Despite each player's unhappiness with their current contract and recent agent changes, reports have each player making the trek up to Lehigh tomorrow.
Will new contracts for Sheppard and Westbrook soon follow their arrival? Again if you listen to reports a new deal is unlikely for Sheppard (though he will be having a chat with Reid; a chat with the big guy...priceless!), but that the Eagles are trying to work out additional payment to Westbrook (though not the LT money he seeks).
As the contract squabbles have garnered the top headlines, this fan wonders would the Eagles be facing these problems had they not gone out and signed Asante Samuel to such a lucrative deal (6 yrs., $57 million) this off-season?
For the sake of team chemistry and morale would the Eagles have been better suited putting some of that money towards players already in their locker room? Westbrook is the MVP of the team, isn't his happiness more important than a new face to the team? The Westbrook situation can't be sitting well with other Eagle veterans who will face similar situations in the upcoming years.
Samuel is a stud in the defensive backfield, but again was the secondary really a position that needed upgrading? There are other weaknesses which were far more glaring than cornerback following the 2007 season.
No Samuel means no back-up role for Sheppard, no damaged ego. (If there is indeed an open competition for the starting spot opposite Samuel and Sheppard wins out, don't think that Sheldon Brown isn't going to hold back from voicing his displeasure as well). No Samuel could also mean that Sheppard isn't as unhappy with his current contract. His current contract is being constantly compared to the new, lucrative Samuel contract. And it isn't even close!
I am not arguing that the Samuel signing was a bad move. When you have a chance to sign the top free agent on the market, you do it. But just wondering now if Samuel's impact will outweigh the current contract drama and any unhappiness that is carried into the 2008 season by his teammates.