Russell Shepard says he “signed” with Eagles during draft

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Every year, at least one player admits that a team engaged in shenanigans near the end of the draft, striking a deal with the player as a free agent before the draft was over.

Last year, it was quarterback Chandler Harnish, who said he had a deal with the Chargers before the Colts took him with the last pick in the process.

This year, it’s LSU receiver Russell Shepard, who claims that he agreed to terms with the Eagles before the draft ended.

I actually took myself off the draft board during the draft,” Shepard told WNXX radio, via  “Teams started calling me probably in the middle of the sixth round asking me ‘Is it true that you’ve signed with a team already?’ and I actually got it out of the way before the draft was over, because that was the perfect fit for me.”

The host asked for clarification, and Shepard gave it.

“I signed with them before the draft was over,” Shepard said, explaining that after he fell through round five he decided to focus on the Eagles.  Shepard believes he’ll play receiver, running back, and Wildcat quarterback in Philly’s offense, and that he’ll return kicks and punts and play gunner on the punt team.

Shepard also said that Eagles coach Chip Kelly personally called Shepard at the beginning of the sixth round to explain that the Eagles couldn’t draft him because the team had lost some picks via the trade up to get quarterback Matt Barkley at the top of round four.

If this is all true, Kelly and the Eagles could be losing some more draft picks.

89 responses to “Russell Shepard says he “signed” with Eagles during draft

  1. Why would you get the coach that just did you a solid in a trouble with the league?

    Nice first week, rook!

  2. How did the coach do him a solid? By taking him away from other teams that would have driven his price up?

  3. Wow. Didn’t take Chip long. I guess he should have outsourced this dirty work to the draft equivalent of a scouting service. You’d think the kid would know better to run his mouth about it afterward.

  4. It is amazing how ignorant some of these guys can be. He obviously had no idea it was “illegal” but how can that be possible? I’m sure many teams do or have done this but I have to think they are smart enough to tell the kids not to say anything. He could simply be saying something he thinks sounds better than not getting drafted but I doubt it.

  5. Not a chance he’s right. He might have been offered a FA contract but no way he signed anything. Dumb.

  6. I bet anything this kid is just lying and trying to save face that he wasn’t drafted and doesn’t realize what the hell he’s actually implying.

    The whole “I took myself off the draft board” thing sounds pretty ridiculous.. not believable.

  7. Surely Shepherd would not have said anything if he knew it was taboo or if the Eagles had asked him not to.

    He may have thought that phone calls from league teams to make these kinds of deals were SOP.

  8. It’s Philadelphia, Goodell won’t **** with them…

    Now, if it had been the Saints, Coach Payton would have gotten the Dean Wormer BeatDown!

  9. shady, yes. but is it actually illegal for Kelly to call a guy and “suggest” he remove himself from the draft? I assume a player is allowed to remove themselves from it, and then he’s free to sign any deal he wants, right? It kinda sounds to me like he pursued the eagles, and not necessarily the other way around. Then again, maybe dude just volunteered to remove himself from the board once he was informed they wouldn’t be able to draft him. But then AGAIN, we all know Kelly’s shady.

    I’m curious to know what the repercussions may be if it was in fact illegal… Fines? Suspensions? Giving up a sixth rounder next year seems pretty weak for a guy who expects to play a bunch.

  10. Gotta admit, I didn’t know this was illegal. You’d think that the NFL would prepare players for the draft, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they didn’t.

  11. So, this is where we are as a society, that we are spending more time blaming the kid, than the people who broke the rules. SMH.

  12. It’s ridiculous. The Eagles couldn’t prevent him from being drafted and it didn’t sound like terms of an actual contract were discussed.

    Are teams allowed to talk to players and say we want you after the draft? It sounds like other teams called him too.

    Anybody know the actual rules?

  13. wondering: what exactly can happen to the eagles in this situation? I assume no one drafted this kid? and if someone had it would have voided the one he signed with the eagles problem is this freed eagles up to use a 7th on another player knowing they had this kid now rog may void his UDFA contract and take another pick away oops we got another ex college coach running from trouble into the arms of nfl and more trouble

  14. Dear god, people just run their mouths about EVERYTHING. Doing such things ruins it for the next. Same type of people that ruined my dreams of getting with a teacher.

