The $138 Million Mistake: Building the Offensive Line around Shawn Andrews
$138 million combined for Shawn “Getting my Michael Phelps on” Andrews, his big brother Stacy “I have a girl’s name for a reason” Andrews and Jason “Turnstile” Peters, Shawns’ best friend and college roommate.
Shawn Andrews, the 16th overall pick in the 2004 draft and heir apparent to John Runyun’s Right Tackle throne –thoroughly covered here – received a healthy (no pun intended) contract extension (seven years, $40 million), following a dominating Pro Bowl season in 2006. Andrews continued the trend the next season, going to a third-straight Pro Bowl, but then strange mental health and back issues limited him to just two games in two seasons, eventually leading to his release in 2009.
With Andrews’ mental health becoming a major distraction – he missed 17 days of training camp in 2008 for no apparent reason, grew an odd faux-hawk and, again, got his “Michael Phelps on” – and with the team already investing multiple drafts picks and chunks of cap space in him, The Walrus and The Devil thought it a good idea to surround this guy with people that would keep him in line.
Right at the start of Free Agency, the Birds snatched up Shawn’s older sister brother Stacy, ranked as one of the top-five free agents, even though he was coming off a major knee injury – it wasn’t the strongest class – for $38 million over six years. The week of the NFL draft, the team traded the 28th overall pick (they still had the 21st overall) and a fourth-round selection to the Buffalo Bills for disgruntled Pro Bowl Left Tackle, Jason Peters. The Eagles subsequently gave Peters a six-year, $60 million deal, with $24 million guaranteed, as Reid called him the best Left Tackle in football… even though Peters gave up the most sacks of any starting lineman the previous year (not a red flag for anyone?).
So what did $138 million in contracts, two first-round picks, a second and a fourth add up to:
- Two games from Shawn Andrews, who was then cut, drafted by an UFL team (though he didn’t sign), picked up by the Giants during the Pre-season – who gave him a six-year, $32 million deal!??! – where he started seven games (and played very well) before hurting his back. Again.
- Ten games from Stacy (two starts), who was constantly injured, forced to take a pay cut (dropping his base salary from $2.95 million to $1.15) and then shipped to Seattle for a seventh-round pick in 2011 (where he started 12 games?!). He lasted 18 months in Philly.
- Twenty-eight starts from Peters, who has been decent (at best) at Left Tackle, and has inexplicably made the Pro Bowl each year as an Eagles (on reputation alone). Much like Tra Thomas before him, Peters gets called for holding and/or offsides WAY too often, and can be confused for a turnstile against good Defensive Ends.
Oh and by the way, the reason they invested two draft picks and a ton of money in Jason Peters, was to protect McNabb’s – and then Kolb’s – blindside. With Peters blocking Vick’s weakside, guys like Antoine Winfield, DeMarcus Ware and Clay Matthews absolutely maiming the Eagles’ Quarterback all season.
Yet another reason to Fire The Walrus.
And the line is still a problem.