Sheppard skips Eagles voluntary workouts

June 3, 2008 6:26:11 PM PDT
Eagles cornerback Lito Sheppard skipped the team's voluntary workout on Tuesday amid dissatisfaction with his contract and uncertainty about his role on the team. Sheppard, a two-time Pro Bowler, lost his starting position at left cornerback when the team signed free agent Asante Samuel, who agreed to a six-year, $57 million deal in the offseason.

Sheppard is also unhappy with the five-year contract extension he signed in 2004, well before he was eligible for free agency.

Philadelphia coach Andy Reid had little to say about Sheppard.

"That's his decision," Reid said. "He's not here. My focus is on the guys who are here."

A four-year starter with the Eagles, Sheppard has missed significant time with injuries in each of the last three seasons. He has a team-high 17 interceptions since 2004 and has returned three picks for touchdowns in his career.

Sheppard attended the mandatory post-draft minicamp last month and split time in workouts with Samuel and the other starting cornerback, Sheldon Brown. At the time, Sheppard said he was hopeful the situation could be resolved.

After the Eagles signed Samuel at the start of free agency, it was widely expected the Eagles would trade Sheppard. But a trade never materialized.

Backup guard Scott Young was the only other Eagle to skip the voluntary camp. Reid said he knew Young would not be attending but declined to discuss his absence.

"We've got a lot of business to do," Reid said. "If you worry about two people who aren't here and you have 86 who are here, we're focused in on the 86."