Reality-check time on the Stacy Andrews speculation.
The Eagles are obligated to pay Andrews $5 million this season, whether he is on their roster or not - a $4.1 million bonus that was due back in the spring plus a $900,000 salary guarantee, agent Rich Moran confirmed yesterday. This pretty much means he is going to be the right guard when the season opens, unless he gets hurt.
It would really be extraordinary if Nick Cole, a backup type who just returned to practice this week after 3 weeks on the sideline with a sore knee, started ahead of Andrews in Week 1. The fact that Cole is getting some first-team reps here and there, as he eases back into practice, doesn't mean he is going to start.
Moran yesterday gave his side of the intrigue that started when Andrews signed here in 2009 coming off ACL surgery, and continued when Andrews accepted a pay cut/restructuring this spring.
Moran's view is that Andrews was a dominant right tackle in 2008 for Cincinnati, and he signed here to play right tackle. Subsequently, Eagles coach Andy Reid decided to move Stacy's brother Shawn from guard to tackle and play Stacy inside, something Stacy agreed to, though he hadn't played much guard. Last season's disaster unfolded, with Shawn losing another season to back surgery, Winston Justice replacing him, and Stacy buried on the guard depth chart by January.
In the offseason, it was clear the Eagles were going to want an adjustment on the 6-year, $39 million deal Stacy signed, at the very least. Moran and Andrews didn't have to agree.
"We wanted to [re-enter] the free-agent market and go back to tackle," Moran said. "We were told he would be the starting right guard" by general manager Howie Roseman, if Andrews accepted the restructuring, Moran said.
Moran, a former Green Bay guard, said he watched the Eagles' preseason game at Kansas City last week and felt Andrews played well.
"It is a transitional period," Moran said. "We were assured he would have time" to settle in.
Andrews indicated to reporters this week that he is still more comfortable as a tackle than as a guard. Reid was asked about that yesterday.
"It looks like he has been [committed to playing guard]," Reid said. "He hasn't said that to me. I think that's a positive for us if he can do both, that's absolutely great."
The Eagles' interior line has struggled in the preseason, but regular starting center Jamaal Jackson hasn't played and regular left guard Todd Herremans saw his first action in Kansas City.
Learning on the fly
Andy Reid indicated that Jorrick Calvin, the cornerback acquired Monday from Arizona in a switch of sixth-round draftees, will play tomorrow night against the Jets, possibly as a returner. That seemed to be something Howie Roseman was emphasizing when the trade was announced, that Calvin had return chops.
Calvin is in a tough spot, coming to a new team and new systems the final week of the preseason, with 1 day of real practice and one game before rosters are cut to 53 on Saturday. The upside is, the Eagles and the Packers were the two teams that asked him in for predraft visits - he knows the Birds have long been interested in him, thought they would draft him back in April.
"It's real challenging," Calvin acknowledged. "One minute you're sitting in a meeting looking at film from a game you played last week, and the next minute you're on a plane to Philadelphia. It was pretty tough, but you've just got to move on with life . . . I'm happy with the decision both front offices made."
Eagles draftee Charles Scott ought to have a better chance to stick with the Cards, who have injury problems at fullback.