THE EAGLES didn't get much for their money from Stacy Andrews last season. They signed the veteran offensive lineman to a 6-year deal less than 2 months after he had surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee, paid him almost $5.5 million in salary and bonuses, and he spent most of the year on the bench.
Andrews, who was brought in to be the team's right guard despite his serious knee injury, started just two games and played in bits and pieces of eight others, primarily as a blocker on field-goal and point-after attempts.
While Eagles coach Andy Reid has said he thinks Andrews' lack of production was mainly the result of his slow recovery from the torn ACL, his poor play raised enough doubts within the organization that there is little chance he will be back with the team unless he agrees to restructure his deal, sources close to the situation confirmed to the Daily News.
Andrews is scheduled to receive another $7.6 million this year, including a $4.1 million roster bonus in early April, which he would get only if he still is with the team on the 30th day of the league year (April 4). His $2.956 million salary and $500,000 workout bonus also are not guaranteed. Neither is the remaining $25.37 million in salary and bonuses in the final 4 years of his deal.
The dilemma the Eagles face at the moment, though, is they have very little depth at guard. Nick Cole did a pretty good job at the right-guard spot Andrews was supposed to occupy, but was moved to center in late December when Jamaal Jackson tore an ACL. It's uncertain when Jackson will be ready to play again.
Massive but slow-footed Max Jean-Gilles, who started at right guard in the Eagles' two ugly, season-ending losses to the Cowboys, isn't the answer. Neither is their other interior backup, Mike McGlynn, who was inactive for 15 of 16 regular-season games last season. Which means you can put interior offensive lineman very high on the Eagles' list of offseason needs.
Andrews' agent, Rich Moran, said yesterday that Eagles general manager Howie Roseman "has never told me to either take a pay cut or Stacy will be released." But that's because the Eagles have more pressing issues at the moment, such as preparing for next week's scouting combine in Indianapolis, assessing a very thin free-agent crop if there isn't a new collective bargaining agreement, and deciding what to do about their own restricted and unrestricted free agents.
The Eagles have 14 players whose contracts will expire in 3 weeks. If there is no new CBA by then, just four of those 14 players - linebackers Jeremiah Trotter and Tracy White, defensive end Jason Babin and safety Sean Jones - will be unrestricted.
As the calendar moves closer to April, Moran almost certainly can expect a call from Roseman or Eagles president Joe Banner about restructuring Andrews' contract.
Moran also represents Stacy's enigmatic brother Shawn, who was supposed to start alongside his brother at right tackle but missed his second straight season with a back injury. It remains to be seen whether he will play again, for the Eagles or anyone else.
But there is not the same urgency in deciding what to do with Shawn as there is with Stacy. The extension Shawn signed with the Eagles 4 years ago runs through 2015, but he already has received more than $18 million since then, and will make just $2 million in salary and bonuses in 2010. Unless the Eagles finally just get tired of his act, they don't have to make a decision on him until the summer.