Whenever free agency begins, Eagles safety Quintin Mikell will be a free agent. The fact that he’s on the wrong side of 30 and hasn’t received a new deal means that he likely won’t.
And he knows it.
“This is part of the business, but this is why we are where we are,” Mikell told Ashley Fox of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “This is why Reggie White fought for free agency, so you have the opportunity to make more money. If you stay here, you’re going to make less money. . . . It’s just business.”
Mikell doesn’t have to dig deep into his bag of experiences to realize that the Eagles will let a key player walk away. Two years ago, safety Brian Dawkins left via free agency.
“I talked to Dawk after he left, and he was pretty upset about it,” Mikell said. “For me personally, seeing how upset he was, I think I started preparing for that back then. Mike Lewis and Dawk, seeing those guys go, I was like, ‘Mentally be ready for that day, because it’s going to happen, and it might happen sooner than you think.'”
Mikell’s teammates sense it, too. Even though he was working out with plenty of Eagles earlier in the offseason, when they decided to arrange practice sessions, Mikell didn’t get an invitation.
“I was like, ‘Damn, I really am a free agent,'” Mikell said.
And so Mikell used the recent one-day lifting of the lockout to clean out his locker, and no one told him he shouldn’t.