When veteran safety Andrew Sendejo signed his one-year deal with the Eagles on Thursday, it might have very well been his first happy memory in Philly.
The 31-year-old has only played in Lincoln Financial Field twice.
He was a part of the Vikings team that got demolished 38-7 in the 2017 NFC Championship Game.
And then last year, even though the Vikings got a win over the Eagles, Sendejo suffered a season-ending groin injury at the Linc in Week 5.
“Obviously being an opponent coming here has always been tough, so I’m looking forward to being of the good side of that now,” Sendejo said on a conference call with Philly reporters on Thursday afternoon.
“I’m excited to just be here and have the fans cheering for me as opposed to screaming obscenities at me.”
Fans will probably most remember Sendejo as the speed bump on LeGarrette Blount’s touchdown run early in the second quarter of the 2017 championship game.
What was it like to be on that side of the play?
“Did you watch the play?” Sendejo fired back.
“Well, then you know exactly what it felt like then.”
Sendejo came into the league as an undrafted player in Dallas but joined the Vikings in his second NFL season and worked his way up as a special teamer first and then as a starter. He spend his last four seasons as a full-time starter. His streak as a starter, barring something unforeseen, is surely going to stop in 2019.
The Eagles still have Malcolm Jenkins, who is one of their top players and leaders on defense. So he’s not getting bumped. And then Rodney McLeod reworked his deal to stay with the Eagles this season. He’s going to start next to Jenkins.
But with Corey Graham gone, that leaves the very important third safety role up for grabs. Sendejo will either just take that role for himself or will split time with Tre Sullivan, who came on strong toward the end of last season. Sendejo said the Eagles haven’t yet discussed role with him yet.
“I’m not going to make decisions on the depth chart or who goes where, I’m just here to help us win wherever I can do that,” he said. “If you want to ask about the depth chart or whatever, you can call Coach Pederson and he’ll probably be able to answer that question. I’m just happy to be here, happy to be with these guys, get to know these guys.”
Full disclosure: I didn’t call Doug. But we’ll talk with him next week for an hour at the owners meetings and we’ll try to get a better idea of what the Eagles’ secondary will look like this year.
Sendejo said one of the things that drew him to the Eagles was the way the franchise has been able to overcome adversity over the last two years. They did it with a lot of will power, but also with talented role players. Sendejo is now in the mix as one of them.
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