Philadelphia Eagles

As CJGJ returns, a look at 25 other players who had multiple Eagles stints

NBC Universal, Inc.

With C.J. Gardner-Johnson returning to the Eagles after a year with the Lions, we started thinking about other players in Eagles history who’ve left, played for another team and come back to Philly.

We thought about a list of 10, and it quickly got to 20 and we finally cut it off at 25.

One rule: It’s not enough for guys to get released and return. To be eligible for this list, they must have spent some time with another team, either in practice or in a game. So Eagles -> Other team -> Eagles.

Some of these guys were stars. Some you might barely remember. But they all had two stints with the Eagles. Just like CJGJ.

Note to Brett Toth fans: Sorry. He can be first alternate.

Jason Babin: Didn’t do much in his initial stay with the Eagles in 2009, recording 2 ½ sacks in 12 games, but after a year with the Titans returned in 2011 and recorded 18 sacks and made the Pro Bowl. Was released midway through the 2012 season.

Shawn Barber: Started 16 games at linebacker in 2002 (two interceptions, one sack, three forced fumbles), and after three years with the Chiefs returned as a backup in 2006.

Kenjon Barner: Spent 2015 and 2016 with Eagles, mainly as a returner, then spent training camp 2017 with the Chargers. Was released and returned to the Eagles and was returner and backup running back on Super Bowl champions.

Derek Burgess: Eagles’ 3rd-round pick in 2001 left after 2004 season, made Pro Bowls for the Raiders in 2005 and 2006, and returned in 2010, playing in one game, the final game of his career.

Irv Cross: Spent first five seasons with the Eagles, making Pro Bowl in 1964 and 1965. Was with Rams from 1966 through 1968 before returning to Eagles as a starter in 1969 before retiring and becoming first African-American sports analyst on national TV.

Vinny Curry: Eagles’ 2nd-round pick in 2012, had 22 sacks through 2017 before signing with Bucs. After one year in Tampa, returned in 2019 and had eight more sacks over two seasons.

Hugh Douglas: In first go-round with Eagles from 1998 through 2002, Douglas had 51 ½ sacks in just 66 games and made three Pro Bowls. Played in Jacksonville in 2003, returned for final NFL season with Eagles in 2004.

A.J. Feeley: Eagles’ 5th-round pick in 2001, went 4-1 in five late-season starts to help Eagles reach playoffs while Donovan McNabb was hurt. Had stints with Dolphins and Chargers before returning to Philly from 2006 through 2008. 

Nick Foles: Eagles’ 3rd-round pick in 2012 had a historic 2013 season with 27 touchdowns, two interceptions, seven TDs vs. the Raiders and a 119.2 passer rating. After single seasons with the Rams and Chiefs, returned to Eagles in 2017, replaced injured Carson Wentz, led Eagles to Super Bowl LII win and was named MVP. Has been with Jaguars, Bears and Colts since.

William Frizzell: Steady safety started 68 games from 1986 through 1990. After 1991 with the Bucs, returned as a backup and special teamer, finishing his career with Eagles in 1992 and 1993.

Jeff Garcia: Went 5-1 with a playoff win after McNabb got hurt in 2006. Spent next two years with the Bucs, then finished 16-year career (including five years in CFL) with the Eagles in 2009, playing one game without throwing a pass.

Jerome Harrison: Averaged 6.0 yards on 40 carries for Eagles in 2010 after mid-season trade from the Browns. Began 2011 with Lions but was traded back to Eagles in October for Ronnie Brown. Trade was voided when physicians discovered that Harrison had a brain tumor that required surgery. Never played football again. Brown’s rights reverted to the Eagles.

Wes Hopkins: After 12 seasons with the Eagles – 29 interceptions, 125 starts, 12 sacks and one Pro Bowl – Hopkins was released at the end of training camp in 1993. The Chiefs signed him and he had an interception off Drew Bledsoe five days later in a preseason game. The Chiefs then released him and the Eagles brought him back for one final season in an Eagles uniform.

