Reasons Why Sheldon Brown Is Likely An Ex-Eagle Soon

Haran KnightCorrespondent IApril 21, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 28:  Sheldon Brown #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates his interception late in the first half against the Dallas Cowboys on December 28, 2008 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

As a long time Eagles fan, I've watched many great players come and go on this organization.  One of the biggest free agency departures in history was Reggie White leaving for Green Bay.

Since Andy Reid has become the head coach, the team has become notorious for angering it's top players over financial disputes.  Jeremiah Trotter, Duce Staley, Troy Vincent, Corey Simon....this is just a few of the guys who let it be know that they weren't pleased with how the birds ran business.

Outside of Troy Vincent, who went to a Pro Bowl with Buffalo, the other guys went on a quick decline without a midnight green jersey on.  Can't count Staley getting a ring because he wasn't even in uniform.

It's too early to comment on Brian Dawkins, Tra Thomas or Lito Sheppard because that haven't even attended an OTA for their respective teams yet.  But, it's almost safe to say that it's hard to imagine them having anywhere close to the impact they had in Philadelphia.

I say all of this to lead to today's headline of one Sheldon Brown going public about his displeasure with his contract.  History says he lost this battle long before he was even a 2nd round draft pick in 2002.  Joe Banner and Co. have always been adamant about not being strong armed in negotiations.  Especially when a player has two or more years left in his contract.

I've disagreed with previous transactions by the Eagles, but Brown is wrong on this one.  It's not just because he under contract until 2011 or 2012.  It's not because history says he could ruin his career.  The biggest issue is: He's just doesn't have the impact as a player to make such a demand.

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The other players mentioned were either great or have shown glimpses of greatness.  Sheldon at best is very good, but not great.  He's consistent(124 consecutive games), has always had a great work ethic, and has earned a reputation for laying a good hit or two(ask the Saint's Reggie Bush or Ram's Stephen Jackson).

Those things are good, but they don't make him irreplacable. No. 24 is steady but he doesn't possess the ability to be a game changer that Asante Samuel, Nnamdi Asoumugha or even a healthy, focused Lito Sheppard can be.  On top of that, he's 30 years old, 5'10" and not known for many interceptions(something you'd like out of your starting corners).

Brown allowed only one passing TD last year, but that doesn't make him great just like allowing over eleven sacks make Jason Peters a horrible left tackle.  It's quite possible that this situation is the reason the Eagles brought in cornerbacks like Utah's Sean Smith, Illinois' Vontae Davis, and Maryland's Kevin Barnes for pre-draft visits.

There are arguments that Sheldon Brown is the Eagles true leader on defense now that Dawkins is gone, but does a true leader attack his front office publicly the way he did? Many fans prefer to reflect on Sheldon's hit on Bush in a playoff game(which turned out to be a loss).  I remember two other incidents even more.  One was his coverage on Plaxico Burress' game winning TD in overtime in Game 2 of 2006.  The other was his coverage of Deion Branch in the Super Bowl which was a key play on New England's drive that put them up 24-14.  These plays are proof that while Sheldon Brown may give his all, his all just isn't enough sometimes.