Philadelphia Eagles Sign Eight Players To Futures Contracts

The Eagles are bringing some familiar faces back for the offseason.
David Watford. (Jeff Fusco)

David Watford. (Jeff Fusco)

The Philadelphia Eagles officially signed eight players to reserve/future contracts on Monday evening.

MLB Don Cherry
TE Anthony Denham
OG Darrell Greene
DB Aaron Grymes
WR Marcus Johnson
C Aaron Neary
DT Aziz Shittu
WR David Watford

If these names look familiar, it’s because all eight players finished the 2016 season on Philadelphia’s practice squad. The only Eagles practice squad player who wasn’t signed to a futures contract is former Chiefs quarterback Aaron Murray.

Players signed to futures contracts typically don’t end up being significant contributors. These players will have an uphill battle to make the final roster next season.

A quick breakdown on each player:

Cherry – 22 years old. 6-2, 240 pounds. Villanova alumnus. Signed with the Eagles as an undrafted free agent before the start of 2016 training camp.

Denham – 25 years old. 6-4, 235 pounds. First signed with Philadelphia’s practice squad in mid-October.

Greene – 24 years old. 6-2, 321 pounds. Eagles gave him the most guaranteed money of any undrafted free agent in the league following the 2016 NFL Draft. Bounce on and off the Eagles’ practice squad early in the season before finally settling in.

Grymes – 25 years old. 5-11, 185 pounds. Left the CFL to sign with the Eagles last offseason. Showed some potential in training camp/preseason before getting hurt. Signed to the Eagles’ 53-man roster in late October before being cut a month later.

Johnson – 22 years old. 6-1, 204 pounds. Signed with the Eagles as an undrafted free agent following the 2016 NFL Draft. Got hurt in training camp. Signed with the Eagles’ practice squad in early December.

Neary – 24 years old. 6-4, 301 pounds. First signed with the Eagles’ practice squad after final cuts.

Shittu – 22 years old. 6-2, 288 pounds. Showed some promise in the preseason before being cut. Signed to the practice squad after final cuts.

Watford – 23 years old. 6-2, 210 pounds. Former college quarterback spent the summer converting to wide receiver. Signed to the practice squad after final cuts.

Of these players, Greene, Grymes, Johnson and Shittu could be longshots to watch.

For a more detailed explanation of a futures contract, read below.

Basically, when a player is signed to “reserve/futures” contracts means they are being signed for the upcoming season even though that season does not officially begin until the official start of the league’s new year as outlined by the NFL. Only players who were not on any NFL team’s active roster when the previous season ended are eligible for these types of contracts. If they were under contract, then they would remain so until the league’s new year starts. Players who were on practice squads at the end of the season are eligible to sign with any team. Hence the reason that you see many practice squad players being signed by their current team for the upcoming year to a reserve/futures contract. That way the team can continue to work with a player they’re familiar with and hopefully get them ready for an eventual roster spot on game day.