Fletcher Smith, agent for Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, said Thursday he has not yet begun discussions with the team about McNabb's contract, despite published reports to the contrary.
Smith said he expects to get to Indianapolis, site of the NFL Scouting Combine, tonight for tomorrow's meeting of player agents. Smith said he and Eagles president Joe Banner generally have lunch together after that meeting, and Smith said he expects that will be the case this year, as well. So the talks very well could start then, but Smith emphasized that nothing has been set up.
A source close to the situation suggested this week that McNabb would be willing to come to Indianapolis, if that was what it took to have the sitdown with team management McNabb has been seeking. Smith said that wasn't going to happen, with Indianapolis the center of the NFL world right now. "How much privacy would you have for that meeting?" he asked. "We will get to all that in due order."
McNabb has two years left on his current contract, but a new deal with guaranteed money would make a demotion, a trade or a release more unlikely.
Meanwhile, the top offensive linemen in the 2009 draft paraded before the media at the Combine. There are four sure-fire first-round offensive tackles, and the Eagles, who draft 21st and 28th in the first round, might very well end up with one of them, even if they have to trade up. Your Eagletarian would like to suggest the Birds do whatever is necessary to draft Baylor OT Jason Smith. Is he better than the other three? I have no idea. I do know, when asked about the concept of signability, Smith said: "I will be at camp on time, whatever team picks me." Agent Ben Dogra probably cringed, but that's the guy Eagletarian wants. There is nothing worse than trying to cover a training camp no-show.
Smith also competes in team roping, a rodeo event that requires him to ride a horse -- not an easy thing to envision, for a guy 6-5, 309. "I got a pretty big quarterhorse," he explained, in case anyone was thinking of notifying the SPCA.