Did Eagles Jump The Gun With Undrafted FA?

LSU wide receiver Russell Shepard (10) talks to reporters. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Chip Kelly likes smart players, which probably isn’t a good omen for LSU wide receiver Russell Shepard Jr.

Shepard is one of nine undrafted free agents the Eagles will be bringing to the NovaCare Complex for their rookie camp next week.

There is some controversy, though, over when exactly the Eagles came to terms with Shepard.

In an interview with Baton Rouge radio station WNXX shortly after the draft, Shepard said, “I actually took myself off the draft board during the draft’’ and agreed to terms with the Eagles.

Said Shepard: “Teams started calling me probably in the middle of the sixth round, asking me, ‘Is it true that you’ve signed with a team already?’ I actually got it out of the way before the draft was over. I signed (with the Eagles) before the draft was over.’’

Shepard said Eagles coach Chip Kelly called him at the beginning of the sixth round.

The Eagles released a statement today denying that they came to terms with Shepard before the draft was over.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league is checking into the matter. Said Aiello: “You can contact and sign an undrafted player after the draft, which is what the Eagles say they did.’’

Added Aiello: “We have not reached any conclusions. We are looking into it.’’

Twitter doesn’t seem to back up the Eagles’ claim that they did nothing wrong. The final round of the draft Saturday didn’t conclude until 7:28 p.m.

Shepard sent a tweet out Saturday that read: “Happy today I’m a @Eagle !!! Everything happens for a reason.’’

The time stamp on the tweet was 4:28 p.m. I’m assuming that’s Central time. But that would still make it two hours before the draft ended.

Shepard has since tweeted: “It was just a agreement calm down people didn’t become official till the next day actually. . . Lol calm down''