Cre’Von LeBlanc knew he had a special bond with Eagles fans, but even he didn’t know it was this deep.
LeBlanc, 26, was a free agent for less than 18 hours from last Sunday into Monday but Eagles fans were furious.
How dare they cut Strap?!
Of course, after 17 hours and 35 minutes, the Eagles re-signed the veteran cornerback and all was right in the world. But for the hours he remained a free agent, Eagles fans were vocal about their displeasure.
On Friday, LeBlanc said he saw many of those supportive messages.
“I mean, after my first rodeo here in 2018 with the Eagles, we went on that great run,” LeBlanc said. “Obviously, going to the playoffs, second round, and the interception in the first play of the game on Drew Brees and then following up the year after, coming off my injury strong.
“I knew I had some, you know, Strap Ent fans, but I didn’t know it was that deep. I applaud them for that and I appreciate it. They rockin’ with me.”
While the release and subsequent re-signing of LeBlanc seemed purely procedural, it apparently wasn’t explained that way to LeBlanc. The Eagles eventually put Will Parks and Quez Watkins on IR but they needed to free up a roster spot for running back Jason Huntley, whom they claimed off waivers, first.
And instead of releasing a player who would be subjected to the waiver wire system, they cut LeBlanc, who is a vested veteran. He became a free agent immediately and was then free to sign a contract to rejoin the team the following morning.
It all seemed like a calculated plan to release a player and bring him back the next day. No harm, no foul.
But if that’s the case, LeBlanc says no one told him.
“It was shocking, just as it was for the fans,” he said. “It was very shocking. But, I mean, this is not my first rodeo. I’m going on Year 5. I’ve been cut before and I’ve been claimed. That’s just the name of the game. This is just the business that we have to live with on the daily basis. You can’t [dwell] on that too long. For the most part, going forward, my mental, I’m in a good place. I know who I serve, I know who my Lord and savior is. From here on out, the season is here and I’m glad to be back in the building.”
During his less than 18 hours of free agency, LeBlanc said other teams showed some interest but he wanted to come back to Philadelphia.
LeBlanc arrived here in 2018 and despite his limited playing time, has clearly become a true fan favorite.
“Had some interest,” LeBlanc said. “But to be honest, I’m just thankful to be back with the Philadelphia Eagles. I love it here, I love the city, love playing for the fans and the guys in this organization.”