    Almost telling and bragging, some of us had hopes.

  15. Goodell’s criteria for punish,met:

    #1. Are you James Harrison or the Saints?

    No? A slap on the wrist and move along. We’ve got shield integrity’ing to do.

  16. I think the Eagles should be given a stern warning.. and then Sean Payton should be suspended for 4 game since he had to have known about the early signing given his proximity to LSU. And if he didn’t know, he should have.

  17. The Eagles have an experienced contract guy in Roseman and an experienced personnel guy in Gamble. Chip wouldn’t have been doing the contract stuff. He just made a call essentially recruiting the kid which is legal. So whatever happened I very much doubt it comes down to the college coach aspect of things.

  18. @uncletuna –
    Well Gooddell might not do anything but for the Eagles the Commish is the least of their problems.

    They are in the same division as Mara – and as we know if not breaking the rules gets Mara in a snit – I imagine what a team breaking the rules might cause Mara’s head to explode.

    This goes way beyond breaking a “gentleman’s agreement” this is an in your face violation of the rules – keep an eye out for the impending sanctions.

  19. Whoever didn’t think this was illegal is an idiot. If such a thing was legal, then why hold the draft. You can’t sign until it’s over because you aren’t considered free.

  20. I am pretty certain he didn’t “SIGN” anything with the Eagles before the draft was over. He might have talked to the Eagles and got excited and decided to take HIMSELF off of the draft board before the end of the draft, but I doubt he actually flew to Philadelphia and inked a deal with the team during or before the end of the draft.

    Think before you speak.

  21. Even money says…….Chip back in the NCAA as head coach at USC in three years………or less!

  22. Somewhere, slumped over a can, or two, of expired Chunky soup, Donovan McNabb wonders what all the fuss is about…

  23. Anyone who believes, CHIP is handing out contracts, and getting terms done, and agreements signed-off,while the NFL Draft is going on live, . . Is more Idiotic than this story!

  24. If the Patriots did something like that there would be a frezy of angry cheating comments.

    Instead everyone is just writing it off to something that everyone does but the Eagles just happen to have gotten caught due to a dumb player

    Seems like a bit of a double standard

  25. LSU really puts out some smart athletes not. Everytime you read about an LSU football player you hear about them doing something wrong.

  26. The Eagles haven’t won a superbowl, in part because they were fleeced by actual, proven cheaters, so bite your tongue lennyd . Let this pan out, and don’t scream blasphemy the moment a “late round” kid gets over excited and word vomits after landing a job which in his eyes, was an absolute dream.

  27. Non story…He still could have been drafted by any team in the 6th or 7th round regardless of him being “signed” by the eagles. By “signed” he meant he is going to the eagles as a free agent instead of whatever other teams that called in the 6th and 7th rounds to also recruit him as a free agent.

    This player doesn’t know what he is talking about and you can’t remove yourself from the draft board to become a free agent in the same year. Not how it works…If he got drafted by a team after “signing” with the eagles, he would be reporting to whatever team drafted him.

  28. From Shepard’s twitter just now.

    Russell Shepard Jr..
    It was just a agreement calm down people didn’t become official till the next day actually .. Lol calm down

    Big shock Florio,..TERRIBLE article

  29. Sorry, but I gotta throw the bs flag on this one. Kid is definitely lying to try and save face after not getting drafted. He may have received a phone call from the eagles during the 6th round about coming in as an UDFA, but saying he signed anything with the eagles while there was still a chance he could drafted is pure bs. I’m surprised so many of you are naive enough to fall for it.

    Kid just exposed himself as either a liar or delusional, and pretty much ruined any chance he may have had of making an NFL team.

  30. Wow, some of you guys are so gullible to believe everything this moron Florio writes–he’s been around the NFL long enough, he knows how the draft process and the UDFA process works.

