LA Times football writer Sam Farmer buried a potential bombshell in his "tidbits" this morning when he said that Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid not only had threatened to quit unless he got more control over personnel matters, but was also interested in free agent QB Peyton Manning.
Two NFL insiders, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic, said that Philadelphia Coach Andy Reid was ready to walk away from the Eagles if he didn't get more personnel control, and now he has it. We've seen a flurry of decisive moves by the Eagles in recent weeks, including finally cutting a blockbuster deal with receiver DeSean Jackson; extending two good soldiers, defensive end Trent Cole and right tackle Todd Herremans, outbidding the Ravens to keep guard Evan Mathis; and trading for Pro Bowl linebacker DeMeco Ryans.
Farmer does rely on sources in the story, but his "proof" of Reid being control doesn't actually prove much. The Eagles moves this offseason aren't really out of character for the way the team has been run for the entirety of his time here. And certainly no one would have said that the Eagles weren't "decisive" last offseason.
Reid flatly denied this portion of the report.
"As far as the personnel control, I have had final say on personnel matters for quite some time here and that's never been an issue or a point of contention."
"Our front office works very well together and that's one of our strengths."
Farmer also said that Reid was interested in Peyton Manning.
Something else about the Eagles: Reid wanted to jump in the Peyton Manning sweepstakes, despite the signing of Michael Vick to a six-year, $100-million contract last season. Talks never got too serious, the insiders say, because Manning didn't like the idea of playing against his brother Eli, quarterback of the New York Giants, at least twice a season.
Reid admitted that there was at least some level of interest.
"We look into everything, as all teams do. And I have the highest regard for Peyton Manning. But as I said publicly last month, that wasn't the direction we were heading in. Michael is our guy."
This really doesn't appear to be anything damming. There's very few teams in this league that probably didn't at least discuss Manning, who very well may be the best player to ever reach the free agent market. Plus, as the report even implies, the Eagles "pursuit" was never particularly serious.
Farmer's report and Reid's subsequent denial are interesting, but the one question I couldn't reconcile after reading it was this. What move have the Eagles made in recent seasons that was in any way different than what we've seen from Reid throughout his time here? I went over last seasons' signings/trades/draft one by one on Bleeding Green Nation and to me, they're all very much in line with what Andy has done for the past decade.
Further, Eagles owner Jeff Lurie said after the season that he considered making a change but decided that, in the end, Reid was the best guy for the job. That doesn't really line up with the idea that Reid gave him a "give me more power or I quit" ultimatum.