With the Eagles’ coaching staff waiving mandatory minicamps, we’re once again in a lull without Eagles’ football. So without any Eagles news or Jalen Hurts practice stats to look at, many Eagles fans are looking for anything Eagles-related to talk about.
Everyone’s favorite story to turn to right now? Track star turned football player Devon Allen. The track star who played one year of football at the University of Oregon signed with the Eagles this past spring as a 27-year-old rookie looking to crack the roster as a speedy wide receiver. And while his football skills are pretty much unknown, he sure is fast.
— NFL (@NFL) June 13, 2022
And for Eagles fans, that’s all they need to hear before they start imagining him streaking behind the safeties for long touchdowns.
Each year, there’s usually a player or two that the Eagles sign who soon find themselves in the spotlight of Philadelphia fans and media because they’re a freak athlete, or they have an awesome name, or because they’re related to someone who is actually good. That got me thinking of some other offseason/preseason fan favorites who never really turned out (no disrespect to Devon Allen but he’s got quite the uphill battle to make the roster).
Here are 5 of my favorites:
Paul Turner looked like an absolute stud during his two preseasons with the Eagles. As a wide receiver on a team that was desperate for playmakers, Turner put on a show for those tuning into meaningless games in August.
Despite his efforts, Turner was placed on the practice squad in 2016 and was promoted to the active roster for four games, totaling nine grabs for 126 yards before being waived before the beginning of the 2017 season.
He bounced around the league between the Patriots and the Saints and has now been a free agent since 2019.
Watch these plays to remember the Paul Turner era in Philadelphia:
Pretty much, if you’re 6’6″ and play wide receiver, Eagles fans are going to fall in love with you instantly as a proclaimed “red zone target”. A 2015 second-round pick who played one season with the Titans before being acquired by the Eagles in a trade that sent offensive lineman Dennis Kelly to Tennessee, Dorial Green-Beckham came to the Eagles as a troubled yet physically-impressive talent.
He left exactly the way he came.
The Eagles took a chance on the big wide receiver but after posting 36 receptions for 392 yards and two touchdowns, the Eagles knew that it wasn’t going to pan out. He was waived less than a year after coming to Philadelphia and has not played in the NFL since.
Carey “Murderleg” Spear
With a nickname like “Murder Leg”, it would have been wrong for the Eagles to not kick the tires on Vanderbilt kicker, Carey Spear.
Brought in as an undrafted free agent in 2014 to compete with former Eagles kicker Alex Henery, Spear was very large for a kicker at 5’10”, 195 lbs. He was really nothing special in college, hitting 15/19 field goals in 2013 with 2 from beyond 50 yards but he could kill a football and showed he could tackle too.
Unfortunately, his career never took off as he struggled with the Eagles throughout the 2014 offseason and was cut just over three months after he was signed.
Eagles’ beat reporter Reuben Frank put it best though:
Carey Spear is the worst kicker I've ever seen.
— Reuben Frank (@RoobNBCS) August 13, 2014
Cool name though.
Brother of former NFL star Clay Matthews, Casey Matthews got a nice three-year tenure with the Eagles but was never really good at anything.
Drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 Draft, the hype around Clay’s younger brother was super high in Philadelphia. After watching his brother become an All-Pro linebacker and Super Bowl Champion in 2010, many thought that talent would descend down the family tree to Casey. And though he became the Eagles’ starting middle linebacker as a rookie, it’s safe to say he never became his brother.
Matthews started 15 games over four years with just 2.5 sacks and 114 tackles.
The three games where Travis Fulgham was lighting the league on fire were awesome. In those three weeks, Travis Fulgham went from having no one know his name to being crowned the future of the Eagles and then vanished shortly after.
Called up after a slew of injuries to Eagles’ wide receivers, Fulgham hauled in a clutch touchdown in a Sunday Night game against the 49ers in his first-ever game and then proceeded to post a monstrous 10-catch, 152-yard performance a week later in a loss to the Steelers.
He then followed that up with solid games against the Ravens and Cowboys on his way to a team-high 539 yards during the 2020 season, but he never came close to that stretch again. He stayed with the Eagles throughout the next offseason but was placed on the practice squad in August 2021 and was released in October.
He’s now with the Denver Broncos on a futures contract.
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