Philadelphia Daily News columnist Rich Hofmann may have been paying Joe Banner and Andy Reid a back-handed compliment Friday, but it was a compliment nonetheless. He believes the Philadelphia Eagles might actually benefit from a lockout because Banner and Reid seem to lead the league in forming contingency plans. (Please, no jokes about cornerback).
"If you are an Eagles fan, you might just want to root for at least a little bit of labor chaos -- because planning and anticipating is the absolute strength of club president Joe Banner and coach Andy Reid," writes Hofmann. "At the risk of an e-mail avalanche, you have to give Banner and Reid that much. Years ago, Banner was the guy who figured out the key loophole in the NFL salary cap before anyone else did, giving the Eagles a lot of extra maneuverability and cap space over the years. And as for Reid, if he isn't always at his best on Sunday with the timeouts and the whatnot, he is really good on Wednesday. His teams are well-prepared and play hard a very high percentage of the time."
Hofmann doesn't think it was a coincidence that the highly organized Washington Redskins of the 1980s won Super Bowls in strike-shortened seasons. And he seems to think that Reid could finally find the promised land if things get a little chaotic. I sort of feel like Hofmann's reaching a bit with this angle, but I admire a writer who's willing to find a somewhat entertaining angle to this labor mess.
Are the Eagles secretly rooting against a settlement before August? I highly doubt it, but I do agree that Banner, GM Howie Roseman and Reid might have a better shot at exploiting this situation than a lot of other teams.