It’s something that nearly a third of the Eagles’ roster has in common.
It’s the lowest point in a lot of players’ careers.
It can be depressing. It can be humiliating. It can be frustrating.
Or it can be the start of something special.
Some 16 players on the Eagles’ final 53-man roster have been cut at some point in their career.
At least one player in every position group has been cut.
It’s a list that includes some pretty notable players, such as Jason Peters, Boston Scott, Greg Ward and Malik Jackson.
Scott and Ward, two of the key offensive weapons in last year's Eagles’ late-season resurgence, have both been cut multiple times.
And their message to the nearly 30 players the Eagles released over the past few days is an important one:
Don’t let this define you. Getting released doesn’t mean this is the end of your career. For some it's a springboard to a better opportunity.
You just have to stay positive and believe in yourself.
“Being cut, first with New Orleans and then with the Eagles, I would say control what you can control,” Scott said. “Don’t set your value whether you make the team or not. Focus on the opportunities you do get from that point on. Because your mindset from that point on can definitely determine what direction you go in after that.”
Scott didn’t even make it onto the Eagles’ roster last year until mid-October.
But over the last month of the season, he was 12th among all NFL running backs in scrimmage yards.
“You could look at it as, ‘Nobody believes in me, maybe I’m not cut out for this,’ or you could continue to work and just hope that an opportunity comes. Duce actually talked to me about the type of mindset to have in general. You want to be prepared for the opportunity and it doesn't come, rather than not being prepared for the opportunity and it comes and you’re not ready for it and you mess it up.”
In addition to Peters, Jackson, Ward and Scott, other Eagles who’ve been released are Nate Sudfeld, Jason Huntley, Vinny Curry, Alex Singleton, Nate Gerry, Nickell Robey-Coleman, Cre’Von LeBlanc, Craig James, Marcus Epps, Jake Elliott, Cameron Johnston and Rick Lovato.
Ward is a great example why you don’t give up when you’ve been released.
He was released by the Eagles five times before finally getting a chance to play late last year.
And over the last six weeks of the season, he caught 28 passes – the 9th-most in franchise history by a receiver over the last six games of any season.
His message to anybody who was released this weekend?
“The grind doesn’t stop,” he said. “Continue to work hard. You never know when you’ll get that call. Just continue to pray and stay hungry. That’s not the last stop for you. Whether you stay here, get a call back or go somewhere else, you’ve got to continue to grind.”
There’s no better example of why you continue to grind after getting released than the 2017 Eagles.
Of the 65 players who spent time on the Eagles’ roster that year, 23 of them had been cut at some point in their career before joining the Eagles.
That list includes Super Bowl MVP and Philly folk hero Nick Foles.
All 23 of those guys now have Super Bowl rings.
“Really, it’s just the mindset that I’ve had since college when I walked on,” Ward said. “I don’t know if the opportunities are coming, I’m just going to make the most of them when they do come. So you just put your head down and work.”