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LJ says he'll be healthy; wants money

While he hasn't ripped the organization or become a distraction, LJ Smith has certainly taken every opportunity to remind the Eagles that he's in a contract year.

Smith, who caught 50 passes for 611 yards and five touchdowns last season, noted that it has been an offseason in which even "very average tight ends got paid."

"I look at a guy like Visanthe Shiancoe from the Giants," Smith said. Shiancoe signed a reported 5-year, $18.2 million free-agent contract with the Vikings. "Even he got $7 million guaranteed. I think he's caught like 20 balls in 4 years [actually 35 balls]. The market's definitely changed."

He also knows this is a contract year and it's important for him to be back 100%, but he doesn't want the Eagles to use the surgery against him...

"I've only missed one game since I've been here," said Smith, who sat out the next-to-last contest of his rookie year, 2003, with a groin injury. He played much of the 2004 season battling back problems that led to surgery in February 2005. "With this injury, I'm not going to miss any games at all. I don't think it sets me back at all; this isn't the type of surgery where guys tend to aggravate it or get reinjured. This is just something that happened, and I think I'll be fine. I don't think [the Eagles] should look at this as something else to bring to the bargaining table against me."

LJ is absolutely right about the TE market. I wrote about this a few months ago. Guys like the aforementioned Shiancoe and probably more importantly Daniel Graham(who compares better to LJ numbers wise) got huge deals. LJ's numbers are better than both of those guys. Daniel Graham's five-year $30 million deal, with $15 million guaranteed is likely the starting point for LJ and his agent. I can't see any reason they'd accept less.

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