Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Troy Vincent does not have to read Duce Staley's personal Web site for the latest on the state of relations between the holdout running back and the team.
''I know Duce wants to be here,'' Vincent said. ''We want him to be here. It's up to Duce's team and to Joe and Andy to rectify it and get him here.
Instead of practicing with his teammates at Lehigh University, Staley is working out on his own in Columbia, S.C., hoping to force the Eagles into contract-extension negotiations.
Staley, who is being fined $5,000 per day of training camp missed, is due to make $2.2 million for this, the final year of his contract. That contract would have carried through the end of next season, but a performance-incentive clause negated the last year, leaving Staley's future with the club in doubt.
And a future with the Eagles is what Staley states he wants in an open letter to ''teammates, coaches and Eagles fans'' that he posted on www.ducestaley.com.
''There's no other team in the NFL I would rather play for, this season and in the future, than the Eagles,'' Staley's letter says in part. ''It's very important to me that my team, my coaches and Eagles fans understand this.
''That's why my decision to not attend training camp has been very difficult. I just completed the best year of my career and I am heading into the final year of my contract with the team. I was just interested to know how I fit into the team's plans in the future, including an extension that would have me finishing my career with the Eagles. Unfortunately, not one person in the Eagles' front office has given me any idea of what the future holds for as a player for the Eagles beyond this season. This has come as a real shock to me. After a while, you start to wonder what's going on. Why haven't the Eagles front office even tried to talk to me and see what my thoughts are on the subject of my future?''
The Eagles have had little official reaction to Staley's letter, which became known to the media after Andy Reid's Monday morning press conference. Reid's next press briefing is scheduled for this morning.
''We're not declining comment,'' Eagles media relations director Derek Boyko said. ''It's just that we've been answering the same questions and there's nothing new in what he said.''
But while Eagles management has taken a camp-goes-on approach to Staley's absence, Staley's teammates make no secret that they miss him and they worry about missing him more during the season.
''I know Duce as a person, not only a football player,'' said cornerback Bobby Taylor, who also wants a contract extension but reported to training camp on time after sitting out the Eagles' final minicamp in June. ''I know where he's coming from. I want him here as a person and a teammate, so I hope they can reach some kind of compromise. My heart goes out to the guy.''
Vincent, who also would like a contract extension, also wants to see Staley back with his teammates.
Staley rushed 269 times for 1,029 yards and caught 51 passes for 541 yards last season. It was his third season of 1,000-plus rushing yards, but his first since 1999. He suffered a foot injury five games into the 2000 season, but came back to play in 13 games (10 as a starter) in 2001 and started all 16 regular-season games last year. He also started all five playoff games the Eagles played after the 2001 and 2002 seasons.
Without Staley, Correll Buckhalter and Brian Westbrook are the Eagles' feature backs. Buckhalter, the team's fourth-round pick in 2001, missed all of last season because of a knee injury. Westbrook is an all-purpose back preparing for his second NFL season.
Why is Duce still loose?
He's in South Carolina, but he has posted a letter to the Eagles and his fans on his Web site.
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