Both Bobby Taylor and Duce Staley have been no-shows so far this year at the Eagles preseason mini-camps. It is evident what they want. New contracts. Taylor and Staley are both in the final years of their contracts. Both look at the other, and know they both have concerns about the future. They want money, but then again who doesn't in the NFL.
Brian Mitchell and Hugh Douglas both left this organization because of money, they do not care about winning. If they did, why not stay with the team who has made it to the NFC Championship Game two-straight years and holds the best record of this decade? The Eagles will be smart with these two decisions. They have the money to sign them to long-term deals, but do they want to? They both will be in Training Camp this year, because they don't want to hurt their chances of playing this year, their contract year.
The truth is that the Birds have a plan, which is to only sign character players in order to build team chemistry. Their plan is to wait until later in the year to start negotiations with the pair. Lets see if they really want to be here, or are just in it for the money. Both Taylor and Staley are important to this team, but would not kill them either if they left. The Eagles have Correll Buckhalter and Brian Westbrook behind Duce, and have two more young players in 2002 first round selection Lito Sheppard and '02 second rounder Sheldon Brown behind Bobby Taylor.
Taylor though is a rare talent. Being that he is a tall, fast corner that can cover guys like Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, and David Boston, he ranks as one of the top cornerbacks in the league. Eagles fans should be happy with this off-season, because everyone the team has lost, they have replacements for. The Eagles have lost Douglas, but they have two young talents in Jerome McDougle and Jamaal Green, along with N.D. Kalu, and Derrick Burgess all filling in. Brian Mitchell will be replaced by Lito Sheppard and Brian Westbrook who should do fine jobs returning kicks and punts.
Other signings include Mark Simoneau and Nate Wayne who will give this defense even more speed, which was lacked especially during the NFC championship game. The bottom line is that the Eagles plan will work, whether the fans like it or not. They have signed quality character players like Donovan McNabb and Brian Dawkins, because they are essential to this teams winning. The Eagles will do what is right for them, either signing the two or letting them walk.