Patterson’s Agent: ‘This Is Not the Message You Want To Send’

Mike Patterson‘s representation is prepared to file a grievance against the Eagles for their decision to place the defensive tackle on the non-football injury/illness list and cut his pay.

Patterson was hospitalized last week with viral pneumonia and missed Sunday’s game against the Bucs. The Eagles have since placed Patterson on NFI and called up Emil Igwenagu, who will give the Eagles another option at tight end with  Brent Celek out with a concussion.

Agent J.R. Rickert contends that Patterson got pneumonia as a direct result of football-related activities, and that it is on the organization to prove otherwise.

“We tried to make that point to the Eagles and they disagreed,” said Rickert. “They  said, ‘An illness is an illness.’

“He is entitled to the remaining 150 thousand of his contract and we’re going to take every step we can to ensure that he gets what he’s entitled to under his contract.”

Rickert added that he is willing to work with the Eagles before filing a grievance.

The team released the following statement: “Our number one priority is to get Mike Patterson well enough to get back on the football field. He has worked hard this year to get back and has our full support as an organization.”

Patterson started the season on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list as he recovered from surgery to correct a brain AVM. His condition was discovered after the eight-year veteran suffered a seizure at training camp before the 2011 season. He opted to put off surgery until the offseason and played in 15 games for the Eagles last year.

“This is not the way an organization should treat a player who has been a solid citizen and a leader on the team and somebody who does nothing but contribute to your club on and off the field,” said Rickert.

“This is not the message you want to send of how you deal with people…This is a guy who had a serious health condition and  fought his way back because he wants to contribute to the team.”

Eagles head trainer Rick Burkholder said that the recent illness is not related to his prior condition.

“He looks like he is going to be alright,”  said Burkholder of Patterson Tuesday. “After you have something like that it is hard to get your energy levels back up and make sure you can play and all that kind of stuff.”

Burkholder added that the staff was concerned about the possible spread of the illness, but as of Tuesday there were no indications that any other players had caught pneumonia.

Igwenagu has spent the season on the Eagles’ practice squad after signing as a rookie free agent out of Massachusetts. He totaled 75 receptions for 821 yards and four touchdowns at UMass while playing  fullback, tight end and running back for the Minutemen.

The team also signed defensive tackle Ronnie Cameron to the practice squad.

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  • EaglesMaddog

    Eagles need to stop penny-pinching when it comes to loyal players!

  • Who? Whom?

    Stay classy, Howie. Send the kulaks a message for Christmas.

  • Bob A

    This is why people think Lurie is a no class clown, in case there are still people out there that want to defend the guy. Roseman showed his true colors too.

    • JOhngiam

      what a bunch of scum! 20million under the cap, tied with the Jaguars, in an alll in superbowl or bust year…and you are trying to short a man that fought back from brain surgery to help your 2-8 team? are you friggin kidding me. It is Hanakua…..

      • johngiam

        how does Lurie not get called out on for spending the least amount of money for a major market team in the past 10 years? keep shorting us linebackers, safeties and put returners..BTW, who needs back ups! SUPER BOWL OR BUST!…THE GOLDEN STANDARD!

  • UncleCarm

    Just because the CBA says you can do it, doesn’t mean you should do it. Patterson exhibits the kind of heart this team needs, and look what he gets for it. I don’t agree with this one at all.

    • JohnGiam

      simply classless! but did you expect anything different from the Gold standard?
      I have NEVER liked Patterson as a player. NEVER! But he is ONE EAGLE, you just dont treat like this!

      • Zachary Kahn

        If you dont like Patterson im scared to think who you do like on this team.

        • johngiam

          I should like an average at best tackle? good soldier, wouldnt mind and upgrade in talent

  • Paradox_What?

    Let’s let this play out before jumping the gun on the Lurie hate. I am almost positive that he himself has zero input on something as petty as this. IMO what most likely happened is that after the coaches put Patterson on NFI, some schmuck in personnel decided to go with the default “dock half pay” option. It does free up cap, but does not seem to be a sum worth the PR nightmare. I’d bet Patterson will find the 150K in his back pocket and this will end up as a “win-win.”

