A sure sign that training camp is drawing near: The Eagles have agreed to terms with all but one of their 2007 draftees.
Defensive end Victor Abiamiri, the second of the team's two second-round picks, agreed to terms yesterday, as did seventh-round running back Nate Ilaoa. That leaves only second-round quarterback Kevin Kolb, the team's top pick, without a contract as we head down the homestretch to Friday, when rookies and select vets report to Lehigh.
Abiamiri and Ilaoa agreed to 4-year deals, the Eagles said. Five of the Birds' eight selections were signed before mincamps ended last month.
Kolb's agent, Jeff Nalley, could not be reached for comment last night, but Kolb told the Daily News recently that he felt the talks were going well.
"Offers are on the table," Kolb said. "We just have to make an agreement now. I don't see any problems . . . I trust my agent and I trust the Eagles. I'm confident we'll be happy come the 27th."
The Eagles no doubt are eager to conclude the talks before Friday. Last season, top pick Brod-rick Bunkley missed the first 2 weeks of training camp before an agreement was reached, and Bunkley never became the factor the Birds wanted him to be at defensive tackle. Both Bunkley and the team have blamed his holdout for what was pretty much a wasted year. But Bunkley was a first-round pick, 14th overall. The Eagles traded out of the first round to draft Kolb 36th overall; second-round contract impasses are rare. Nalley might have wanted to see what the team would give Abiamiri, who went 21 slots after Kolb.
At 6-4, 267, Abiamiri is the team's biggest defensive end. How he fits into a crowded end rotation is unclear heading into camp, but coordinator Jim Johnson has said he wants his defense to be bigger and stronger.
Ilaoa, one of five running backs the team will bring to camp, could be a bit of a project. He showed good hands and good quickness in minicamps, especially for a 245-pound back who is listed at 5-9 and might be a little shorter. He'll have to show he can help the special teams, and he might have to beat out 2005 third-rounder Ryan Moats for a roster spot. *