When I heard that the Eagles chose wide receiver Reggie Brown over Hank Baskett, I was more than shocked to say the least. Baskett has been a more prolific wide receiver in the last few seasons, whereas Brown was considered a huge bust after the Eagles took him with the third pick of the second round in 2005.
Then I read an article today on Philly.com by Paul Domowitch that cleared up everything. In a way, the Eagles were forced to keep Reggie Brown. Not necessarily because of the skill he can bring, but because of his contract.
Following the 2006 season where Brown recorded 816 yards receiving and eight touchdowns, the Eagles offered him a contract extention through 2014. The deal includes $7.3 million dollars in bonus proration over the next four years, meaning that the Eagles cannot afford to get rid of him. If they were to release Brown, that $7.3 million dollars would hinder the amount of salary cap money the team has in the upcoming season. The Eagles have $9 million next season and Brown’s contract is worth $3.2 million with $2.35 in bonus proration. Therefore, to drop his contract would take money away from the teams available salary cap next season.
So does the Eagles front office regret offering such a large contract to Brown? Most likely. A year after the contract, Brown raked in a career record 61 receptions. Last year, however, Brown was limited to a mere 18 receptions for 252 yards. He was not even activated for week one’s game against the Panthers. Now he is just a sitting duck that has to start over and try to make a name for himself again.
It was much more appealing for the Eagles to release Baskett because his contract was not large enough to affect the salary cap. Money truly rules everything.