Eagles

Jeremy Reaves went undrafted but has chance to make Eagles

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Jeremy Reaves went undrafted but has chance to make Eagles

Jeremy Reaves may have gone undrafted, but the rookie safety was far from unwanted.

“The phone was going crazy,” said Reaves, one of 15 rookie free agents signed by the Eagles. “It was draft 2.0 for me.”

Reaves is accustomed to being overlooked. After drawing interest from multiple SEC schools, he wound up attending a mid-major due in part to an injury. Throughout the draft process, so-called experts said he was too small and too slow. The 2017 Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year wasn’t even invited to the NFL Scouting Combine.

So, when Reaves’ phone started ringing off the hook post-draft, it was unlike anything he had experienced since high school.

“It was a pretty good feeling,” Reaves said. “The feeling of going undrafted, yeah, it hurt a little a bit. But then I had another draft, and it was like, ‘You’re all calling me?’”

More than a half-dozen teams reached out after the draft. The Eagles ultimately won the Reaves sweepstakes, luring the 22-year-old with $30,000 in guarantees.

That may turn out to be a small price to pay for an unheralded prospect with Reaves’ pedigree and versatility.

This was not the first time the South Alabama product was heavily recruited. LSU, Mississippi State and Memphis were among the programs that had interest in Reaves until fate intervened.

“I didn’t get hit, I didn’t hit anybody crazy,” said Reaves. “I just woke up one day and was walking around and my back started hurting.”

Doctors told Reaves he had an L5 lumbar fracture and wouldn’t be able to play football for over a year, if at all.

“I wasn’t really sure if I was supposed to play again,” Reaves said. “It was the middle of my senior year, they said 12 months and then rehab. I was looking at missing pretty much my freshman year of college, and then having to miss a lot more time the following spring.

“It was very uncertain. I didn’t know what was to come.”

Neither did recruiters. Six weeks later, Reaves suddenly felt better and was back on the field, but the damage was done. Interest in Reaves waned until only South Alabama was left.

In a strange way, the injury may have done Reaves a favor. He admits the success started to go his head.

“It sat me down and made me realize that I was taking the game for granted,” he said.

“I have a story, and I try to tell guys all the time, appreciate everything that you’ve got. Appreciate every practice, appreciate every lift. You’re not guaranteed anything.”

South Alabama was also the perfect place for Reaves’ star to shine. After beginning his college career as a cornerback, he moved to the “rover” safety position halfway through his junior season and became the focal point of the defense.

Reaves racked up 104 total tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, eight pass breakups and three interceptions as a senior on his way to Defensive Player of the Year honors. He developed a reputation as a ferocious hitter along the way as well.

“That comes from me just being doubted my whole life,” Reaves said. “Everybody saying that I’m too small, or my hands are too small, my arms are too short, I’m too slow, I don’t have the structure to play in this league.

“I’ve thought about that and every time I hit somebody. It’s to show don’t doubt this 5-foot-10 1/2, 205-pound body. It’s coming whistling behind you.”

All those experiences have led Reaves to this point with the Eagles, where he walks into a great situation. The depth chart is wide open behind the starting safeties, and while the club added three more after the draft, Reaves was easily the most notable. 

Reaves has a perfect mentor in Malcolm Jenkins, too, from the standpoint he could fill multiple roles in the secondary.

“I can’t wait to get under (Jenkins’) wing and get some of his wisdom and learn how he’s developed in this game and this league,” Reaves said. “I think he’s definitely somebody that they can see me emulating. That’s definitely somebody I can see myself emulating. He’s a ball player. The film speaks for itself.”

More than the money or the chance to compete for a roster spot, Reaves said there was something else that drew him to the Eagles.

“I could just tell the culture here is everything I’m about,” said Reaves, who works with the same trainer as Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills. “I’m a winner. That’s something inside of me that will never burn out.

“That was a selling factor for me. There’s a reason they won the Super Bowl.”

Back with Eagles, Vinny Curry had other offers, but ‘home is home’

Back with Eagles, Vinny Curry had other offers, but ‘home is home’

It’s safe to say Vinny Curry is pretty happy to be back in Philadelphia. 

