Philadelphia Eagles: Smart Move By Sheppard, Bad Move By Westbrook

chris klinknerSenior Writer IJuly 26, 2008

On Thursday both Westbrook and Sheppard arrived at Eagles training camp. Was that the smart decision for each player?

I would say yes for Sheppard and no for Westbrook.

In 2007 Westbrook had 2104 total yards and 12 touchdowns. Westbrook was a Pro Bowler and a 1st team All Pro selection.

These stats should provide Westbrook with all of the leverage that he needs to renegotiate his current deal with the Eagles. His leverage will never be higher. I applaud Westbrook for putting the team first and putting faith in his new agent to get a new deal worked out. But what happens if Westbrook suffers an injury during training camp? There goes that leverage. Any chance of a new contract would be gone.

Westbrook should have made the Eagles sweat a bit. Force them to up their current offer to a level that matches Westbrook's productivity. The Eagles aren't dumb enough to go into a season without their MVP, their top play maker. Are they?

The Eagles should not be given the opportunity to take advantage of Westbrook's strong character. They know that Westbrook will not carry his contract happiness onto the field. The Eagles shouldn't be allowed to get another season out of Westbrook on a contract that he has outplayed.

Unfortunately Sheppard lacks the same leverage to force the Eagles into a new contract. Yes he might be a bit underpaid for a cornerback with his skill set. But Sheppard has had difficulty staying healthy. Hey, maybe Sheppard should look as his pay on a per game played basis and not the overall dollar amount!

Sheppard needs to prove to the Eagles (and to any possible new employers) that he is still an elite cornerback and can beat the injury bug.

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