz. And with Ertz and Brent Celek (who was released on Tuesday) also on the roster, Burton played just 27 percent of the Eagles’ offensive snaps in 2017. 

So it just wasn’t in the Eagles’ best interest to throw this kind of money at Burton. 

It’s unclear if the Eagles made a run at Burton during the 2017 season, but they did try to sign him during the 2016 season. Instead, the Eagles placed a second-round tender on him as an RFA to keep him in the building and push off his inevitable free agency. 

While Burton admitted he was hurt about the lack of attempt to re-sign him from the Eagles, he said he’ll always be an Eagle at heart and he made sure to thank the organization for giving him his start. Burton, who lives in the Tampa area, threw out the first pitch at the Phillies’ spring training game on Tuesday. 

“My agent and I thought it was a good idea,” Burton said. “Like a final farewell to Philadelphia. It was really cool.”

More money might not be enough to keep Chris Long in Philly

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More money might not be enough to keep Chris Long in Philly

The Eagles have given veteran defensive end Chris Long a raise, but according to one report, Long is concerned enough about his playing time with the Eagles that he's mulling his options regarding his future.

What is certain is that at some point before March 15, Long signed a new contract with the Eagles that increases his 2018 base salary from $1 million non-guaranteed to $2½ million fully guaranteed.

However, NFL Network's Michael Silver reported Monday that Long may decide he doesn't want to accept the new contract — which he already signed.

According to Silver, Long is concerned about how many snaps he would get as a third-down rusher following the addition of Pro Bowl pass rusher Michael Bennett.

The Eagles officially acquired Bennett on March 14, although the deal was reported a week earlier. Long's new contract was filed with the NFLPA on March 15, but there is a good chance he agreed to it and signed it before the Bennett acquisition.

Whether or not Long knew Bennett was coming to the Eagles when he signed the restructured deal is unknown. But at some point Long knew about their interest in Bennett and even gave Bennett a "glowing recommendation" when the Eagles asked, according to an interview Long gave to SBNation.  

Long wouldn't appear to have many options. He could retire, in which case he would have to return the $500,000 bonus he received from the Eagles last week.

He could request a trade, which would be bizarre for someone who signed a contract extension just a few days earlier.

Or he could simply play under the terms of the contract restructure and pay increase, which was first reported by Field Yates of ESPN and confirmed by NBC Sports Philadelphia with a source familiar with the renegotiation.

As for the contract itself, including that $500,000 roster bonus — which was also in the previous version of the contract — Long would receive $3 million guaranteed this year instead of $1.5 million non-guaranteed plus $750,000 in easily achieved roster bonuses.

Long had five sacks and forced four fumbles last year as a rotational defensive end. He wound up playing 496 snaps, 10th-most on the defense and only about 10 per game fewer than starter and Pro Bowler Brandon Graham and five per game fewer than starter Vinny Curry, who the Eagles released.

Long, who turns 33 next week, has 63½ career sacks. His 5.0 sacks last year were his most since 2013. He's won back-to-back Super Bowls the last two years with the Eagles and Patriots.

What happens next?

Long has demonstrated that the money is secondary to him. He donated his entire 2017 base salary to charity.

At some point very soon, the Eagles will need him to decide whether he's even going to have a 2018 base salary.

Terrell Owens digs deep to find his Hall of Fame presenter

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Terrell Owens digs deep to find his Hall of Fame presenter

A day after we found out that Brian Dawkins picked Troy Vincent to introduce him at the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony this summer, Terrell Owens has picked his presenter. 

No surprise: It's not Donovan McNabb.

After alienating many people in the league throughout his tremendous career, Owens picked a name from his early days. Longtime NFL assistant coach George Stewart, who was Owens' receivers coach in San Francisco, will introduce T.O. at the 2018 induction. 

In a video released by the Hall of Fame, Owens said Stewart "knew what to get out of me."

Now special teams coordinator and assistant head coach for the Chargers, Stewart has been an NFL coach for three decades. He began his time in San Francisco in 1996 (Owens' rookie season) as a special teams coach but was their wide receivers coach from 2000-02.

"Things that George Stewart may say, it may be shocking to a lot of people, but not to him because he knows who I am," Owens said. "... To know who Terrell Owens is, you really have to spend some time with him. Fast forward, George Stewart became a father figure to me."

The first season Stewart became the 49ers' receivers coach, Owens went to his first of six Pro Bowls and was named an All-Pro for the first of five times in his career. Owens was a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro in all three of the seasons that Stewart held the position in San Francisco. 

Of course, Owens' growth under Stewart led to his becoming one of the biggest stars in the NFL.

Eventually, Owens forced his way out of San Francisco and got to Philadelphia. With the Eagles, Owens had a short and tumultuous two seasons, but was also dynamic on the field and nearly helped them pull off a Super Bowl win over the Patriots. 

Owens averaged 93.5 receiving yards per game during his time in Philadelphia, the highest average in franchise history. It wasn't his play that led to his downfall in Philly. It was his beef with McNabb, along with his attempt to strong-arm the Eagles into a new contract. 

Owens was a divisive personality for his entire career. It's likely the reason it took him three tries to make it into the Hall of Fame. Because his numbers don't lie: He's one of the best receivers of all time.