Right? 

“Hell yeah,” said an giddy Curry on a conference call with Philly reporters Thursday afternoon. “Super excited!” 

After one year in Tampa Bay, the 30-year-old Curry on Thursday signed a one-year contract to return to the Eagles. According to a league source, his one-year deal is worth $2.25 million and he can earn another $1.25 million in incentives. It’s quite a different contract than the last one he signed with the Eagles and the three-year, $23 million deal he signed to join the Bucs last offseason. 

But this wasn’t all about money for Curry. 

He wanted to come back. You could feel his excitement on the other end of Thursday’s conference call. 

In fact, Curry was reportedly offered more money to join the Giants, but came back to the Eagles instead. 

Definitely had a couple different offers on the table, but home is home. This just felt right. This felt like the right situation. I think it was just time for me to be back in Philadelphia.

Curry was drafted by the Eagles in the second round back in 2012 after he grew up in Neptune, N.J. as an Eagles fan. But the real reason he wanted to come back to Philly was because of his teammates. Even though he said he had a good time during his one season in Tampa, he missed his teammates in the Eagles’ locker room. He said they’re like brothers. Curry, Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham — minus last year — have played together since 2012. 

But things changed during Curry’s year away. He started every game during the 2017 Super Bowl season, but it is expected that he will come back to the Eagles this year as a rotational player, playing both defensive end and defensive tackle. Graham and Derek Barnett will be the starters at defensive end. 

“When it comes to the role, whatever the team needs me to do, I’ve always been that guy,” Curry said. “You guys know that. Whatever the team needs me to do, I’m going to do it. I don’t have an ego at all.” 

Curry even joked he would play receiver if the Eagles asked. When he was told the Eagles likely won’t ask him to do that, Curry agreed and joked he has “feet for hands.” 

The Eagles cut Curry after the 2017 season because of his contract and Curry on Thursday said he understood why they did it. It’s in the past, he said. Curry was cut for the second straight year when the Bucs parted ways with him this offseason to save $8 million in cap space. (This also means the Eagles won’t lose out on a comp pick by signing him.) 

Last season, Curry played in just 12 games thanks to a high ankle sprain he suffered in Week 6 that left him in a hard cast. But Curry is healthy now and is ready for spring practices. 

Was it a good decision to bring him back? 

Sure, why not. Curry is 30 now and maybe he’s never really lived up to his potential, but he’s a solid player who knows the defense and isn’t making a lot of money. For a rotational piece along the line, Curry makes plenty of sense. 

And he’s really happy to be back. Now, he just hopes he can figure out a way to get his No. 75 back from Josh Sweat. 

“We’re working on that,” he said. “We’re definitely working on that. Hopefully, I’m back in the 75.”

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Source: Eagles bringing back Vinny Curry on 1-year deal

Source: Eagles bringing back Vinny Curry on 1-year deal

The Eagles are bringing back defensive end Vinny Curry, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. Philly.com first reported a deal was close. 

The one-year deal is worth $2.25 million and Curry can earn an extra $1.25 million in incentives, a league source said.  

Curry, 30, played six years for the Eagles before joining the Bucs last offseason. But Curry made it just one year into his three-year, $23 million contract before he was cut by Tampa Bay. The move saved the Bucs $8 million in 2019 cap space. Since Curry was cut, he won't affect the Eagles' compensatory pick formula. 

Bringing back Curry will help provide the Eagles some depth at defensive end. The plan is to start Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett, but then there isn’t much depth. Second-year player Josh Sweat is unproven. At least Curry will give the Eagles a veteran defensive end for the rotation. 

Chris Long, 34, is under contract, but has been non-committal about his future. The Eagles would still like to have him back. 

In his six seasons with the Eagles, Curry played in 84 games with 23 starts. He had 22 sacks in an Eagles uniform, with nine of them coming during the 2014 season. He never had more than four sacks in any other season. 

Curry, who grew up as an Eagles fan, was taken by the Eagles in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft. 

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