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Eagles say deal with Shepard was made only after the draft


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.

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33 Responses to “Eagles say deal with Shepard was made only after the draft”
  1. floratiotime says: May 1, 2013 11:01 AM

    Pants … on … fire.

  2. daysend564 says: May 1, 2013 11:06 AM

    Chip Kelly violating the rules? Who would have thought? #Oregon

  3. 91redskins says: May 1, 2013 11:07 AM

    Nothing less than $18m cap hits in back to back years is an acceptable punishment, since they broke ACTUAL rules!

  4. trendyhammer says: May 1, 2013 11:07 AM

    I would imagine that one of those two options will HAVE to be implemented for next years draft.

  5. dawkinseffect says: May 1, 2013 11:07 AM

    Looks like he will be one of the first cuts. First rule of the NFL, don’t talk about the NFL

  6. tombradyswig says: May 1, 2013 11:08 AM

    dummy!! will not even make team if he keeps flapping his lips!!

  7. questforthesixthnotthelast2013 says: May 1, 2013 11:09 AM

    New nickname? Shady Shepherd!
    No really, is it surprising that the team hires a college coach and immediately start breaking rules?
    These coaches should take some sort of exam before being hired!

  8. gumbogumbo says: May 1, 2013 11:11 AM

    Hey Russell try thinking before you speak next time your on record, kid.

  9. 07vrod says: May 1, 2013 11:12 AM

    LSU football…producing genuses…said no one!

  10. dgreenfi says: May 1, 2013 11:15 AM

    Signed before the end of the draft…AND banned from speaking to the media before training camp.

  11. jlinatl says: May 1, 2013 11:19 AM

    I would be willing to bet the Eagles contacted him during the draft. I would bet most if not all teams contact players and it would not be a stretch that the basic framework is initially discussed. Other than, we’re interested what else is there to discuss?

    But his story never made sense. It always seemed like a kid that didn’t get drafted wanting to seem like he controlled the reason he wasn’t drafted.

    I don’t see how the interviewer doesn’t dig deeper to find out exactly what happened.

  12. cunninghampeetemcnabbvick says: May 1, 2013 11:23 AM

    The Eagles already had 13 other WR’s on the roster so it’s not like he was going to make the team anyways.

  13. andyreidisthegoat says: May 1, 2013 11:28 AM

    Philly and chip kelly a perfect match-total scumbags

  14. peepeetoucher says: May 1, 2013 11:35 AM

    Let this story go. The kid was UDFA and this could possibly ruin his chances with Eagles or other teams if he doesn’t stick with them. I know your going after the NFL and the rules but think about the ramifications on the kids career for making a mistake cuz he obviously didn’t know the rules.

  15. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: May 1, 2013 11:53 AM

    Know how you can tell when Chip is lying? When he opens his mouth!

  16. jack3dsd says: May 1, 2013 11:55 AM

    why even have the draft if undrafted players sign with teams before its over

  17. rkt4mayor says: May 1, 2013 11:56 AM

    Chip Kelly has got to stop with the recruiting violations…

  18. mike41april says: May 1, 2013 11:59 AM

    And what does Meddling John Mara have to say about this one?

  19. robbietheus says: May 1, 2013 12:01 PM

    I don’t like this guy already, how ignorant can you be? You don’t put a team out there especially one who’s doing you a solid.

  20. sgtr0c says: May 1, 2013 12:04 PM

    It is not really hard to believe that Sheppard would make something like this up. It is hard to believe why he go public with it. For his entire pro career, every team he does business with will be thinking he might blab something. Smart move, Einstein!

  21. drbob117 says: May 1, 2013 12:15 PM

    Chip’s right.. dumb people do dumb things. Teams commonly contact players before the draft is over to see is they would be interested in signing as an RFA in the event the draft ends without their name coming off the board. The Eagles are no different than anyone else, but that kid must be dumber than a bag of rocks. Chip should tell him to delete his twitter account and decline interviews so he won’t say anything else that’s stupid.

  22. romosmicrodongs says: May 1, 2013 12:15 PM

    time to levy a $36 million cap salary penalty right??? right? !??!?!

  23. oldbyrd says: May 1, 2013 12:20 PM

    Why would The Eagles risk anything on a less than average player who no one wanted?????

  24. cryptker says: May 1, 2013 12:23 PM

    Yea like no other does this!

  25. johngaltwho says: May 1, 2013 12:26 PM

    The old “everybody does it” excuse is not a valid excuse. Agreeing to terms before the conclusion of the draft is against the rules. I suspect that while it may not be unheard of, some teams use these tactics more than others. Therefore, when the facts present themselves that someone cheats, it should be reviewed and consequences should be brought to bear.

  26. kev86 says: May 1, 2013 12:38 PM

    Eagles cheated. Somehow it’s John Maras fault.

  27. icdogg says: May 1, 2013 12:39 PM

    Pretty much all teams call up UDFA’s they want to sign during the last couple rounds of the draft, and say something like “Listen, we’d love to draft you, but we don’t think we’ll be able to. But even if we can’t, we think [name of team] would be an outstanding situation for you…” and try to get their commitment. It’s not surprising that some kid might consider that taking himself “off the draft board”, or of “signing” with that team.

    When the other teams called before the draft was over and found out he had “signed”, they were only trying to do the same thing.

  28. icdogg says: May 1, 2013 1:44 PM

    I do not believe that the Eagles “came to terms” until after the draft. All they did was convince the player that the Eagles were the best situation for him, but when you say “came to terms” that implies that contract terms were discussed. And that’s what it would take for it to be a rule violation.

  29. raiderapologist says: May 1, 2013 2:03 PM

    How do you take yourself off the draft board, anyway? Do teams call you up and ask for permission to draft you?

  30. granadafan says: May 1, 2013 2:26 PM

    When Chip fails in the NFL and goes back to college, he’d be a perfect match for the SEC. In the SEC, cheating, paying players and recruits, not expecting them to do pesky things like get an education, covering up for criminal acts, etc is expected in order to win.

  31. phillyphannn83 says: May 1, 2013 2:31 PM

    Agreeing to terms is NOT against the rules. SIGNING a player to a contract is. A verbal agreement is not a legally binding contract. He has still yet to sign a contract so there’s no way they broke any rules. Pay attention to the details people.

  32. mimitaroo says: May 1, 2013 5:01 PM

    Conspiracy theorists. He didn’t sign with the Eagles and he still hasn’t to this day. Why would the Eagles offer a contract to someone they haven’t even met with or taken a physical?

    Agents tell their clients all the time that they are better off undrafted than going in the 7th round so they have a CHOICE of teams..

    What better way to keep yourself undrafted when you start fielding calls in the 6th-7th round than to say “I have already accepted another offer”

  33. aneaglesfan says: May 2, 2013 9:38 AM

    forget cutting about making him the first or last cut bring him to philly make him take a physical, have a press conference where he retracts his statement then send him home saying he failed the physical so he wont be signed.

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