Out of Sight, Out of Mind for Marcus Smith
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The writing is on the wall for Marcus Smith and the former first-round pick seems to be well aware of that fact.
Smith, whose fifth-year team option was recently declined, was a no-show at the start of the Eagles' on-field OTAs and few noticed, even the head coach.
When asked who wasn't at the voluntary workouts Tuesday Doug Pederson mentioned three names, star defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, veteran left tackle Jason Peters and punter Donnie Jones.
There was another name on that list, however, in Smith and when team drills started and reporters started to notice No. 90 wasn't there, the Eagles' P.R. staff was inundated with questions.
"We are checking on it," a team source told 973espn.com.
Later ESPN's Tim McManus reported that Smith's absence was simply a veteran skipping a voluntary workout, a curious stance because Smith is hardly guaranteed a roster spot unless he performs lights out during offseason work.
Veterans Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry started the OTAs with the first team with free-agent pickup Chris Long and first-round pick Derek Barnett mixing in from there. Without Smith, the third-team edge players were Alex McCalister, still all kinds of skinny at 239 pounds, and Steven Means.
The real strategy here for Smith may be trying to force the Eagles' hand and start his post-Philadelphia career as early as possible after producing just four sacks in three seasons.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen