Chris Givens: Bradford Was the ‘Deciding Factor’
In eight words, Chris Givens summarized the impact he hopes to have for the Eagles this year as a receiver who can take the top off of a defense.
“In one play, we could score a touchdown,” he said.
The Eagles signed Givens to a one-year deal this afternoon reportedly worth $760,000. Givens was traded to the Ravens last season for a late-round conditional pick, but he spent the first few years of his career in St. Louis, the franchise that drafted him in the fourth round in 2012.
That Sam Bradford connection is ultimately what led to Givens signing with the Eagles, despite interest from the Jets.
“It played a lot into it. I feel like our talents match up very well,” Givens said. “That was a deciding factor.”
With Bradford throwing him the ball in 2012, Givens broke the NFL rookie record for most consecutive games with a reception of at least 50 yards (five). He also led the Rams in receiving yards (698), yards-per-catch average (16.6) and receptions of at least 25 yards (eight).
Asked about his declining production since those successful seasons in St. Louis, Givens couldn’t pinpoint why he was better in the first two years, but added, “Sam had a lot to do with it.”
During his 12-game stint in Baltimore last year, Givens averaged a career-high 18.2 yards per catch. That big play ability, according to the receiver, is why the Eagles were interested in him.
“I’m way faster than my 40[-yard-dash] time on the football field, and I feel like that’s what separates me,” Givens said. “Because once the ball is in the air, it’s just another gear that I kick in. I’ve always had that gear since I was little.”
Although Givens hasn’t spoken to Bradford yet, he has talked to Jordan Matthews, whom Givens worked out with during the offseason last year. The 26-year-old is also the oldest receiver on the Eagles’ roster, so he’ll likely be called on to help his younger teammates develop as the elder in the room.
“It’s just like life. In life, there’s no greater teacher than experience,” Givens said. “To be a receiver in this league and play for a few years, you just learn little things on how to get open and just the little nuances you probably didn’t know when you were younger.”