Could Sheldon Brown Be a Surprise Draft-Day Trade?

Written By Bob Cunningham On Thursday, March 25, 2010

Trading Sheldon Brown would be an awful mistake.

Seemingly lost in all of the Donovan McNabb trade talks was the fact that Reid told reporters at the owner's meeting that he has been receiving offers for cornerback Sheldon Brown. Brown is currently unhappy with his contract, but the Eagles don't seem likely to budge.

He was a good sport all throughout the 2009 campaign, but it was clear from the start of the season that Brown was not happy with the situation. He clearly believes he's underpaid and would seemingly welcome a change of scenery if it also meant a raise.

Andy Reid is listening to offers for the disgruntled cornerback, but it's unclear what teams are actually offering at this point. Most believe that due to Brown's age he would command nothing more than a third-round pick, but he's only going to be 31 and has never missed a game in his eight-year career.

Reid and the Eagles would like to keep Brown around if at all possible, but a player can only hide his unhappiness and animosity toward his team for so long. Eventually, it will start affecting his play and could have a negative effect on the guys around him.

If they see that beginning to happen, or anticipate that as a problem, Reid and company could use Brown as draft-day bait to either move up in the early rounds, or to simply acquire picks if there are guys still on the board they really like.

There would certainly be a team out there willing to trade for a cornerback who has never missed a game and plays like a linebacker.

Personally, I believe Brown deserves a raise after his performance last season and the way he battled through injuries all year long, but the Eagles don't seem willing to give him anything more than what he's already making.

They believe he's gotten a fair deal and have said they won't even discuss a new one until at least 2011 -- the second-to-last year on a six-year extension signed back in 2004.

Brown is scheduled to make $2.75 million in 2010, which is far below the average for a starting cornerback. However, that's the risk that goes along with signing such a long-term extension.

Hopefully the Eagles will wise up and pay the man what he's worth before something has to be done in terms of shipping him elsewhere. He's the best all-around player on the defensive side of the ball outside of Trent Cole and his absence would be noticed almost immediately.

He brings a toughness that cornerbacks just don't have anymore, and losing a guy like Brown could completely suck the life out of a defense already struggling to find an on-field leader.

Brown is currently worth more to the Eagles than he is to anyone else, so anything they acquire for him in a trade won't seem to be worth it. Not only that, but it doesn't seem like the guys behind him would be capable of filling his shoes.

Joselio Hanson is a very good nickel corner, but he's shown that's where he belongs. Ellis Hobbs is a more-than-serviceable corner, but he's not on the level of Brown and the secondary would experience a drop-off with him as the right cornerback instead of Brown.

It's a messy situation that could come to a boiling point very soon, but hopefully the Eagles can avoid it by simply paying a guy who has done everything the right way and absolutely deserves to finally be paid what he's worth.

If Sheldon Brown isn't a guy who deserves a nice raise as a result of his play and simply doing things the right way, then I'm not quite sure who is.

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