For 16 former NFL stars that we were lucky enough to see in the kelly green or midnight green of the Philadelphia Eagles (some longer than others), the journey to football immortality is one step closer. The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced 129 modern-era nominees earlier this week. Each name belongs to a man that is worthy of the honor, but if we’re being honest, if you bleed green, we’re pulling for some guys a lot harder than we’re pulling for others.
No disrespect is intended. Still, much like the great Al Davis once said about his team, “Once a Raider, always a Raider”, in many ways, the same can often be said in the City of Brotherly Love. Once you’re a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, you’re always an Eagle.
Here’s a look at the 16 former Eagles that were named among the 129 modern-era 2023 Hall of Fame nominees.
The Hall added six quarterbacks, 17 running backs, 20 wide receivers, three tight ends, 21 offensive linemen, 14 defensive linemen, 17 linebackers, 19 defensive backs, ten punters/kickers, and two special-teams players to their list. Here were the former Eagles who were named.
Randall Cunningham, quarterback
Randall Cunningham is one of those players who is in his own lane, and he’s responsible for the road guys like Steve McNair, Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, and so many others have all traveled on.
Donovan McNabb, quarterback
Regardless of how you feel about him now, you can’t deny his talent. Statistically speaking, Donovan McNabb is the best Eagles quarterback that has ever lived.
Jeff Garcia, quarterback
Once called upon to save the Eagles’ season, Jeff Garcia did would he always did. He gave it everything he had, and Birds fans will love him forever.
Ricky Watters, running back
Long forgiven for that “For who? For what?” statement, Ricky Watters racked up 3,794 rushing yards and 31 touchdowns in three seasons and found his way onto the Pro Bowl roster twice in an Eagles jersey.
Brian Westbrook, running back
Brian Westbrook is, without question, one of the greatest do-it-all running backs the NFL has ever seen. He would have been successful in any era of football at any level of football.
Brian Mitchell, running back/returner
Probably more remembered for his days in Washington, Brian Mitchell spent three years in Philly and NEVER put his team in jeapardy with any decision he made as a returner. He had a memorable 85-yard run in 2000 and scored four touchdowns as a kick returner or punt returner.
Irving Fryar, wide receiver
By the time Irving Fryar arrived in Philadelphia, his best years were probably behind him, and he still managed to carve out 1,100 yards or more during two of his three seasons with the Eagles. He also found his way onto two Pro Bowl rosters.
Clyde Simmons, defensive end
Simply put, any conversation about Buddy Ryan, Reggie White, and Jerome Brown will eventually lead you to an equally lengthy conversation about Clyde Simmons. He racked up 720 tackles, 76 sacks, and 12 forced fumbles in eight years as a member of the Birds. He led the NFL in sacks in 1992 and made two Pro Bowls.
Takeo Spikes, linebacker
It’s hard to mention Takeo Spikes’ name without smiling. He wasn’t here long, one year to be exact, but he definitely made his presence felt. He hasn’t been forgotten.
Seth Joyner, linebacker
Seth Joyner is one of those guys that you can make an argument for there being a lapse in judgment for him not already being inducted. He was a two-time First-Team All-Pro (1991, 1993), a two-time Second-Team All-Pro (1991, 1992), and a two-time Pro Bowler during eight seasons in an Eagles jersey.
Eric Allen, cornerback
Eric Allen should already be in the Hall of Fame. No one with an opinion that we respect or trust believes otherwise. He possesses all of the best traits of every great Eagles corner that has followed him while owning none of their weaknesses. He’d be successful in any era of Eagles football.
Asante Samuel, cornerback
Asante Samuel just had a nose for the football, didn’t he? He spent four seasons in Philadelphia and racked up 23 interceptions and 64 pass breakups over that time, and he made three Pro Bowls while leading the NFL in interceptions in 2009.
Troy Vincent, cornerback
His name garners both respect and admiration. Troy Vincent is a great man who just happens to have been one of the greatest football players that we’ve ever seen.
Gary Anderson, Kicker
Gary Anderson is a member of the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team and the 1990s All-Decade Team. If we’re putting kickers in the Hall of Fame, he should probably already be enshrined. Will this be his year?
Jeff Feagles, punter
Jeff Feagles spent four seasons in Philadelphia and averaged 42.8 yards per boot in 65 games. For his career, he’s seen the most consecutive games played by a punter (352) while stacking the most career punt yards (71,211), the most career punts (1,713), and the most career punts downed inside the opposing team’s 20-yard line (55
Sean Landeta, punter
Sean Landeta played for the USFL’s Philadelphia Stars from 1983 to 1984 and spent the 1999-2002 seasons in Philly as a member of the Eagles. Like Anderson, he’s a member of the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team and the 1990s All-Decade Team. He’s also a member of the Philadelphia Eagles 75th Anniversary Team while stacking 13,488 yards and an average of 41.5 yards per launch.