"(Mikell is) one of the team's most respected leaders, but there's much less than a 50-50 chance he returns."
What exactly does "much less than a 50-50 chance" mean? That would probably imply Caplan gives Mikell's chances at returning in 2011 somewhere between a 25-30 percent chance.
I would love for him to expand on this little bombshell as I've been acting on the assumption that there was no way the Eagles allow Mikell to walk. He has been a rock in the middle of the defense for the past few seasons and has likely been the reason this defense wasn't historically bad through the air.
And I'm not the only one who thinks highly of Mikell. This is what ProFootballFocus.com's John Breitenbach had to say about Mikell:
"With Vick receiving the franchise tag, the Eagles will need to be in deep negotiation with SS Quintin Mikell. He defines dependability. While he may be unlikely to come up with big plays, neither is he likely to make mistakes either. For a young defense, Mikell provides an invaluable veteran presence."
Those are about my sentiments regarding Mikell. During a time of transition, having a smart guy as the final line of defense could be invaluable. The team is going to be reloading with a young linebacking corps and will need someone deep in the defense who won't find themselves out of position when it matters most.
Mikell hasn't been of All-Pro caliber the last two seasons, but he's still the best option for the Eagles at strong safety and is only hitting 30-years old this year.
Caplan could very well be right -- he usually is -- but allowing Mikell to walk would be a big mistake for this defense and this team moving forward.