The Philadelphia Eagles have not had perfect attendance during their offseason workout program this year. As many are aware by now, two notable players have been absent from Philadelphia: Fletcher Cox and Darren Sproles. Workouts have been voluntary to this point, so it's not like they've been required to attend Eagles practice.
That all changes next week, however, when mandatory minicamp begins on Tuesday, June 7. Players can be fined up to $76,580 for not showing up. For what it's worth, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson expects Cox and Sproles to return next week.
"All indications, would love to have him here," Pederson said when asked about Cox. "Don't know for sure. Hasn't made that official yet, but would fully expect him to be here on Monday for the mandatory physicals."
"Same thing," he said. "I fully expect Darren to be here as well."
But is their attendance expected because the event is mandatory or because Pederson actually believes they're going to show up?
"Well, I think deep down they are going to be here," he stated. "There's no indication [that they won’t be here], you know, that conversation hasn't been talked about yet. So it's a mandatory situation."
"It's the only mandatory aspect of the entire offseason program, so I, as the head football coach, expect both of those guys to be back and be a part of their team and be back in the locker room. I think it's important that they are both here."
Pederson admitted that he hasn't been in contact with either player. He did mention, however, that Sproles has been in constant communication with running backs coach Duce Staley. Pederson also noted that Howie Roseman and Cox's agent, Todd France, have been in touch.
The Eagles would obviously like to see these players return to practice sooner than later. The team wants to get them immersed into the new schemes on both sides of the ball.
The feeling here is that Sproles is more likely to show up than Cox. The veteran running back doesn't benefit from losing money. Cox, meanwhile, has the opportunity to make a statement by skipping out. Plus the $76,580 fine isn't a lot of money when you consider he's in line for a huge contract extension.
If Cox and/or Sproles don't show up for mandatory minicamp, one would think they'll be back by the time training camp begins on Wednesday, July 27. Skipping training camp practices costs $30,000 per day.