I'm sure Andy Reid can hardly wait for Tuesday, when the whole Eagles team gets together for another "organized team activity," and everybody will be interested in whether Lito Sheppard attends, and what it means if he does or doesn't.
This time, the team can't fine Lito if he fails to show, because the sessions are "voluntary." It's very possible that Sheppard could sit this out and still attend training camp, which he could and would be fined for missing. Or he could just show up, figuring his only play at this point is to do everything he's asked, hoping that somehow leads to a trade or a new contract.
If you're Lito and you're really not prepared for a lengthy, messy holdout drama, you might just as well show up next week. Agent Peter Schaffer said by e-mail on Thursday that he wasn't thinking about next week yet. (I'm guessing that might not be entirely true.) Do you put any real pressure on the Eagles by not showing?
A trade seems downright unlikely now, given the fact that Sheppard wants an expensive new deal, and that any team trading for him would need to have cap room, in addition to being willing to fork over something pretty good in a trade. Teams make those sorts of calculations in the spring, before the draft.
Meanwhile, on 950-AM yesterday, Brian Seltzer reported that the Birds are considering letting Lito take some snaps at wideout, as some sort of appeasement. This would also help the team, by putting the ball in the hands of a top playmaker more often.
What I hear is that nothing is new on that front, that it remains unlikely. Lito has campaigned for such a role, off and on, since he arrived in 2002. He did a little offense in college at Florida, for Steve Spurrier.
I'm not sure playing on offense satisfies a guy whose dissatisfaction is mostly monetary, but ever since Lito first brought it up, I've thought sending him long was worth a shot. Sure, his focus ought to remain cornerbacking, but let him run the odd practice pattern here and there, use his speed, give opponents a little something more to think about. Other than the concern about injuries, I don't see a downside. And if it somehow makes him a happier camper, then hell, yes.