Brown still isn't happy, but he'll be at Eagles minicamp this week

PHILADELPHIA -- Unhappy cornerback Sheldon Brown said he'll report to the Philadelphia Eagles' mandatory minicamp this weekend so he's prepared to play somewhere this season.

And he knows he might still be in Philadelphia -- and not playing.

2008 Statistics
Games/Starts: 16/15

Tackles: 51

Interceptions: 1

Brown wants a trade from the team he began his NFL career with in 2002 and speculated he could be bumped from the starting lineup after the Eagles acquired cornerback Ellis Hobbs from the New England Patriots last weekend. Still, Brown will be at the NovaCare Complex beginning Friday to avoid daily fines of up to $14,000.

"I have to prepare to play the season, no matter where I'm playing," said Brown, a seven-year NFL veteran. "This is where the season starts."

Brown went public earlier this month with his wish for a new contract or a trade after Eagles president Joe Banner, in a radio interview, denied the cornerback had any dissatisfaction with his current deal, which runs through 2012.

The team responded with a terse statement making it clear that Brown will not receive a new deal, nor will any Eagles player with four years remaining on his contract.

On the second day of the NFL draft last weekend, the Eagles sent two fifth-round draft picks to the Patriots for Hobbs, who was a third-round draft pick by New England in 2005 and a starter the past two seasons.

The trade gives Philadelphia some options at cornerback, a group that also includes Pro Bowl player Asante Samuel, who was Hobbs' teammate in New England, and the recently re-signed Joselio Hanson. The Eagles also drafted Virginia Tech cornerback Victor Harris in the fifth round Sunday.

"If I get demoted to the fourth corner, that's the way it will be," Brown said. "I fought for what I believed in, and that's how it's always going to be with me. If Ellis is good, he'll play, I know that. Everybody knows that. They've been trying to give my job away every year."

Since becoming a starter during the Eagles' 2004 Super Bowl season, Brown hasn't missed a game. He played through a sports hernia injury one season and through a shoulder injury that ultimately required surgery another year.

Brown said the Eagles questioned cornerback Lito Sheppard, who has since been traded to the New York Jets, for not playing through injuries but fails to reward players who do.

"They don't care about that," Brown said.

Brown said his first preference remains to sign a new deal and play for the Eagles.

"I doubt that is going to happen," he said.

His next choice is to be traded, but even with the addition of Hobbs, Brown also isn't sure that will happen.

"Anything is possible," he said. "But I'm sure I'm going to be here."

Brown said he'll report to camp with no regrets about signing his current deal in 2004 or going public with his unhappiness earlier this month.

"I did the right thing, then," he said of signing the long-term contract. "I was a starter making the minimum, a couple hundred thousand a year. And I knew the repercussions of what I'm doing now. People want to blame my agent, but it's not my agent. He's not telling me what to do. My agent works for me."

So Brown said he'll show up to minicamp Friday because, as of now, he still works for the Eagles.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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