    • TurdFerguson

      I cannot imagine how this type of decision could possibly be made without first running it past the GM at the very least.

      • Paradox_What?

        Per Patterson’s agent: “After a day of reflection, the Eagles and [G.M.] Howie Roseman decided to treat Mike like the high-character player that he is,” agent Peter Schaffer tells PFT. “They’re doing it because they believe that players who have done what Mike has done for the franchise should be rewarded. They always had Mike’s best interests at heart. So they renegotiated his contract to remove the provision that automatically dropped his pay.”

        Key word being “automatically.” It appears that Patterson’s agent simply used the media to drum up a non-issue to overide a contract term in order to score Patterson an extra $150k without having to argue that the injury was football-related. Great job by Schaffer (Patterson’s agent).

        • GoBirds1

          Why don’t you and the other hired pro Howie spin doctors take your obvious defensive non-sense elsewhere. Do you really think that the Eagles fans at large are that stupid and oblivious to your intentions.

          Proactive would have been, we are aware of the language in Mike’s contract and we are taking the necessary steps to change it, such that he will receive the balance of his pay. That would have been the right thing to do. Not wait for the public outcry and then respond.

          PeeWee is an arrogant egotistical weasel hatched under the kings of such attitude, Reid, Banner and Lurie!

  • Joe Jones

    I understand its a business first, however, doing what is right should be a tenet of any business. And in this case, doing what is right means honoring the remainder of his contract. They should be embarrassing to attempt to reduce this guys pay in the last 3 weeks of the season after what the guy has endured the last two years.

  • Frank

    Sigh…don’t be douchebags Eagles…just don’t…

  • Kimbafuzz

    This is such a classless move by the Eagles. Like someone else said, just because the CBA says you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you absolutely have to. This is just cruddy.

  • http://www.jhkayejr.com Joseph Kaye

    Just pay the guy his $150k. Good Lord.

    • Craig

      Makes you think that Banner may just have been the messenger all these years….Really a bad PR move by a team that can’t afford bad PR during this miserable season.

  • 1972

    Hey Jeff your not a perinnial playoff team anymore! this type of stuff doesnt fly when ur under .500. People are going to pile on every negative they can.Its not as big a deal as everyones making it, but the fact that ur a losing organizaion right now enhances the B.s..jus giv em his money and move on.Its not worth the p.r hit

  • Tim Greene

    Not surprising…they did the same thing to Jason Peters.

  • HowieDon’tKnow

    Stay classy Jeff.

  • Michael Ralph

    What a bunch of cheap b******’s. Real classy Jeffery.

  • The Guru

    And people always thought it was Banner pulling the strings on decisions like this. It comes from the top.

  • BdawkBdawk

    Losing seasons happen. But reports like this are truly disheartening. You don’t get second or third chances to treat people with dignity and respect. It’s not my money, but docking someone like Patterson is neither a good character decision, nor a good bussiness decision.

  • Bob A

    Anyone old enough to remember the old Claymation cartoon, Davey and Goliath? Basically they were 15 minute episodes where the main character Davey would get into some sort of trouble, and right before he did , he would inform his dog Goliath ( who could talk) about the dumb decision he made, anything from walking on thin ice to playing on railroad tracks. The dog would always answer either ” I don’t know Davey” or “I don’t think so, Davey”, and then Davey would do something stupid anyway and the dog and others would have to rescue him. Well, our ‘Davey’, Jeff Lurie, needs a Goliath; a PR maven that every time he says something like ” We’ll bar the fans from bringing hoagies into the stadium, that’ll work!”, or “Let’s dock Patterson’s pay for getting pneumonia, nobody will see the down side of that”, who speaks up and says ” I don’t know , Jeffrey!” He would have to be a guy that Lurie promises not to fire, no matter how honest he is. Seriously, though, for a guy that wrote his dissertation on public policy, dude must be either the most clueless guy in the world, or just doesn’t care about anyone but himself. He always puts himself in these ridiculous PR jackpots , and then doesn’t understand why the fans universally revile him.

  • brianblock

    Maybe not… but I did however spend four years in the City of Brotherly Love — having graduated from UPenn.

    • Liz Spikol

      So there is a connection after all! Why do so many Penn grads leave?