Earlier this week, the Philadelphia Eagles tendered contracts for three exclusive rights free agents. The trio includes running back Boston Scott, linebacker Alex Singleton, and wide receiver Greg Ward.
Exclusive rights free agents (ERFAs) are players with two or less years of NFL experience with existing contracts that have expired. Unlike restricted or unrestricted free agents, ERFAs can only negotiate with their current teams. Basically, they either sign the contract offered by the Eagles, or they don’t play at all.
The deal involves a league-minimum value which will be crucial for the Eagles’ salary cap issues.
Scott, Singleton, and Ward played pivotal roles during the 2020 season despite the Eagles 4-11-1 record. Though a formality, the tender contracts guarantee that all three will remain on the 2021 roster.
Running back, Boston Scott joined the NFL in 2018 after being drafted to the New Orleans Saints. Despite making the initial roster, he was re-signed to the practice squad. The Philadelphia Eagles picked him up late in the season.
Scott was promoted to the active roster for The Birds as a backup to Miles Sanders. He scored his first NFL touchdown during his second NFL game. Soon after, he became known for his gameplay against the New York Giants.
In his first match-up against the Giants, he played an extensive role with six receptions for 69 yards and ten carries for 59 yards, and one touchdown. Later that season, he rushed for 54 yards, and three touchdowns with four caught passes for 84 yards for a win that sealed a playoff spot.
When the two teams met again in 2020, Scott made the game-winning touchdown on an 18-yard pass from quarterback Carson Wentz, beating the New York Giants 22-21.
In two years with the Eagles, Scott has played in 27 games for 619 rushing yards, 416 receiving yards, and seven total touchdowns.
Linebacker Alex Singleton was signed to the Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, and the Minnesota Vikings throughout 2015. He was released from the Vikings in 2016. Shortly after, he was drafted by the Canadian Football League (CFL), completing a remarkable season.
Singleton finished with 65 defensive tackles, nine special teams tackles, and three forced fumbles. He was named CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player, was named to two CFL All-Star teams, and two CFL West-All-Star teams.
In 2019, he was signed to the Philadelphia Eagles and had a breakout year in 2020 after becoming a starter in Week 6. He finished 2020 with 114 total tackles, ranking 15th in the league even with a shortened season. He had two sacks, one interception, and one touchdown.
The Philadelphia Eagles signed wide receiver Greg Ward as an undrafted free agent in 2017. He bounced on and off the practice squad and was not on the active roster when the Eagles defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.
Ward signed a reserve/future contract shortly after, followed by another release. In 2019, he signed with the San Antonio Commanders of the AAF, playing in eight games.
The Eagles re-signed Ward in April 2019, finally making it to the active roster on September 21 after fellow wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery sustained injuries. He played seven games, finishing with 254 receiving yards, 28 receptions, and one touchdown.
Returning in 2020, Ward was present for the entire regular season totaling 419 receiving yards, 53 receptions, and six touchdowns. Ward finished third behind wide receiver Travis Fulgham and tight end Dallas Goedert in receiving yards.
He may likely end up as the most experienced receiver on the roster going into the 2021 season.
LOOKING AHEAD TO THE 2021 SEASON
All three players who are under the age of 28 years old will contribute to Philadelphia’s rebuild phase under new head coach Nick Sirianni.
The goal now will be to focus on explosive plays and consistency.
Scott, Singleton, and Ward will become restricted free agents in the next offseason.