After former LSU receiver Russell Shepard went undrafted, he said he was OK with that because he signed with the Eagles during the draft. One problem: If the Eagles agreed to a contract with Shepard during the draft, they were breaking league rules.
So it’s no surprise that the Eagles say that’s not how it happened.
“Russell Shepard has not signed a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles,” the team said in a statement to PFT. “However, we did come to terms on a contract with he and his agent after the draft was completed. We anticipate he, like all of the rookie free agents we have agreed to terms with, will take a physical examination upon arriving in Philadelphia prior to next week’s rookie mini-camp and then sign a contract.”
Shepard has specifically stated, both in a radio interview and on Twitter, that he agreed to join the Eagles before the draft was even over, and it’s hard to see why he would make something like that up. The reality is Shepard described a common occurrence and just didn’t know he was describing something against the rules because teams break that rule all the time.
For the 2014 NFL draft, the league might consider changing that rule. Or else teams will tell players to keep quiet about hush-hush deals.