Former Philadelphia Eagles safety Wes Hopkins passes away at 57

Philadelphia Eagles. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Eagles. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

It’s a bittersweet day in the Philadelphia Eagles community as everyone who loves this team remembers Wes Hopkins, who played with the team for ten years.

The story of the Philadelphia Eagles can’t be told without a chapter on Wes Hopkins. The six-foot-one, 205-pound safety was the 35th person taken in the 1983 NFL Draft and was one of those familiar faces that we think of whenever we remember Buddy Ryan‘s fearsome defenses of the 1980s.

He played ten seasons in Eagles green, many of them paired him with Andre Waters (1986 to 1993). He passed away at 57 years young on Friday, September 28th. Despite the fact that he’s no longer with us physically, his memory forces a smile across all of our faces whenever we think of him.

Take a look:

We salute a legend.

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Hopkins is a part of that Eagles mystique from an era that included the likes of Reggie White, Jerome Brown, Mark McMillian, Eric Allen and the newest members of the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame, Clyde Simmons and Seth Joyner.

He recorded 30 interceptions and 12 sacks over an illustrious career that saw him make the Pro Bowl and be named first-team All-Pro in 1985 when he recorded six interceptions in a single season.

He wouldn’t play much in 1986 or at all in 1987 due to a major knee injury, but when he returned to Philly’s defensive lineup, he played for six more seasons.

His 30 picks still rank as the fifth-most in team history.

Here’s a statement from Eagles chairman and CEO, Jeffrey Lurie:

"Wes Hopkins is one of the best safeties in the history of our franchise and played a major role in the team’s success during his time here in Philadelphia. He was well-respected among his teammates and coaches, not only because of the way he played the game and what he was able to accomplish on the field, but also because of the way he carried himself and the type of leader he was. He had a genuine love of the game and that’s one of the reasons he connected so well with the people of Philadelphia. Wes will be forever remembered as an Eagles Legend and somebody who helped build the foundation for our organization’s success. Our thoughts are with his family during this time."

Here are a few more sentiments from various members of the Eagles community including a few of his aforementioned teammates:

Here’s one from an Eagles super fan:

He was even shown a little love by the man who is, perhaps, the greatest safety in team history, Brian Dawkins.

Take a gander:

We at ITI offer our condolences to his family and tip our hats to one of the greatest players in team history, regardless of position.