Alex Singleton

Eagles' Alex Singleton waited years for chance to play in NFL

Eagles' Alex Singleton waited years for chance to play in NFL

Alex Singleton faced a huge decision after the Eagles released him on Aug. 30 following a strong preseason.

Go back to the CFL, where he was a two-time all-star and a job was waiting, or stick around in Philly and toil in anonymity on the Eagles’ practice squad.

Singleton said he would have been more than happy to head back to the Calgary Stampeders if it didn’t work out here.

But as much as he loved his time in Canada, his dream has always been to play in the NFL. So he swallowed his pride and toiled in anonymity on the practice squad the last six weeks, hoping for a shot at the 53-man roster.

The conversations I had with management upstairs and the coaches and everything, I knew the opportunity would come,” Singleton said. “Just keep working, keep developing my craft, and the time would come, and there’s no better time for it to come.

Surprisingly, you can earn more money on an NFL practice squad, where the minumum salary is $8,000 a week, than in the CFL, where the average salary is about $4,500 a week.

But it wasn’t really about the money for Singleton, who got a raise to $29,264 per week with his promotion to the 53-man roster.

I wanted to be here,” he said. “That was why I didn’t just leave after the preseason. If there was a legit chance I'll be playing football for the Philadelphia Eagles. I was going to stay, and now when it comes full circle, I'm happy I got that opportunity.

Singleton, 25, is actually the Eagles’ oldest healthy linebacker right now.

He takes the roster spot that opened up when the Eagles released starter Zach Brown on Tuesday.

It looks like undrafted rookie T.J. Edwards will get a lot of Brown’s reps, and Singleton will move into Edwards’ role as a special teamer and backup linebacker.

One hundred percent ready,” Singleton said. “I've been ready since that last preseason game and I've been ready to play for this team probably since OTAs. And I'm just excited to just go out there and continue to do what I've done you know in practice and in the preseason. … It's what I've been planning for for the last you know, six months and the last five years.

Singleton graduated from Montana State in 2015, went undrafted and then had brief stints in camp with the Seahawks, Patriots and Vikings, but he was released each time. He just wasn’t ready. 

He said the Alex Singleton of 2015 and the Alex Singleton of 2019 are completely different people and completely different football players. 

Oh, night and day,” he said. “If I could go back to myself then coming out of Montana State? I didn't know much. I didn't know how to study. Not that I wouldn't have said I was ready to be a pro, but myself now? I'm so much more prepared now. I know how to prepare now.

It’s certainly an unusual route to the NFL that Singleton is taking. The Ventury County, Calif., native gave the NFL a shot, it didn’t work out, had three excellent years in Canada, and is ready to give the NFL another shot.

This is the ultimate longshot story. Could an undrafted linebacker from the CFL really make an impact for the Eagles? It became a little less improbable this week.

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Eagles promote Alex Singleton from practice squad to 53-man roster

Eagles promote Alex Singleton from practice squad to 53-man roster

Alex Singleton decided to sign with the Eagles’ practice squad instead of returning to the CFL because he knew it would give him a better chance to achieve his main goal.

Playing in the NFL.

Singleton is one huge step closer to that goal.

Singleton, a two-time CFL All-Star, signed to the Eagles’ 53-man roster Wednesday evening, taking the roster spot left open when the team released starter Zach Brown.

After a terrific training camp and preseason, the 25-year-old Singleton was released as part of the Eagles’ final roster cut-down to 53 on Aug. 30.

He signed to the Eagles’ practice squad two days later, earning $8,000 per week. The promotion to the 53 increases his weekly salary to $29,264 per week.

Earlier in the day, head coach Doug Pederson was vague about why the team released Brown, but he did say it would allow the team to “get some young guys on the roster, give T.J. Edwards an opportunity, Duke Riley gets an opportunity. We’ll keep working those guys in.”

Brown is an undrafted rookie from Wisconsin. Riley came in the Johnathan Cyprien trade. Singleton has been with the team since signing a reserve/future contract on Jan. 8.

With Brown gone and Nigel Bradham looking like he will miss the Cowboys game with an ankle injury, the Eagles won’t have a linebacker older than 25 on the field Sunday night.

Singleton, Riley and Kamu Grugier-Hill are 25, Nate Gerry is 24 and Edwards is 23.

Singleton has never played in an NFL game. He spent time in camp with the Seahawks, Patriots and Vikings in 2015 before heading to Canada and playing for the Calgary Stampeders from 2016 through 2018. 

The Eagles filled Singleton’s spot on the practice squad by adding center Keegan Render, who was with the Eagles this offseason.

Render signed on May 9 and was released on Aug. 30. Render, 6-4, 305 pounds, is an undrafted rookie out of Iowa.

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After his release, linebacker Alex Singleton might have tough decision ahead

After his release, linebacker Alex Singleton might have tough decision ahead

As the Eagles trim their roster down to 53 by Saturday’s 4 p.m. deadline, they waived linebacker Alex Singleton, who had quickly become a fan favorite. 

The long-haired former CFL star linebacker had a really good preseason and plenty of Eagles fans were hoping he’d stick on the final roster. Didn’t happen. 

Now, the 25-year-old might have a tough decision to make. The Eagles like Singleton and might very well offer him a practice squad spot, but there’s a career waiting for him back in Canada. He was a two-time All-Star in the CFL and won the league’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award in 2017. 

Here’s what Singleton said about his future Thursday night after the fourth preseason game (when he had 12 defensive tackles and three on special teams): 

I guess I’m one of the few people (who played Thursday night) that knows I’ll be playing football this year,” he said. “If no one does sign me, there’s nine teams in the CFL that I think would love to have me, and I know one, especially Calgary, would really enjoy having me back, so to have that is very special. To have a whole country behind you and supporting you and if things don’t work out welcoming you back.

Before the Eagles could even offer him a practice squad spot, Singleton is subject to waivers, so it’s possible another NFL team claims him and takes away that tough decision. But if he goes unclaimed, he might have to figure out what he wants to do. 

Every player wants to make it in the NFL, but if Singleton sticks around on the practice squad, there’s no guarantee he’ll ever get a chance to be promoted to an active roster. It won’t be an easy choice. 



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