    First of all, I don’t doubt the Eagles called him–like a lot of teams did, and a lot of teams do, when it gets down to the last 2 rounds of the draft, teams call around to players saying if they don’t get drafted they’d like to sign them. But remember this–every team has lots of competition to sign UDFAs.

    Second, Roseman has been in the league for 13 years, Gamble has been in the league forever, as well as some of the big hitters on the Eagles coaching staff–do you actually think they’re going to let a kid sign a UDFA contract BEFORE the draft is over?

    Third, every contract is faxed to the player’s agent–so what do faxes have–TIME STAMPS–so no one can sign a UDFA contract before the draft ends and be given away by the time stamp on the fax that the league will sure want to see in any investigation.

    Fourth, the UDFAs didn’t become official until Monday since the league office is closed on the weekends and no contracts can be filed until Monday.

    And lastly, even if the Eagles did a moronic thing like that, all that would happen would be that the player’s contract would be voided and he wouldn’t be able to play for them during his first contract if he made it to the NFL.

    The other thing someone asked is why a player would say that and potentially get a coach in trouble?? Maybe there’s another team that wanted him and is promising him a bigger signing bonus; maybe he changed his mind about playing for the Eagles.

  31. I met some people from Louisiana in my days in the military. All I can say they aren’t the sharpest tool in the shed.

  32. Calling the players is permitted. Negotiating terms is commonplace. Full on signing a contract is prohibited (not illegal). Expect Russell to recall events differently tomorrow.

  33. ” is it actually illegal for Kelly to call a guy and “suggest” he remove himself from the draft? I assume a player is allowed to remove themselves from it, and then he’s free to sign any deal he wants, right?”

    Er no, it doesn’t work like that at all, if it was no one would subject themselves to the draft at all.

    I think this kid is stupidly making something up to make it seem better not realising the implications.

  34. CHIP


    I guess he figured since it worked in College, why not bring it to the pros. Wow..This is like a divorce. The second wife is exactly opposite the first and man is that problematic.

  35. Ol Chip trying to gain every advantage his lame az can get even if it is illegal
    Take a draft pick and move on..

  36. As a result, the Redskins were just fined $18 million in salary cap for 2014, to maintain competitive balance.

  37. If the Eagles can employ a dog killing felon at Qb, what’s the big deal about a rules infraction on an incoming rookie?

    The Eagles standard for conduct is a bit loose so the kid will fit right in.

  38. Didn’t Chip Kelly have NCAA problems similar that would raise concerns to issues like this? It just continues for him at a higher level of scrutiny.

  39. Shepard is an idiot. You draft the rights to someone for a year. Remember drew henson? He wasn’t even in the draft in the cowboys drafted him. Team X Y or Z could have drafted the rights to sign Shepard for a year, and traded those rights to the eagles.

  40. “I actually took myself off the draft board during the draft,”

    And you give any credibility to anything this clown has to say>? Shepard was a major bust at LSU, nobody was going to draft him and he will be gone before the second preseason game.

  41. I’m guessing the conversation went something like we really like you, but we may not be able to draft you because of circumstances. we want to sign you as a free agent. what do you think, agreeable to that? ” yes sir i agree to be an Eagle”. BUT NOW BECAUSE OF BEING SO STUPID HE BETTER BE ABLE TO PLAY OUT OF HIS BUTT.

  42. Chip Kelly, also broke the rules at Oregon. If he’s doing the same in the NFL then the Eagles need to get their hand slapped.

  43. Uh oh…they play in the NFC East…are you listening MARA? Another oppportunity to screw a division foe. He’s probably rubbing his evil hands together and plotting a big punishiment as we speak…

  44. Ok… so he signed for FA money before the middle of the 6th round.

    I know some priority FAs sign for better bonuses than others but do they sign for more than a 5th or early 6th?

    Sounds like a kid trying to seem important after not being drafted.

  45. Git’er done Chip! Regardless cost and impact to team, self, league, etc.

    Blatant disregard! Wonder why he left Oregon? NCAA hot on his heels! Goodall is next…….

