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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Philly Sports Rumors Roundup 

Should fans here expect the unexpected? We keep hearing all sorts of inklings about moves and non-moves that might surprise. OK, this info's sketchy, but we'll keep looking for more and better sources.

Is Comcast leaving the door open to a Sixers sale? First, the Boston Globe pressed a case that the team was up for sale, then a Comcast executive denied that. Yesterday, though, Howard Eskin reported on WIP that Comcast has hired a hotshot financial firm to handle inquiries from possible buyers. So far there have been a dozen information requests, but no bids, he said. Doesn't mean the team's on the block. Just that Comcast knows it's smart to listen.

Could the Phillies make more moves soon? First of all, they can. Yes, the trading deadline has passed, but if a player clears waivers, he can still be swapped. But do the Philies want to make more deals? Well, the team tried to trade Pat Burrell, who vetoed a deal to Baltimore, according to reports. Further, Eskin says GM Pat Gillick is under orders to cut the payroll to about $70 million next season, so, if that's true, expect more salary dumping, and perhaps even the return of manager Charlie Manuel next year. (That's contrary to a Chicago Sun-Times column today, that Lou "Piniella's old boss and friend, Pat Gillick, is said to be targeting him to manage the Philadelphia Phillies." Oh, and forget about the catcher-needy Red Sox wanting Mike Lieberthal.

Will the Eagles trade for a wideout? Word is the Eagles would like disgruntled Denver wideout Ashley Lelie (not Oakland malcontent Jerry Porter). But supposedly the price is too high. Some reports say Denver wants a first- or second-round pick, but ESPN's John Clayton writes that "the asking price ... is a third-round pick, and there are teams willing to give up a fourth-rounder. ... It's not going to be a matter of if Lelie is traded. It's a matter of when." Nothing new in the Denver papers today, at

(Speaking of receivers, there's this tidbit: T.O. was named as a witness to a bar fight. Speaking of Owens, the picture you see here with Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb might be the funniest part of a long video cartoon out of Dallas.)

Will Eagles sign Brodrick Bunkley soon? Maybe not. The first-rounder's agent once held tight end Keith Jackson out for 50 days. And owner Jeff Lurie sure didn't sound ready to compromise during yesterday's remarks. Stubbornness is also cited by, which asserts: "Although past precedent suggests a five-year contract for the No. 14 and No. 16 picks, the Eagles and Fins are believed to be taking a hard line pursuant to a 'you asked for it, you got it' attitude toward the NFLPA and the new CBA." (That's the players association and collective bargaining agreement.) One reason: The stakes are much bigger than fans might think. The site speculates that the NFL salary cap could soar by a whopping 50 percent over the next five years. So the sooner Bunkley can get to free agency, the sooner he's eligible for a big cut of that pie. That's why the two sides have been haggling over the length of the deal, and may have even stopped talking for now, as observers have reported. Oh, and apparently it's not true that a deal was close and the agent backed out.

Gagne deal in the works? Yes, writes the Inquirer's Ray Parrillo.

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