On Monday, the Eagles announced their six permanent captains for the 2021 season: quarterback Jalen Hurts, center Jason Kelce, defensive end Brandon Graham, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, safety Rodney McLeod, and linebacker Alex Singleton.
The number of captains is down from last year, as the Eagles trotted out eight total captains in 2020.
All Eagles captains have patches on their jerseys that don the letter “C,” with five stars underneath them.
If you’ve seen the Eagles’ captain patches and noticed that some of the stars are colored and some aren’t, there’s a reason for that. A gold star stands for one year a player has been captain.
So, three gold stars (as seen above) means a player has been named captain for three straight years.
With those details cleared up, let’s go over some of the newly-chosen leaders of the Birds:
QB Jalen Hurts
Over the summer, many reports came out stating how Eagles players were impressed by Jalen Hurts, both as a player and as a leader. Those reports clearly weren’t over exaggerated.
As a first-time captain and starting quarterback, Hurts will be looked at as the leader of the Eagles. Having the support of his teammates will go a long way as he attempts to cement the status of the team’s newest franchise star.
DT Fletcher Cox
This will be Cox’s fourth year as a permanent captain, tied for the most on the team. It’s a well-deserved honor for the most decorated player on defense.
This season, Cox will be looking to reach his seventh Pro-Bowl while building on his 6.5 sacks last year.
DE Brandon Graham
It’s almost crazy to think that Graham was considered a bust by many at one point. The 33-year old is now fourth all-time in sacks for the Eagles with 59, and he’s shown no signs of slowing down.
This will be Graham’s third year as a permanent captain. Graham has expressed a desire to retire in Philadelphia, so more captain selections could very well be on the way in the future.
C Jason Kelce
Like Cox, Kelce has been named a permanent captain for the fourth time. Kelce has long been one of the most vocal leaders in the locker room. Additionally, his ability to anchor the offensive line is unmatched. His selection was a no-brainer.
S Rodney McLeod
McLeod has delivered the Eagles with solid play during his first five years in Philadelphia, and his efforts have been rewarded with a second-straight captain selection. With many of the Eagles’ safeties still young, McLeod will continue to act as a mentor.
LB Alex Singleton
Alex Singleton’s story continues to get better every year. A former CFL star, Singleton’s perserverance helped him to crack the Eagles’ roster back in 2019. The linebacker has climbed up the depth chart since then, and ended last year as Philadelphia’s leader in tackles with 120.
Clearly, Singleton has portrayed numerous leadership qualities on his road to the NFL. It’s fitting that he has achieved the status of a first-time captain.