Eagles to pursue Sanders? Don't count on it


Friday, February 18, 2011
Posted: 5:10 p.m.

By Reuben Frank

Dont look for the Eagles to pursue Bob Sanders, the 2007 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

A high-ranking team official said that because of his injury history, the Eagles arent likely to go after Sanders, released Friday by the Colts just three years after they made him the highest-paid safety in NFL history. Sanders contract extension after the 2007 season included a 20 million signing bonus.

As tremendous and productive a player as Sanders is when healthy, hes played only more than six games twice in his seven NFL seasons. And over the past three years, hes been limited to just nine of a possible 48 gamesand just three games the last two years.

With Quintin Mikell scheduled to become a free agent once a CBA is hammered out, the Eagles could use a playmaking safety. Nate Allen is expected back healthy, but the other safeties on the roster and under contractKurt Coleman, Colt Anderson, Jamar Adamsare all inexperienced. Marlin Jackson, another veteran safety whos battled injury problems the last several years, is also still on the roster.

Because the current CBA is in effect until March 3 and because Sanders is a vested veteran, hes not subject to the NFL waiver claim system and is an unrestricted free agent, free to sign immediately with another teamat least for another two weeks.

Sanders missed 10 games as a rookie in 2004 with foot and knee problems. He was limited to six games in 2006 because of a knee injury, six games in 2008 because of ankle and knee injuries, two games in 2009 with an arm injury and one game in 2010 because of a torn biceps.

In all, Sanders has missed 64 games since his rookie yearan average of just over nine per season. He missed 10 in 2004, two in 2005, 12 in 2006, one in 2007, 10 in 2008, 14 in 2009 and 15 in 2010.

Sanders made the AFC Pro Bowl team and been named a first-team all-pro in both his healthy seasons2005 and 2007.

The team official also said the Eagles have little interest in Rams safety Oshiomogho "O.J." Atogwe, who was also released Friday. Atogwe, who was due an 8 million bonus next week, had 22 interceptions in six seasons with St. Louis.

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E-mail Reuben Frank at rfrank@comcastsportsnet.com.

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