Two UDFAs Land in Top 3 to Wear No. 89
It’s now just under three months (89 days to be exact) until the Eagles open the season in Landover, Md., against the Washington Redskins on Sept. 13.
From now until then, at SI.com EagleMaven will do a jersey countdown, listing the current Eagles player to wear the corresponding number to the days left before the season opener. As a bonus feature, we will list the top three players in team history to have that number.
Current Number 89:
Marcus Green. A fleet receiver from Doug Pederson’s alma mater of Louisiana-Monroe, Green was signed to the Eagles’ practice squad before Week 1 last season after being waived by the Atlanta Falcons, where he was a sixth-round pick in the 2019 draft.
On one hand, Green sticking on the PS for the entire season and then signing a futures deal is a positive sign, but the Eagles have added so many bodies at the position - Jalen Reagor, John Hightower, Quez Watkins, and Marquise Goodwin - that the numbers game will be a difficult one for Green.
Top 3 to wear number 89:
3. Wally Henry. The San Diago native spent six seasons in Philadelphia after coming on as an undrafted free agent out of UCLA, a pipeline Dick Vermeil was obviously very familiar with. Listed as just a 5-foot-8 and 175-pound receiver, Henry’s real impact was as a returner and he was the team’s primary punt and kick returner when he was named to the Pro Bowl after the 1979 season.
2. Calvin Williams. Much like the way the Eagles carpet-bombed WR in the 2020 draft they did the same 30 years earlier when Williams was a fifth-round pick and the third wideout taken that year behind Mike Bellamy (second round) and Fred Barnett (third round).
Barnett, of course, worked out wonderfully for the Eagles but Bellamy did not and Williams was the starter opposite Mike Quick as a rookie coming out of camp, ultimately setting the franchise’s rookie touchdown reception record with nine and being named All-Rookie with 37 receptions for 602 yards.
Williams wasn’t a one-trick pony, either and was a starter for six seasons, leading the team in touchdown receptions again in 1992 and 1993. Overall, the Purdue product finished with 301 career receptions in 93 career games with the Eagles.
1. Chad Lewis. The 6-foot-6 BYU product had two stints with the Eagles first catching on as an undrafted free agent in 1997-98 before a quick sojourn in St. Louis was in between his more productive run of 2000 to 2005 when Lewis developed into a three-time Pro Bowl tight end with Philadelphia.
His top season was 2000 when Lewis snared 69 receptions and was named an All-Pro. He was also a starter for the next three seasons and a part-time one during 2004 before his career wound down due to a serious Lisfranc injury suffered while hauling in what turned out to be the game-clinching TD pass in the 2005 NFC Championship Game over Atlanta.
Mike Ditka. Although Ditka is a Hall of Famer and considered one of the best tight ends in history, most of his work was done with the Chicago Bears. He landed in Philadelphia after six seasons and five Pro Bowl nods with the Bears. Ditka’s stint with the Eagles lasted just two seasons when he started in 12 of 20 games and amassed 39 receptions for 385 yards.
Others: Henry Piro, Tom Miller, Fred Meyer, Ben Agajanian, Robert Krieger, John Green, Bob Oristaglio, Don Luft, John Bredice, Mike Morgan, Steve Zabel, Glen Young, Dave Little, Jay Repko, Dialleo Burks, Ron Leshinski, Ed Smith, Justin Swift, Kaseem Sinceno, Matt Schobel, Martin Rucker, Garrett Mills, B.J. Cunningham.
John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John every Monday and Friday on SIRIUSXM’s Tony Bruno Show with Harry Mayes, and every Tuesday and Thursday with Eytan Shander on SBNation Radio. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen