About those holdouts . . . Corey Simon: His demands keep Birds from dealing him.

Posted: August 06, 2005

Two teams have contacted the Eagles since the start of training camp to inquire about the availability of defensive tackle Corey Simon, an NFL source said yesterday. He did not identify the teams.

The source said the response from the Eagles was that Simon would be available in a trade to any team that can work out a contract extension with him, but both teams deemed his salary demands too high.

Simon, who has refused to sign the $5.13 million contract tender that he received after the Eagles placed the franchise-player tag on him in February, is boycotting training camp because he has not received an extension.

The Eagles have not spoken with Simon's agent, Roosevelt Barnes, in some time because the sides are so far apart on the player's market value. The team made it known throughout the off-season that Simon, 28, was available.

Barnes did not return a phone call asking for comment yesterday.

The league source said that both the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals reached agreement with the Eagles over compensation for Simon, but that the deals fell apart during contract negotiations with Barnes. The source said that an unidentified team also contacted the Eagles in the off-season, but that it backed off when told of Simon's contract demands.

A report in the Trenton Times on Friday said the Buffalo Bills are among the teams interested in Simon, but Eagles president Joe Banner said yesterday that the Eagles had not heard from them.

Given that five teams have been scared away by Simon's contract desires, it remains likely that he will open the season on the Eagles' roster playing for $5.13 million. That scenario would be fine with the Eagles as long as the sixth-year veteran reports in shape.

Simon said Monday that he will be ready when he joins the Eagles.

"I know my body, and I know what I have to do to be ready to help this team win the Super Bowl," he said.

The Eagles don't anticipate Simon's signature on his contract and arrival at training camp until at least the end of this month and possibly early next month. Their season opens Sept. 12 against the Atlanta Falcons.

Contact staff writer Bob Brookover at 215-854-2577 or bbrookover@phillynews.com.

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