October 12, 2015 |
ON THE HEELS of what many called a highly successful offseason, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall made it clear in his actions the last few weeks that, despite making plenty of transactions since taking over last May, he's taking the long approach. As if going outside the box and hiring coach Dave Hakstol from a college program instead of going after proven NHL coaches wasn't proof enough, the swiftness with which he exercised his option of sending top prospects Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny and Travis Sanheim back to juniors early on in training camp proved that approach.
September 11, 2015 |
HOW MANY other NFL coaches or general managers would have been willing to do what Chip Kelly did in March? How many other coaches or general managers would've had the cojones to trade a 26-year-old, Pro Bowl quarterback only two seasons removed from a 27-touchdown, two-interception season for a guy who was coming off back-to-back ACL tears in his left knee? Zero, that's how many. But Kelly wasn't interested in what other NFL people would or wouldn't do. After missing the playoffs despite a second straight 10-win season, he thought he needed a franchise quarterback to help the Eagles go to the next level.
August 27, 2015 |
Mychal Kendricks' long-term future with the Eagles was just a thought until about two weeks ago, when negotiations started on a contract extension for the inside linebacker. Just months earlier, it had appeared Kendricks could be the odd man out with the Eagles. Monday night, he inked a four-year extension worth $29 million, with $16.4 million guaranteed. Kendricks, 24, signed the deal before entering a contract year with a salary cap that will rise next offseason. "Business 101, risk-reward," Kendricks said.
August 27, 2015 |
I LOST $25 in the last few weeks. A few things didn't fall my way. It started the night of Aug. 11, when the Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez, hitting .298 at the time, went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts. Astros phenom Carlos Correa had the same stat line. Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner, an All-Star for the first time last month, went 0-for-6 with a strikeout hat trick. It's tough to win a contest on DraftKings competing against more than 61,000 other lineups of 10 players - a complete diamond, but with two pitchers - when 30 percent of your lineup combines to go 0-for-14 with seven strikeouts.
July 4, 2015 |
For those expecting general manager Ron Hextall to continue his magic and quickly make the Flyers a contender, well, reality struck when the first day of free agency arrived Wednesday and the team was able to add only a backup goaltender. In other words, it's going to take Hextall time to climb out of the salary-cap hole he inherited. The Flyers have about $4.5 million in cap space and still need to re-sign restricted free agent Michael Del Zotto. The Flyers made a $1.3 million qualifying offer to the defenseman, but a much heftier, multiyear deal is being discussed.
June 30, 2015 |
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The acquisition of Sam Gagner has either given Ron Hextall the top-nine forward he coveted or the salary-cap relief he desperately needs. Clarity will come when the free-agent market opens on Wednesday, but it sure sounds like Gagner need not bother looking for local real estate agents just yet. Hextall on Saturday acquired Gagner from Arizona for defenseman Nick Grossmann and the contract of Chris Pronger, who was still on the Flyers' books despite not playing since 2011 because of a career-ending concussion.
May 25, 2015 |
Gov. Christie vowed to rein in government spending when he took office in 2010, and one of his most controversial first-term initiatives was setting a cap on salaries for school district superintendents. Anecdotes of seemingly exorbitant pay for school administrators became a symbol of the government excess Christie had pledged to rid from Trenton. Four years after Christie set his own salary - $175,000 - as a maximum base for superintendents, Democratic lawmakers and school boards say the regulation has resulted in high turnover and made the state less competitive in attracting the best administrators.
March 14, 2015 |
We are seeing now what Chip Kelly truly believes, and what he is willing to do to get the football team that he wants, and it is utterly enthralling. The Eagles on Thursday signed DeMarco Murray - the NFL's leading rusher in 2014, arguably the most valuable player on the Dallas Cowboys last season - and they signed former San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews even after speculation that they had scuttled a handshake deal with him to create room for Murray on the roster and under the salary cap. This is fun. This is fascinating.
March 10, 2015 |
THE GOOD NEWS is the Eagles have more than $45 million in salary-cap space heading into tomorrow's 4 p.m. start of the free-agency signing period, which is the fifth most in the league. The bad news is, thanks largely to the $20 million increase in the salary cap over the last 2 years, they aren't the only team with a significant amount of spending room. As of yesterday, 12 teams were sitting with at least $30 million in salary-cap space, according to spotrac.com. Nineteen had at least $20 million in cap room.
March 6, 2015 |
THIS MAY come as a shock to all of the people who have been reading my uplifting stories and columns in the Daily News for the last 33 years, but I'm not the cockeyed optimist I seem. I'm actually a glass-half-empty kind of guy. Where others see promise and opportunity, I see pestilence and famine and a swarm of locusts. I'm the kind of guy who texts his grown children when it rains to warn them to be careful driving. I did that this week when it started to sleet and got back this smart-ass reply from my youngest daughter: "And there's the cautionary text I've been waiting for all day. Actually, I'm gonna see how fast I can go. I hear the ice helps you go faster.