Eagles Notes: Top pick Watkins remains unsigned

Eagles linebacker Keenan Clayton strips the ball from Moise Fokou during a drill at training camp. Team workouts will be opened to fans on Saturday at Lehigh University.
Eagles linebacker Keenan Clayton strips the ball from Moise Fokou during a drill at training camp. Team workouts will be opened to fans on Saturday at Lehigh University. (DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer)
Posted: July 30, 2011

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Negotiations between the Eagles and top draft pick Danny Watkins have hit a wall.

Eagles officials have become frustrated with the pace of talks with agent Eric Metz, while Metz's group points to their negotiating a deal for No. 9 pick tackle Tyron Smith as evidence that they can get a deal done.

When Joe Panos, who works with Metz, was asked about the slow pace, he pointed out that negotiations for Smith – who was drafted by the Cowboys – "went in a very timely matter, and he was signed and in camp by Thursday."

Panos would not comment specifically on Watkins' contract talks. Metz did not return a message.

"We handle contract talks internally," Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said. "But with Danny we're eager to get him here and on the field."

Eighteen of the 32 first-round picks have either signed contracts or agreed to terms on a deal. Watkins was selected No. 23 overall out of Baylor. Draft picks Nos. 21 and 22 – Cleveland defensive tackle Phil Taylor and Indianapolis tackle Anthony Constanzo – have yet to ink deals.

Last week before the NFL lockout ended, Watkins said that he was not going to let his contract situation hold up getting into camp. The Eagles have the 26-year-old penciled in as the starter at right guard. Currently A.Q. Shipley is filling his spot.

The Eagles' previous two No. 1 draft picks – defensive end Brandon Graham and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin - missed camp time because of extended negotiating.

Metz's group represented 2007 No. 1 draft pick Jamarcus Russell, and the former Oakland and current free agent quarterback missed all of camp and the first game of the season.

Jackson watch

The DeSean Jackson holdout reached Day 2 Friday, and there is no obvious end in sight. Eagles officials said they have no idea when the wide receiver will report.

"I don't think it will drag on," said quarterback Michael Vick. "Hopefully not. It'll work itself out when the time is right."

With no offseason practices due to the NFL lockout, Jackson hasn't been in an organized work out with his teammates since January.

"I don't think it affects anything," Vick said. "As far as timing, I know how fast the kid can run. I know where I have to put the ball."

Jackson has not made any public comments about his reasons for not showing up, though in the past he has made it clear that he wants a new contract that reflects his value as a Pro Bowl wide receiver.

A team spokesman declined to comment Friday.



Bradley to other Birds

Linebacker Stewart Bradley is following Kevin Kolb to Arizona. Bradley agreed to a five-year contract with the Cardinals Friday.

He was one of 15 unrestricted free agents the Eagles have declined to pursue as they left salary cap space open for runs at players such as Asomugha.

Bradley was drafted in 2007 and showed potential in 2008 but was slowed by injuries.

Extra Point

The Eagles signed two undrafted free agents: wide receiver Keith Carlos, from Purdue, and running back Derrick Locke, from Kentucky.

Eagles Notes:


Contract talks hit a wall with No. 1 pick Danny Watkins. D2.

 Leonard Weaver unhappy over the way he was released by Eagles. D2.


Contact staff writer Jonathan Tamari at 215-854-5214, jtamari@phillynews.com or @JonathanTamari on Twitter.

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