Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The 'Ax Man' is cut

"The Ax Man" got the ax.
Jeremiah Trotter, who picked up the nickname "The Ax Man" for his
trademark move of making as he he were chopping down a tree after a big
defensive play, is no longer an Eagle.
That stunning news came this morning, when the team announced it was
releasing the perennial Pro Bowler and one of the most popular members
of the team.
Andy Reid has been called many things. Sentimental is not one of them.
This is the guy who ignored raging public sentiment last year as he
watched Jeff Garcia, the man who rescued the Eagles season last year and
rallied them into a surprise playoff appearance after Donovan McNabb
went down with a bum knee, walk away.
Reid and the Eagles brass made a decision. They decided they would not
pay what Garcia wanted for a guy ticketed to be a backup if McNabb was
healthy. The key there is the if. So far they appear to be on the money.
That could change should McNabb suffer a setback.
Now they once again will be the talk of the town for showing Trotter the
door.
This is not their first trip down this road. The last time it was
Trotter walking away, accepting a free agent offer from the Washington
Redskins. He is one of the few veterans welcomed back into the fold
after daring to challenge the Eagles brain trust.
Monday night Reid apparently held an emotional meeting with his middle
linebacker. He told him of the team's decision.
Trotter was gone, just that quickly.
Now Reid is once again in the crosshairs. His decision will be
second-guessed all day and through much of the season, especially if the
Eagles defense struggles again this year.
That appears to be part of the problem. Clearly the Eagles believe
Trotter was not the player he once was and was standing in the way of
developing player Omar Gaither. There is also the memory of New Orleans
Saints running backs running roughshod over the Birds' defense in that
playoff loss last year.
The Eagles decided to make a move. And in the process again send a
message to their players. Don't lose a step. There's someone waiting to
take your spot.
Reid has a good track record on personnel. Most of the guys he has let
go do not exactly set the league on fire after putting down roots in
other locales.
Trotter is the latest to feel Reid's brutal approach to the roster.
He was one of the most beloved members of the team, with both teammates
and the public.
Now he's an ex-Eagle.
When he pulls that ax out of his back, Jeremiah Trotter will find Andy
Reid's fingerprints all over it.
Omar Gaither better be the real deal. Or both he and Reid will be
ducking a few axes of their own.

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