‘Shocked’ Eagles React To Josh Huff Being Cut
Soon after the Eagles released Josh Huff Thursday morning, the 25-year-old went around the locker room at the NovaCare Complex to inform his teammates of the news just before practice. Huff was crying, and few words were exchanged when he embraced others before he left.
“It’s a tough situation to be in, so what exactly can you say to a guy who was already at his lowest and then he gets cut?” said Kenjon Barner, who has been close with Huff since they met at Oregon in 2010. “There’s not too much that you can say to him, but try to be uplifting and tell him to stay grounded and just know brighter days are ahead.”
Players almost universally described the release of Huff as “shocking,” in part because they say the Texas native hasn’t been in trouble before and his arrest was “extremely out of character.” Malcolm Jenkins added he was surprised because the team sent the message on Wednesday that they were moving forward from Huff’s arrest.
Jenkins also likened the situation to how players in football games who throw the first punch aren’t penalized, while referees catch the second player who does. The Eagles’ safety thinks Huff being cut had more to do with “the timing and what it looks like” than what Huff actually did because of the previous players who have been arrested.
“I think if you ask anybody in the locker room, ‘Do you think Josh Huff is a bad guy or a bad apple?’ I don’t think anybody would say that,” Jenkins said. “It’s not for us as players to weigh in on or have any part of, but as a teammate, obviously, we wish he was in the building.”
Jenkins added that Huff getting cut is more of a distraction for the team than Huff’s arrest as the players were already moving on. Leodis McKelvin also said the Eagles’ decision was “a little bit of a distraction,” and that the team “most definitely” sent a message to the players when it comes to their behavior off of the field.
“It’s not just a wake-up call for me, but everybody. Everybody in here knows it’s serious,” Dorial Green-Beckham said. “Anything can happen at any time at any moment. We have to know that every day we come in here we have to prepare ourselves and do the right things.
“You have to know you need to do everything the right way [and] do what the coaches ask you to do. Just outside of football, you have to protect yourself and do the right things. All eyes will be on you. We’re professional athletes. Everybody is going to look at us. We just need to know that we have to be smart. No matter we are home, outside of home [or] a park, you just have to know that wherever you go somebody is always watching.”