Jul 232010

July 23 Wilmington News Journal columnist Geoff Mosher

“Two years ago, on the eve of training camp for Eagles rookies and selected veterans, the team still hadn’t signed its first two draft picks.

There was a murmur of concern from fans because defensive tackle Trevor Laws, chosen 47th overall, and wide receiver DeSean Jackson, drafted two spots later, wouldn’t arrive at Lehigh for the start of camp.

Tensions were eased when Jackson signed the day before camp commenced. Laws signed the following day, although a foot injury sustained before camp kept the former Notre Dame lineman sidelined anyway.

The moral?

Right now, there’s no reason to throw a tizzy about second-round pick Nate Allen’s lack of a contract with just three days to go before camp begins.

Fans understandably want to see Allen in uniform Tuesday for the first official practice. Head coach Andy Reid has already pronounced Allen as the leader in the clubhouse to start at free safety when the season opens.

Allen, the 37th overall selection last April, is also cloaked in fascination because of his unavoidable link to Donovan McNabb, the former franchise quarterback traded in the offseason to division-rival Washington in exchange for the draft pick that brought Allen to Philadelphia.

Like it or not, Allen will forever be remembered as “the McNabb pick.” (A distinction previously held by Ronde Barber).

For the moment, the fact that Allen isn’t yet an official employee of the organization isn’t headline news. And it won’t be this weekend either.

If he’s not checked into his Lehigh dormitory by 5 p.m. Monday, then it’s time to raise an eyebrow.

Second-round picks typically get standard four-year deals and few of them hold out. Their salary is often a balance between the money offered to the player drafted ahead and the one taken behind.

Tampa Bay, which had the 35th overall pick, has locked up defensive tackle Brian Price, so the dominoes should soon begin to fall. Allen’s agent, Todd France, hasn’t responded to messages left by The News Journal. A team source told The News Journal the Eagles and Allen have had “positive dialogue” about a contract.”

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