Aug 29, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Ifeanyi Momah (80) is tackled by New York Jets safety Josh Bush (32) during the second half of a preseason game at Metlife Stadium. The Jets won 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
The inaugural NFL Veteran Combine is underway today (starting with offensive linemen at 8:20am ET) as one hundred former players from across the league attempt to extend (and save?) their careers before the 2015 NFL Draft clogs up any remaining roster spots. Multiple players taking part in today’s event have spent time, no matter how brief, with the Philadelphia Eagles. Let’s look at who to root for in the 2015 NFL Veteran Combine with an eye on the following former members of the #birdgang:
QB Mike Kafka
Mike Kafka was originally selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2010 NFL Draft with their third selection in the fourth round (122nd overall). While expectations were initially high, Kafka was statistically unimpressive he saw the field just twice in spot relief for Michael Vick in the 2011 season. Kafka was released from the Eagles in 2012 after suffering a hand injury after losing his roster spot to veteran Trent Edwards and then-rookie third round pick Nick Foles.
Kafka has since had short stints with the New England Patriots, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has yet to throw a pass in a regular season game since 2011.
The former Aggies quarterback spent less than a calendar month on the Eagles in 2011, and threw only two passes in midnight green during the preseason before falling to roster cuts. For what it’s worth, he went a perfect two-of-two for two yards in his time in Philadelphia.
Johnson has played for six teams in the four years since, two of those being in the CFL (his most recent stop being in 2014 with the Montreal Alouettes).
RB Felix Jones
The Eagles agreed to terms with Felix Jones in May 2013, hoping a veteran running back could serve a return role as well as contribute to spell then-Eagles LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown. Unfortunately, Jones failed to impress in training camp and was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers for linebacker Adrian Robinson, who ended up not making the roster in Philadelphia either.
LB Brian Rolle
A sixth round pick out of Ohio State in 2011, Brian Rolle ended up becoming the starting weakside linebacker for the Eagles as a rookie and playing in fourteen games. After a 54 tackle season with one fumble recovery touchdown in 2011, Rolle’s stock rapidly diminished in 2012. Despite showing promise as a rookie, Rolle was released in just his second season.
His last NFL action was seen as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2013, but did not make the final roster.
Dowtin never played a snap for the Eagles, and was briefly a practice squad member during the end of the 2012 season. Chip Kelly’s introduction of the 3-4 defense did not bode well for the former North Alabama linebacker, and Dowtin was released before the 2013 NFL Draft.
A two-time member of the Philadelphia Eagles offseason cuts club, Momah’s most intriguing aspect was his size and potential given a college career-ending torn ACL at Boston College. The 6’7, 240-pound WR was a fan favorite immediately, but failed to produce tangible results and was released from the team before the regular season began each year.
Momah, now listed as a tight end for the Veteran Combine, also spent time on the practice squad with the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions in 2014.