Eagles say they signed Russell Shepard after the 2013 NFL Draft
The Eagles say they signed Russell Shepard after the 2013 NFL Draft, not during it.
Russell Shepard wasn't a big-time prospect in terms of the 2013 NFL Draft, but he is causing a big-time stir after having agreed to terms with the Philadelphia Eagles.
That's because Shepard said he agreed to a contract with Philly during the draft and took himself "off the draft board during the draft." Whaaaaaaa?
“I actually took myself off the draft board during the draft,” Shepard said on WNXX 104.5, via the LouisianaDaily.com. “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."
That's swell. Unless you're the Eagles, anyway, since signing a player to a contract during the draft would violate league rules. This would explain the statement the Eagles issued on Wednesday morning, clearing up what went down with Shepard.
“Russell Shepard has not signed a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. 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 minicamp and then sign a contract."
You can bet the NFL still isn't happy about how this went down. But the Eagles should be pretty thrilled -- watch Shepard's career highlights (via Pete Roussel of CoachingSearch.com), and it becomes pretty obvious that he's a Swiss Army Knife-type of athlete who can play quarterback, wideout and return man for the Eagles.
Versatility is the name of the game for Chip Kelly. But he might want to slow down a little bit, or else he's going to end up getting the Eagles nailed for the NFL's version of a recruiting violation.
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