Free Agent Runyan -
Tuning in on a Philly talk show on Saturday gave me the opportunity of hearing the words of a very interesting player that has always intrigued me. Jon Runyan, the right tackle for the Eagles, was the man of the hour. Apparently, Jon is an unrestricted free agent and his market value is in flux as he's now recovering from some off season surgery.
For some unknown reason, I have been following Runyan's career ever since that 1999 Super Bowl, where the Titans fell short on the 1/2 yard line versus greatest show on Turf. The following year, Runyan finds his way to Philly under Andy Reed, and the turnaround in Philly begins. In short, success always seemed to follow Jon. In Jon's career, he's played in six (6) championship games and has appeared in two (2) Super Bowl. To be direct, I can't think of an individual on the face of this earth that is more deserving of becoming apart of team on a Championship Run.
Apparently Jon suffered a serious injury, which affected his play for the better part of the year, although he played through the injury through the NFC Championship game. Against the Vikings, he was noticeably hobbled at times, but he found a way to perform at a high level.
Jon, is no idiot, as when he spoke in this interview, he was as tight lipped as a frogs but hole, but there were many things that were for certain when you heard the words of Runyan's conviction. Due to his surgery and rehab, he wouldn't be able to take part in any off season workouts or activities, which means his market value would most certainly be in flux ... and not on the good side. Jon's greatest fear is that Philly is going to play the "fat-butt" ... where they sit all over him, knowing that his options are somewhat limited. In other words, even with Jon's impressive resume, what team would be willing to take a risk on him after major reconstructive surgery, and more importantly, where would this man fit within an existing system.
For some reason, during this interview, my wife interjected with some unrelated statement. When I tried to shush her from muddling the interview by trying to explain the importance and interest that I had in this particular athlete, I was forced into wildly pondering scenarios to better explain it to her, when it all hit me like a ton of bricks. Childress-Runyan! Holy Crap!
The word on the street has always been that you should never invest in a player in his 3rd, or better said, his final contract. Where this statement falls apart is that I don't see teams falling all over themselves over this guy, with any sort of long term deals. Then the commentator interjected about Jon's history, which includes a transformation from a blocking tackle of running mentality, blocking for the likes of Eddie George, to having to work under the finesse offense of McNabb and Westbrook.
When asked about his future in Philly, Jon's uncertain response included a very firm bit of conviction based upon an undisclosed statement made by Dr. Wizard. In Jon's own words, "You can expect me to be playing in 2009 ... I just don't know where". Jon then interjected that he had at least 2 solid years left in his tank.
As we are all aware, our trade history with the Eagles under Chilly has been a solid F minus. If there was an upside to any of these dealings ... I sure missed it, as Philly benefited from every move. In this case, however, we are not talking about a trade, we are talking about a free agent that just might be looking to be embraced as a risk that deserves respect for his unquestioned history ... something that he may not get from Philly. In my book, whether Philly likes it or not, per my ledger they owe us big, so I'd have no thoughts at taking a shot at Jon. As for the Viking faithful ... Jon's potential upside versus some coinage is a no-brainer.
As for the Vikings, the possibility of losing Birk is a very distinct possibility. There is more there than meets the eye, and if I had to guess, its due to Matt being his own man of steady convictions. Politically, necks that stand out usually get chopped off ... and that's just an awful shame. For all Matt has done ... it's my hope and conviction that I'm wrong. This leaves O'Sullivan and Cook vying for that center position, leaving the Right Tackle slot as a potential point of emphasis. It can be filled in the long term by the draft, however, a reach at Runyan has a degree of sensibility to it.
No disrespect to anyone, but if there was a weakness in our offensive line last year, unquestionably it was at right tackle. On the other hand, Cook like O'Sullivan was drafted as a center, so you just don't know what these guys truly have to offer yet.
The Viking Ghost