Your Eagletarian spoke to an NFL agent today who has worked with the Eagles extensively over the years. That agent, who didn't want his name used, wanted to vent about the way colleagues refuse to consider doing a deal before the players just before and just behind their client are signed. According to this agent and other sources, no talks are taking place between the Birds and Joel Segal, agent for first-round pick Brandon Graham, and that's because no one drafted near Graham has signed yet. So Segal, sources have said, isn't willing to even discuss a framework. (Segal has not responded to requests for comment. He returned a call last week to explain he doesn't talk about contract talks.)
"What's the guy getting paid for?" the agent asked.
He has a point. If all there is to repping a player is looking at the slot directly in front of a guy and the slot directly behind and splitting the difference, you could probably train a dog to earn a 4 percent commission. (A border collie, anyway. A Lab would want to hold out for more food and a place to swim.)
Of course, the unidentified agent also has an agenda -- he is competing against Segal, and his complaint has to be viewed in that context. I'm blogging it because I know the unidentified agent enjoys a strong relationship with the Birds' front office, and I think Howie Roseman and Joe Banner probably feel the same way, even if they aren't willing to say so. (Yet, that is. Give this a week and the Eagles will be heard from, you can bet on it.)
As we've mentioned previously, Segal repped two first-rounders last year. Wideout Percy Harvin missed only two days of Vikings camp, but DE Aaron Maybin missed 27 days in Buffalo, and was the 30th of 32 first-rounders to sign. Segal has said he does not frequently keep first-rounders out for a long time.
Given that only one first-rounder is signed in the entire NFL right now, it's hard to see a quick resolution with Segal over Graham, and that has to be hugely frustrating to the Birds' brass, who remember how a lengthy signing delay ruined Brodrick Bunkley's rookie season in 2006.
Meanwhile, nobody seems bent out of shape that second-rounder Nate Allen is not on the field yet, despite all the optimism over the past few days that a deal is close. That must mean the deal is still close. But nobody around the Eagles can remember the last time a SECOND-ROUND PICK wasn't in camp for the first workout. (EDIT: It was 2001, Quinton Caver, a forgettable linebacker who was cut the next year.)
Given that Allen is the starting free safety right now, you'd have to think he would be pretty intent on getting this done ASAP.
Couple of familiar-looking coaching interns on hand -- Duce Staley and Shawn Barber. Seeing Duce made me wonder when the last time the Birds entered camp without an established top-notch running back. Had to be before Ricky Watters.
Finally, if you're heading up to Lehigh this week, you need driving music. Crank this up real loud and merge into the passing lane: www.youtube.com/watch