Not every roster move made during free agency is considered “business as usual” and when a team refuses to re-sign a player or trade them, things can get personal. And, when that happens, those players are often excited about the potential for revenge on their former squads, and make them regret letting them go.
This could be the case for several of the Eagles roster additions in 2019, who are set to face their former teams during the regular season. (For more Revenge Week content, check out SB Nation’s NFL page.)
Zach Brown — Washington, Weeks 1 and 14
It’s not all that often that there’s intra-division players signings, but that’s exactly what happened this offseason when the Eagles signed linebacker Zach Brown following his two-year stint in Washington.
Brown spent the first four years of his career with the Titans, before one season in Buffalo and then his time with the NFC East team. He lined up at middle linebacker for Washington, and made 223 total tackles and 3.5 sacks in those two seasons with the team. He also went 0-4 against the Eagles in 2017 and 2018.
He’s got to be looking forward to being on the Philadelphia sideline for the next two go-arounds, and even though it might not be a personal revenge game for Brown, it’s still a division matchup, and that comes with all sorts of extra emotion.
Malik Jackson — Le’Veon Bell (Jets), Week 5
Jackson was signed after a few years in Jacksonville, but the Eagles play the Jaguars in Week 2 of the preseason which doesn’t lend too well for any kind of revenge tour.
Where he might be really amped up to make a statement will be in Week 5 when the Eagles play the Jets. (They play the Jets in Week 4 of the preseason, but no starter will likely line up during that matchup, so it doesn’t really count.)
Early in the offseason, running back Le’Veon Bell posted a pretty unflattering clip of film to Instagram of a play involving Malik Jackson from a Jets-Steelers game in 2017. Jackson was not happy about it, and the two went back and forth for a bit about it, even though Bell later said he wasn’t trying to throw shade.
Now, I love social media level petty as much as the next fan, but you can imagine that Jackson has had Week 5 circled on his calendar, when he can show Bell that he deserves more respect than the running back was showing.
Andrew Sendejo — Vikings, Week 6
Sure, it’s not a guarantee that Sendejo will even still be on the roster once the regular season starts, but let’s just assume for a minute that he is. The Week 6 matchup against the Vikings is bound to be the highlight of his year.
Things did not end well between the safety and his former Minnesota team after eight seasons. Sendejo started his career as a special teamer and gradually earned more snaps at safety over the years, becoming a starter in 2015. Total, he made 356 total tackles, 17 passes defended, six interceptions and a forced fumble in his time with the Vikings.
Sendejo spent a lot of the 2018 season with a lingering groin injury that he suffered in Week 5 against the Eagles (ironically), and was eventually placed on IR in late-November. SB Nation’s Viking site, The Daily Norseman, took a poll after Sendejo was placed on IR and it seemed overwhelming like the writing was on the wall for the safety in Minnesota.
And that’s exactly what happened come free agency, with the Vikings deciding not to pick up Sendejo’s option for 2019. I heard from sources in Minnesota that Sendejo was particularly bitter about not being re-signed, and his introductory teleconference with the Eagles media was succinct (at best).
For a guy who proudly wears and displays a “Make Football Violent Again” hat in his locker, I would think he’s looking to make a mark on the Vikings should he meet them as a player for Philadelphia this season.
Jordan Howard — Bears, Week 9
This wasn’t quite the same parting of ways that Sendejo had with the Vikings, in fact Howard seemed totally understanding of the fact that this was a business decision and was happy for the opportunity to be traded to the Eagles.
Howard had a bit of a reduced role over his three year career in Chicago, but part of that was due to different coaches and schemes, and he still finished each season with over 1,000 yards of total offense, so it’s not like he was persona non grata, even in 2018.
Plus, if the Eagles vs. Bears is going to be a revenge game for anyone, you’d have to imagine it’d be Chicago looking for some redemption from the “Double Doink” that ended their playoff run.
Which revenge matchup are you most looking forward to in 2019?