Late last night (technically, early this morning), we posted a quote from a CBS interview of coach Eric Mangini during which the embattled football boss claimed not to know the terms of the incentives in his new/old starting quarterback’s contract.
The key here is the tense of the verb that Mangini selected. Leaving no room for ambiguity as to the possibility that he perhaps didn’t know about the $10.9 million in future escalators tied to taking 70 percent of the snaps this season, Mangini said “I don’t know” — not “didn’t” or “hadn’t” or “couldn’t” or “wouldn’t.”
At the time, we didn’t elaborate all that much given the ridiculous nature of claim. And because it was really late. (Technically, really early.) Instead, we concluded simply that Mangini is lying or incompetent. (Some of you have pointed out that “and” should have been included as an option, too.)
On reflection, we’re convinced he’s lying. For starters, we know that he reads PFT. And we’ve mentioned Quinn’s contractual incentives and escalators throughout training camp and the regular season.
There’s also specific evidence that Mangini knows.
Last week, owner Randy Lerner was asked whether the escalators were a factor in Quinn’s Week Three benching. Lerner didn’t say, “What escalators?” Instead, Lerner said “[n]one at all.”
And as one of our more loyal readers points out, Mangini was asked about the impact of the escalator in August, while he was still trying to figure out whether Quinn or Anderson would be the Week One starter.
“Not one bit,” Mangini said in response to whether Quinn’s escalators would influence the decision.
If the Lerner is trying to stiff G.M. George Kokinis simply because Kokinis eventually was worn down by Mangini’s apparent efforts to dominate the team’s personnel decisions, Mangini might already have said enough to get himself fired with cause, too.