Brandt currently hiking, not negotiating

Earlier today over at Birds' Eye View, Jeff McLane caught up with Jeremy Maclin's agent, Jim Steiner.

Steiner told him that negotiations would probably intensify this week and he was optimistic a deal would get done before rookies report to camp at Lehigh Sunday.

McLane also reported that Steiner was negotiating with Eagles consultant Andrew Brandt, but Brandt had not returned his call.

And now we know why.

He was hiking Mt. Whitney in California. Did Brandt e-mail me and tell me this? No. He posted to his Twitter account:

Just hiked highest peak in country, Mt. Whitney in California. Left at 3am, did 22 miles up to 14,600 and back. Awesome experience.

Sounds intense.

By the way, hiking is all the rage among the people I follow on Twitter. I can't get through a day without reading about someone hiking some monstrous mountain I have never heard of.

When I visited my sister out in Portland last month, she and my brother in-law tried to get me to go hiking, but I passed. Isn't that just walking uphill for a long time? I don't really get it. Don't get me wrong. I like being outside too, but the whole hiking/camping/fishing thing isn't really for me.

As for Maclin, all signs seem to point to him agreeing to a deal before Sunday.

Some other links to pass along:

**'s John Clayton says Andy Reid and Tom Heckert are the league's top coach/GM combo:

Heckert didn't get the GM title until 2006, but he and Reid have the perfect partnership. Not only are the Eagles annual playoff contenders, but they also always win that first playoff game. As an organization, the Eagles keep trying to make sure the roster doesn't get too old. They aren't afraid to take chances on top, high-priced free agents. At some point, though, Heckert might leave. He has interviewed for several GM positions around the league in the past few years.

** In case you missed it, Saints coach Sean Payton filled in for Peter King on's MMQB this week. He echoed what we've been saying in Philadelphia for months now about defensive coordinator Jim Johnson:

I think everyone reading this column wishes the best and a full recovery to Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson. Having coached nine years in the NFC East, I know every coach and player who had to prepare for his defense respects the hell out of him. Jim is an NFL legend and we want him back on the sidelines.

** And if you missed our earlier mailbag about Eagles chants, ice cream cake and more, click here.