Another Bird Wants To Fly

by Paul Raymond | Posted on Monday, April 20th, 2009

Sheldon Brown of the Philadelphia Eagles wants a new contract or be traded. This is easily becoming a never ending thing with the Birds, isn’t it? Brown started for the Eagles last season over the recently well payed departed Lito Sheppard. In fact one could argue Brown was the best corner on the roster. He’s already making some decent money $2 million next year, so what gives?

Profootballtalk.com reports that Brown is set to earn $2 million, $2.5 million, $3.5 million and $4.25 million over the next four seasons. That’s pretty good money but I guess not really when you consider that he’s one of the better starting corners in the NFL. But here’s the problem he agreed to that contract as an extension in 2004.

Brown has reportedly been trying to get an extension for months now but has gotten no where. Because of that he’s become annoyed with the team and wants out. Can one blame him. He started over Lito Sheppard last season who got his desired trade and pretty sweet salary with the New York Jets. Asante Samuel was brought in prior to the 2008 season and given a big contract. All the players around him are getting big deals and he’s stuck with a small contract, when he’s the one doing all the dirty work. Yea, Samuel posts the sexy numbers of interceptions and touchdowns, but Samuel is the one who gets all the work. Most teams challenge him all game long and he does nothing but perform. So shouldn’t he get his due?

Personally, I say NO! You signed the contract Sheldon so live with it! Too many NFL players see big dollars and sign an extension as soon as a club offers it. These young kids see the big dollars and don’t think hey let me play out my rookie contract and get an even bigger deal then what they are offering. So you know what Mr. Brown, oh well!!! It’s your own fault for signing a deal that goes through 2012 and make you 34 at the end of it. You’ve got no leverage and you’re stuck.

The Eagles organization has actually released a statement about this telling Brown pretty much the same thing. Oh well.

“It’s very unfortunate and counterproductive that Sheldon has chosen to go public with his feelings about his situation. After thorough evaluation by himself and discussions with his family and agents, he chose to accept an extension of his rookie contract early that provided his family financial security for the rest of his life. It removed any concerns about health or performance that all other players in his draft class had to worry about. He has three years remaining on that contract and, after taking the signing bonus and his first two years of salary into account, we feel that Sheldon is being paid fairly. Focusing only on a player’s salary for a given year is not a valid analysis.”

“There have been league MVP’s, Super Bowl champion quarterbacks, and perennial Pro Bowlers who have been in a similar situation. All of their teams have required them to wait until their contract expired or there was only one year remaining before any adjustment took place. It is only in the most extraordinary, in fact, less than a handful of circumstances in the last ten years that any players two new years into a contract with three years left have been adjusted. We don’t think this qualifies as an extraordinary circumstance.”

“Sheldon’s comments under the circumstances actually serve to devalue him in a trade if we were willing to consider it; which we are not.”

There’s a bigger problem here thou and it’s not the fact that Brown wants a new deal. It’s the Eagles front office decision to extend players early in their career. Its smart in the fact that it always leave them salary cap room but it can lead to bad feelings. The team jumps on the young players, offers them more money then they ever seen and they jump on it. They’re now rich and have job security. So how do the bad feelings begin?

The feelings turn sour when the Eagles finally do spend that salary cap. After signing Asante Samuel you had Lito and Sheldon want their due. The Eagles have now signed Stacy Andrews and Jason Peters to some pretty big deals. Now Shawn Andrews wants what he’s worth.

So basically when the Eagles please their fans and spend the money they upset the guys who been there from the beginning. The guys who are just as good or even almost good (i.e. Brown and Andrews) see how much money they could of had, they want it. And then you have a problem.

This is a continuing problem with the Eagles and outside of Andy Reid’s game calling could this be what’s really keeping the Eagles from reaching the promise land?

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