There appears to be a chance one of the greatest and most popular players in Eagles history will depart the team.
Free agent Brian Dawkins visited with the Denver Broncos yesterday, but the 35-year-old safety had not signed with the Broncos as of early today, an NFL source familiar with the negotiations said.
"It is not done," the source said.
The Oakland Raiders were apparently also interested in Dawkins, and the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Dawkins had agreed to a two-year deal with the Broncos. A Broncos spokesman told The Inquirer that no announcement was scheduled. A report out of Denver, where Dawkins attended last night's Nuggets basketball game, speculated that Dawkins might resume negotiating with the Eagles.
Dawkins' agent, Jim Steiner, said Dawkins was in Denver, but he declined further comment. Dawkins could not be reached for comment. Eagles spokesman Derek Boyko would not comment.
Meanwhile, NFL.network's Adam Schefter reported that Eagles cornerback Lito Sheppard will be traded to the Jets for a 2009 fifth-round pick and a 2010 conditional draft pick, which could be as high as a second-round choice or as low as a fourth.
Safety Sean Considine, a fourth-round pick in 2005 who spent the last four seasons with the Eagles, signed a two-year contract worth $3 million with Jacksonville. He had 17 career starts, making 165 tackles.
Dawkins was not the only Eagle in Denver yesterday. Running back Correll Buckhalter, who was hoping to find a starting role, agreed to a four-year deal with the Broncos.
Denver was busy on the first day of free agency. The team signed safety Renaldo Hill to a four-year, $10 million contract yesterday. It was unclear how Hill's signing would affect negotiations with Dawkins.
Indications are that the Eagles did not want to give Dawkins more than a one-year contract, so he opted to test the market. But the Eagles are monitoring the Dawkins situation closely, so it seems they have not closed the door on him.
Dawkins said at the Super Bowl he wanted to end his career with the Eagles, with whom he has played all 13 of his NFL seasons. He is one of the team leaders, and he has the longest tenure of any of the city's professional athletes. Dawkins showed there was still fuel in his tank when he was named to his seventh Pro Bowl last season.
Last season, Dawkins became the team's all-time leader in games played (183), and he is tied for the lead with 34 interceptions.
Dawkins is among six veteran Eagles on the free-agent market.
Buckhalter, 30, spent eight seasons with the Eagles, mostly as Brian Westbrook's backup. An example of determination, Buckhalter missed three of his first four seasons because of a series of knee injuries. Yet he was usually effective filling in for Westbrook.
Otherwise, there were reports tight end L.J. Smith might sign with Atlanta.
Left tackle Tra Thomas, 34, who has spent 11 seasons with the Eagles, is also on the free-agent market. His agent, Peter Schaffer, would not comment on Thomas' situation. Like Dawkins, Thomas has said he hoped to remain with the Eagles.