Defensive coordinator Jim Johnson meticulously rotated Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown in and out of the first-team defense in the first full-squad practice of training camp Friday.
"I guess that's what you get when you have an unresolved situation, you get rotated," Sheppard said afterward, in his first remarks to reporters since skipping the team's optional minicamp last month and hiring Drew Rosenhaus as his agent last week. Sheppard made it clear he still expects to be traded, perhaps any minute, though many NFL observers think he'll have to play well and stay healthy for the Eagles this season, then try to find a trade and new contract match in the offseason.
"My job is to come here and perform and play. I'll let my agent and the Eagles take care of everything else, and hopefully, we'll come up with something pretty soon," Sheppard said.
"I just want to go out and show everybody that I'm healthy, and I am who I say I am (an elite corner), and I can still play this game at a high level. I'm going to let that speak for itself."
Sheppard called the cornerback rotation "a mind game."
Asked if he could be happy as a nonstarter, Sheppard, a two-time Pro Bowler, said: "Of course not. I feel like I'm a Pro Bowl-caliber player, so why wouldn't I be starting?"
Asked specifically about wanting to be traded, Sheppard said: "It's not about me getting traded or any of that. But I want to make the situation right. However that is handled, I don't know."
The Eagles have strongly disagreed that Sheppard is underpaid. He signed a contract extension in 2004 that netted him an $8.7 million signing bonus, and locks up his services through 2011. Eagles sources have said Sheppard is only in the second year of the extension, after the expiration of his five-year rookie deal, and the team is not disposed to redo a contract that early.
Meanwhile, the Eagles placed wayward guard Shawn Andrews on the reserve/did not report list, so they could use his roster spot for former Rutgers offensive lineman Cameron Stephenson. Stephenson, drafted by the Steelers in 2007, spent time on Green Bay's practice squad last season and was released just before training camp, as the Packers cleared roster space to sign draft picks.
Agent Rich Moran confirmed that he plans to meet with Andrews today about the "personal issue" that is keeping Andrews out of training camp. "We're in touch with the team, working to get Shawn in camp," Moran said. "Nothing has changed in the last 24 hours."
Eagles coach Andy Reid made it clear he was not pleased that Andrews failed to show. Asked if he knew before Thursday Andrews might not report on time, Reid said: “No. He’s not here and he wasn’t excused and that’s as far as I’m going with it.”
Asked if he expects to see Andrews in camp, Reid said: "I have no idea."