Jordan Howard: Eagles acquired Howard from the Bears before the 2019 season, and he ran for 525 yards and a 4.4 average with six TDs in 10 games. Howard signed with the Dolphins that offseason but averaged only 1.2 yards on 28 carries and was released. He rejoined the Eagles and spent the rest of 2020 and all of 2021 with the Eagles, averaging 4.7 yards per carry.

DeSean Jackson: In first six seasons, averaged 1,020 yards per season and 17.2 yards per catch with 32 receiving TDs and four more as a punt returner, and made three Pro Bowls. After three years in Washington and two in Tampa – and two more 1,000-yard seasons – returned here in 2019 and 2020 but was limited to just eight games, with 23 catches for 395 yards and three TDs. Third in franchise history with 6,512 receiving yards.

Kenny Jackson: Fourth pick in 1984 draft averaged 23 catches for 413 yards with 11 TDs in initial six-year stint with the Eagles. Spent 1989 with the Oilers, returning to Philly in 1990. Caught five passes for 72 yards in 32 games in second stint. Averaged 23 yards in 93 games as an Eagle.

N.D. Kalu: Eagles’ 5th-round pick in 1997 played only three games as a rookie. Spent next three seasons with Washington, was back with Eagles from 2001 through 2005, picking up 18 ½ sacks in 61 games. Finished career with three seasons in Houston.

Sean Landeta: One of the great punters of all-time, Landeta was already 15 years into his career when he joined the Eagles in 1999. Spent four years here and then two years with the Rams before rejoining the Eagles late in 2005 after Dirk Johnson got hurt. In his 21st NFL season and 24th pro season including his three years with the USFL Stars, Landeta had his highest lifetime net average (38.2) in his final season at 43 years old.

Dorsey Levens: After eight years and one Super Bowl ring with the Packers, Levens signed with the Eagles to back up Duce Staley in 2002 and had 411 yards with a 5.5 average. Played for the Giants in 2003, then came back to Philly in 2004 and rushed for 410 yards backing up Brian Westbrook. His 4.9 average is 3rd-highest in Eagles history among running backs.

Chad Lewis: Began career as an undrafted rookie backup tight end with the Eagles in 1997. Was released midway through 1998 and signed with the Rams. After they cut him, he came back to Philly, played six years, caught over 200 passes – and two TDs in 2004 NFC Championship Game - and made two Pro Bowls.

Jordan Matthews: Eagles’ 2nd-round pick in 2014 caught 224 passes for 2,673 and 19 TDs in three seasons. Traded to Bills before 2017 season for Ronald Darby. Returned to Eagles in 2018 and caught TD in postseason loss to Saints. Began 2019 with 49ers before returning to Philly for a third stint. 

Hank Baskett: Undrafted receiver began career with Eagles in 2006 and caught 71 passes for 1,046 yards in three seasons, with TD catches of 87, 89 and 90 yards. Played for the Vikings in 2009 and returned to Eagles in 2010 but didn’t catch a pass in two games.

Josiah Scott: The Eagles acquired Scott from the Jaguars in 2021, and he played 29 games here in 2021 and 2022 but was released in the summer of 2023. Signed with the Steelers and was on Pittsburgh’s practice squad before the Eagles brought him back in October. They released him later in the season and he’s now back in Pittsburgh.

Jeremiah Trotter: Trott had three stints with the Eagles – 1998 through 2001, 2004 through 2006 and again in 2009. Made two Pro Bowls in each of first two stays here and was a 1st-team all-pro in 2000. 

Julian Vandervelde: In between getting released by the Eagles eight times between 2011 and 2015, Vandervelde spent some time with the Buccaneers – and got released two more times. In all, he played 18 games with the Eagles, almost all on special teams.

Subscribe to Eagle Eye anywhere you get your podcasts: 
Apple Podcasts | YouTube Music | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | RSSWatch on YouTube

Contact Us