Sheppard likely to start for Jets

Updated: March 1, 2009, 2:58 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Philadelphia Eagles completed their expected trade of cornerback Lito Sheppard on Satuday, sending him to the New York Jets for two undisclosed draft picks.

After being traded traded to the Jets for a fifth-round choice in 2009 and a conditional pick in 2010, Sheppard received a contract extension. Sheppard, according to a source, received a four-year, $27.2 million extension that ranks him among the higher paid cornerbacks in the league.

"I am excited to be joining the Jets organization," Sheppard said in a statement. "It is a fresh new start, a new coach and a new system. I am looking forward to getting back to playing top notch football and bringing a winning attitude with me."

Sheppard, a first-round draft choice in 2002 draft, appeared in 93 games and started 53 of them. He has 253 tackles, two sacks, 18 interceptions, and 54 passes defensed. The recent re-signing of cornerback Joselio Hanson to a multiyear deal made Sheppard expendable for the Eagles.

In addition, Sheppard, 27, was supplanted last season by Asante Samuel, who had signed with the Eagles as a free agent.

Sheppard is expected to step right into the Jets' starting lineup at the cornerback spot opposite the one occupied by Darrelle Revis.

A seven-year veteran and two-time Pro Bowler, Sheppard played mostly in nickel and dime situations for the Eagles last year. He started three games, the fewest number of starts since his second season.

"We acquired a veteran corner with Pro Bowl ability," first-year Jets coach Rex Ryan said in a statement. "This young man has already gone to two Pro Bowls. He is a great athlete with the top end speed that we look for to play that position. We think he can match up with some of the best receivers in the game."

ESPN.com senior NFL writers Len Pasquarelli and John Clayton contributed to this report.

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