Before I get into where I disagree with Ford, I want to first set up where he's coming from. Earlier this week Leonard Weaver gave an interview to a Seattle area paper where expressed that he wasn't exactly happy to leave Seattle and that Philly was his second choice.
"And now it resorts to this where I have to make a secondary choice, which I did. So it makes it very tough. Guys like (Lorin) Big Lo (Sandretzky0 and Hawk Fiend, guys who I’ve met on a personal level and who are really passionate about the Seahawks, it’s been tough being able to look at those guys and leave.
Inquirer columnist Bob Ford took offense to this.
Oh, no question. Having to accept a paltry $1.75 million is just a terrible insult, a fallback position that no one -- even someone who makes up verbs that don't agree with impersonal pronouns -- should not have to bear. Oh, the humanity. TO HAVE TO PLAY IN PHILADELPHIA FOR A TEAM THAT MADE THE CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP AND LEAVE THE STINKING SEAHAWKS. It is too much to take.
Just to contrast, when I read Weaver's quotes, I had this reaction
It's a pretty long interview and very heartfelt from Weaver. You could tell he had a strong connection with the team and it's fans, which is something I admire. I certainly hope he can develop that kind of relationship here.
Some of the community members here called Weaver's comments "refreshing." I agree. Weaver started his career in Seattle, made a name there, and it clearly pained him to leave. He liked the fans, he liked the team... But just like our own Brian Dawkins he made the decision to go elsewhere for more money. Did anyone slam Dawkins when he said "I'll always be an Eagle" after signing with the Broncos?
I like that Weaver is the kind of guy that developed a connection to his former team. I like that he felt bad leaving. Like I said, I hope we develop that type of connection with him as well.
Ford also took offense to Weaver's statement that he was here to show the Eagles and other teams what he can do.
Leonard is going to be a man about it, though. He's going to show up and play and look for his deluxe payday in the sky. In Philly? Maybe, not that he really cares.
"It's a good opportunity to show what I can do, not only to Philly but to other teams out there," Weaver said. "And then if Philly offers a long-term deal, that would be great. But, if not, hey man, it was a great time and we move on."
Mr Ford, let's not delude ourselves to the business of the NFL here. The player and team have made a one year commitment to each other. We all know what that means. The team wants a player motivated in a contract year, the player wants to prove himself worthy of a big long term deal. If Leonard Weaver is out to earn that this year, then the Eagles are getting exactly what they wanted.
This was simply a rare case of a player just being honest and not blowing smoke for once...
Weaver himself responded to the mini controversy.
"I want to let people know, any time you start your career somewhere, of course you would love to stay there," he said. "That's where you started. You've got relationships. But anytime you have an opportunity to go somewhere else where you can excel, I mean that's what you do. And I was very excited. I let Seattle know at that particular time that yeah, when they asked me 'Do you want to stick around?' I told 'em yeah, and this is before free agency even started, but obviously in doing so, you know, we had to definitely make another decision. And we definitely had several other teams, but Philly is the place that I wanted to be."
Weaver went on to say that he hopes after this year he and the Eagles can get something done.
We’re gonna see what the future holds. It’s a one-year deal. I’m hoping that I come in and do what I need to do and they like me enough to say, 'you know what, we want you here for the rest of your career' and then hey, there we go. We got a new home. So I’m excited man."
Am I being soft? Is anything Weaver said that offensive?
It all seems like fake outrage to me.