  46. Sic’em Mara. Take Philly’s 1st rounder next year and give it to your Giants, no different than anything else you’ve done.

  47. Why all this fuss about a guy who couldn’t even get drafted in the first 5 rounds? Sounds like a bunch of fluff over nothing to me.

  48. As an Eagles fan, but more importantly as a football fan I must call “shenanigans”…NO, I don’t believe a contract was signed while the draft was going on – that’s just plain idiotic to even think…what I do believe was he was contacted by the Eagles and other teams, but the Eagles unlike the other teams probably made the statement that we want to draft you in the 6th round if you’re still available (other teams were like “we’re interested” but no commitment) So when he was STILL undrafted in the 6th- to save face and knew he had a “gentlemen’s agreement” with the Eagles, he took himself off the board and was willing to sign an undrafted FA contract with the Eagles…This freed an additional draft pick (7th) that the Eagles would have had to use on him…A 7th round pick people…most of these guys don’t even make the roster! Eagles should be fined and have a loss of their 4th round next year. Lose a 4th over a 7th is harsh for an NFL draft!

  49. It seems to me that this kid was embarrassed about not getting drafted and is trying to spin it that it was his decision. He implies that teams called him but didn’t draft him because he told them he had already signed with the Eagles.

    That part of the statement doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. If a team wanted to draft him they would have just gone ahead and done it anyway because they would have known that contract was against the rules and not valid, even if he didn’t.

  50. John Mara, time to pull Godahell’s strings again, and thwart another division rival.

  51. Mr. Smithers, I mean Mara, well now be able to stick it to his last division foe. He got the Cowgirls and Redskins they didn’t even break any rules!

    Watch the Egirls will have a top five pick next year and Mara will strip then of it. Oh, wait he will stick his hand up his puppet, Godahell, and the “Commisioner” will take the pick.

  52. Eagles statement says he has not signed a contract. They agreed to terms on a contract after the draft was completed and he will show up, take a physical, and then sign a contract at that time.

    a verbal agreement, as in the Harnish case, did not warrant any type of punishment (but we all know floiho hates philly hence his agenda).

    Sheppard still could have been drafted, yet the player, chose to stop negotating with other teams. Obviously if he was drafted, that trumps any ‘verbal’ agreement.

  53. Chip likely cheated at Oregon (that’s why he left after saying no to the NFL) so how can anyone be surprised this guy is cheating in the NFL already?

    Earlier at camp he served players special slushies and who knows what he is putting in those?

    Cue up eagle haters and kelly blind followers.

  54. Chip Kelly has the morals of an SEC coach. Shepard is just another athlete masquerading as a student under Les Miles at Louisiana State “University”. These kids didn’t go to classes at LSU.

  55. This is the same Chip “Cheater” Kelly who is going to leave us all bedazzled with his secret knowledge and prowess of the game of football as the Eagles unstoppable reign of Championships kicks off in 2013, according to that gumby Philly fan claiming victory already every week??

    Yeah, the Kelly experiment will be more like Pete Carroll’s 1st and 2nd returns to the NFL…albeit after he cheated his way out of NCAA ball before they nabbed him too.

  56. krenshaws says:May 1, 2013 1:32 AM

    I met some people from Louisiana in my days in the military. All I can say they aren’t the sharpest tool in the shed.


    He’s from Texas. Nice try.

  57. This all sounds like a guy who’s pissed that he either didn’t get drafted and wanted publicity or scared away teams to draft him because he wanted to go to Chip Kelly’s offense to try and become a star to land a big contract later. Either way this sounds stupid. How does a player simple take himself off a draft board and 2nd how does someone sign a contract during the draft when that contract has to be dated with several witnesses verifying? Another case where Chip probably called him to let him know they were interested in him and should he not get drafted the Eagles would be more than willing to sign him as an undrafted free agent. Wanting to know if he’s interested and what role he would possibly play. He probably was intrigued and figured he would get the same pay as a 6th or 7th rounder, he might’ve well pick the team he wanted to go to

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