Updated: July 24, 2003, 9:25 AM ETBy By Darrell Trimble | ESPN Insider
Philadelphia Eagles: It's been a tough offseason in Philly, and things could be on the verge of getting worse. The Eagles have lost key players from last year's squad and now it seems that they're on the verge of having their three top picks hold out. Rookies and selected veterans are scheduled to report to training camp Friday afternoon, but DE Jerome McDougle, TE L.J. Smith and WR Billy McMullen may not be in attendance. "I think you have to look at each individual and try to get deals done," Drew Rosenhaus told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "You want to get your guys signed in time for training camp, and we're hoping to do that with Jerome. We're still working on it." As for Smith and McMullen, it's imperative they get signed as soon as possible considering they must learn the complex West Coast offense. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Mark Brunell has been the team's starter since the fifth game of their 1995 expansion season, but new coach Jack Del Rio said that while the 32-year-old vet will likely start the season under center, there are no guarantees. "There are no guarantees in the NFL, other than right now, [Brunell] is our starter and we anticipate him being our starter in the opener," Del Rio said. "But to put the word 'guarantee' in there is something I'm not comfortable about doing at any position. If somebody rises up and is better than the anticipated starter, then that person is going to play. If David Garrard is clearly the best player, then he'll play." Del Rio intends to give Garrard the opportunity to compete for the starting job in the preseason, possibly naming him the starter for the Aug.9 preseason opener at the Minnesota Vikings. Del Rio plans to do the same for rookie Byron Leftwich, should he not hold out, but neither has a good chance to unseat Brunell.
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