Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Brown to attend Eagles' minicamp
PHILADELPHIA -- Unhappy cornerback Sheldon Brown says he'll report to the Eagles' mandatory minicamp this weekend so that he's prepared to play somewhere this season.
And he knows that he might still be in Philadelphia -- and not playing.
Brown wants a trade from the team he began his career with in 2002 and speculated he could be bumped from the starting lineup after the Eagles acquired cornerback Ellis Hobbs from New England last weekend. Still, the seven-year veteran will be at the NovaCare Complex beginning Friday to avoid daily fines of up to $14,000.
"I have to prepare to play the season, no matter where I'm playing," Brown said. "This is where the season starts."
Brown went public earlier this month with his wish for a new contract or a trade after team president Joe Banner, in a radio interview, denied Brown had any dissatisfaction with his current deal, which runs through 2012.
The team responded with a terse statement making it clear that Brown will not get a new deal, nor will any Eagles player with four years remaining on his contract.
On the second day of the NFL draft last weekend, Philadelphia sent a pair of fifth-round draft picks to the Patriots for Hobbs, who was a third-round draft pick by New England in 2005 and a starter the past two seasons.
The trade gives Philadelphia some options at cornerback, a group that also includes Pro Bowl player Asante Samuel, who was a teammate of Hobbs in New England, and the recently re-signed Joselio Hanson. The Eagles also drafted Virginia Tech cornerback Victor Harris in the fifth round on Sunday.
"If I get demoted to the fourth corner, that's the way it will be," Brown said. "I fought for what I believed in and that's how it's always going to be with me. If Ellis is good, he'll play, I know that. Everybody knows that. They've been trying to give my job away every year."
Since becoming a starter in the Super Bowl season of 2004, Brown has not missed a game. He played through a sports hernia injury one season and through a shoulder injury that ultimately required surgery another year.
Brown said the Eagles questioned Lito Sheppard, who has since been traded, for not playing through injuries, but fails to reward players who do.
"They don't care about that," he said.
Brown said his first preference remains to get a new deal and play for the Eagles.
"I doubt that is going to happen," he said.
His next choice is to be traded, but even with the addition of Hobbs, he also isn't sure that will happen.
"Anything is possible," he said. "But I'm sure I'm going to be here."
Brown said he'll report to camp with no regrets about signing his current deal in 2004 or going public with his unhappiness earlier this month.
"I did the right thing, then," he said of signing the long-term contract. "I was a starter making the minimum, a couple hundred thousand a year. And I knew the repercussions of what I'm doing now. People want to blame my agent, but it's not my agent. He's not telling me what to do. My agent works for me."
So Brown said he'll show up on Friday because, as of now, he still works for the Eagles.