What was expected to just be a minor personnel move by the Philadelphia Eagles actually sent shockwaves through the NFL. On Thursday afternoon, the Birds announced that they were releasing LB Myles Jack from the reserve retired list and OT Bernard Williams from the reserved-suspended list.
Now, I wouldn’t blame you if you hadn’t heard of either player even wearing an Eagles jersey mostly since Jack was only on the team for two weeks before informing them he was retiring and Williams HADN’T PLAYED IN THE NFL SINCE 1994! Wait...what?
The two players the Eagles waived today, per the NFL's official transaction log: Myles Jack from reserve/retired list, and Bernard Williams from reserve/suspended list.— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) November 17, 2023
Bernard Williams hasn't played since 1994. The Eagles' current LT, Jordan Mailata, was not yet born. pic.twitter.com/3CwCxhc6im
Williams was Philadelphia’s first round pick (No. 14 overall) in 1994, started all 16 games at tackle, was named to the NFL All-Rookie team, and that was the last we ever saw of him in an Eagles uniform. He was suspended for six games in July of 1995 (positive weed test) and then suspended in October of 1995 for the rest of the season...and just never applied to be reinstated to the NFL.
Reuben Frank has an excellent look over at NBC Sports Philadelphia at what was said back in ‘95 by BRAND NEW TEAM OWNER Jeffrey Lurie about the whole situation, but he also asked the Eagles why this was happening now:
According to an Eagles spokesman, NFL officials contacted the Eagles recently and explained that they were clearing out decades-old players on various reserve lists when Williams’ name surfaced. Since the Eagles had never released Williams, he was still technically a member of the team.
The Eagles had an impressive (???) run in the early 90s of selecting busts in the first round of the draft (see: 1991, OT Antone Davis, No. 8; 1993, OG Lester Holmes, No. 19; 1993, DT Leonard Renfro, No. 24; 1995, DE Mike Mamula, No. 7) but Williams did not appear to be one of them. The 6-foot-8, 317 pound Georgia alum never played in the NFL again, but he did spend some time in the XFL (Memphis Maniax), AFL (Detroit Fury), and the CFL (BC Lions and Toronto Argonauts) winning the 2004 Grey Cup with Toronto.
The Eagles owe it to Bernard Williams to re-sign him and let him retire an Eagle— Dan McQuade (@dhm) November 17, 2023
Jack, the other player waived on Thursday, finished his seven-year NFL career with 617 tackles, 6.5 sacks, three picks, two forced fumbles, and a touchdown over 103 games played. He played six years for the Jacksonville Jaguars and one year with the Pittsburgh Steelers before signing with the Eagles in the off-season.
As Frank notes at the end of his article, the 51-year old Williams is now eligible to be claimed by any team. Lmaooooooooo.