Eagles Dip Into AAF Talent Pool, Signing Three
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Eagles dipped into the AAF talent pool Tuesday, signing three players, including a familiar face in receiver Greg Ward.
Along with Ward, who began his professional career in Philadelphia as an undrafted free agent in 2017 after starring at quarterback for the University of Houston, Philadelphia also inked QB Luis Perez and receiver Charles Johnson, one of the better wideouts in the AAF who has NFL experience with the Minnesota Vikings.
Ward, 23, spent time on the Eagles practice squad during the 2017 campaign and started last season on the PS as well before being waived on Sept. 7. The 5-foot-11, 186-pound slot option excelled in the now-defunct AAF as both a receiver and returner for the San Antonio Commanders where he caught 22 passes for 214 yards and also returned a punt for a touchdown.
Johnson, meanwhile, is a rangy 6-foot-2 outside option who hauled in 45 catches for 687 yards and five touchdowns in eight games with the Orlando Apollos. With the Vikings, Johnson, 30, played in 39 games from 2014-16 and snared 60 receptions for 834 yards.
The two join a crowded receivers room for new position coach Carson Walch, led by Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and the returning DeSean Jackson. 2017 draft picks Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson are also on the offseason roster as are former practice squad players and reserve/futures options like Braxton Miller, Dorren Miller, Johnny Holton and Marken Michel.
Perez, 24, played for the Birmingham Iron and is a 6-foot-3, 222-pound San Diego native is 24 and went the JUCO route in collge before landing at Texas A&M Commerce in 2016, a Division II school. Perez lit it up at that level throwing for 78 touchdowns against 16 interceptions over two seasons. He was eligible but not selected in the 2018 NFL Draft but did ultimately sign with the Los Angeles Rams as an undrafted free agent before being waived at the ginal cutdown. The Rams then brought Perez back to their oractice squad for two weeks before again releasing him.
Perez ultimately landed in the AAF as the Iron's starting QB where his numbers weren't great -- completing 135-of-258 passes (just a 52.3 completion rate) for 1460 yards with five TDs and six picks -- but Birmingham finished above water at 5-3 and Perez impressed some NFL scouts with certain traits as a pocket-style signal caller.
He will arrive in Philadelphia as the third arm behind Carson Wentz and Nate Sudfeld.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen