It might be painful for some but flashback to Wednesday, September 8, 2004. On this momentous day in Eagles history, one Andrew Walter Reid signed a 4 year contract extension, making him the coach of the Eagles through the 2010 season. Reid originally signed a 6 year deal in June 2001. The extension pays Reid slightly more than $4 million per season.
So after some quick calculations one sees that Reid's original deal would have run out following the 2006 season. If you look at the September 8th date you also realize that the extension was given to Reid prior to him getting to the Super Bowl. Prior to the 2004 season, Reid's greatest accomplishment was repeat trips to the NFC Championship Game. Such a feat is nothing to laugh at or ignore, but did it really signal the need to keep the guy around until 2010?
Would all of our complaining this year been a mute point had the Eagles not gotten the itchy trigger finger and jumped the gun on an extension for Reid? Would the Eagles have been better advised to wait a bit on the extension or a least minimize the length of the extension?
Since the 2004 season the Eagles have gradually fallen from the group of elite NFL teams. 2 of the following 3 seasons the Eagles have missed the playoffs. This year is going to be another struggle just to secure the final wild card spot.
The main reason being thrown around for not firing Reid is his guaranteed contract and money. It's easy to play "Monday morning QB" after the fact, but the Eagles might have been wise to rethink their strategy with Reid's contract.
Or maybe the wisest decision is IF the Eagles miss the playoffs again this season, for the Eagles eat the guaranteed money. When does a team's perception in the city, with fans, and in the marketing and sponsorship piggy bank begin to outweigh $8-10 million in contractual obligations? Unlike before there is now some serious competition in the city for the fan's dollar...the World Champion Phillies.