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The Story On Newest Eagle John Moffitt

Posted Jun 29, 2015

John Moffitt's story is one that involves a whole lot more than playing in the NFL, and how it all comes together -- the many pieces -- will determine how far he goes in his quest to help the Eagles in 2015 ...

John Moffitt's story is one that involves a whole lot more than playing in the NFL, and how it all comes together -- the many pieces -- will determine how far he goes in his quest to help the Eagles in 2015.

Moffitt will meet the media at a later time and will discuss his journey -- from third-round draft pick to NFL starter to retired and now back in the league -- that includes off-the-field challenges that clearly the Eagles are convinced Moffitt has beaten.

Does he help this season? Moffitt started 15 games with Seatle from 2011-2012. He was traded to Denver and played two games in 2013. And he hasn't played since he announced his retirement in November of 2013.

"I just really thought about it and decided I'm not happy. I'm not happy at all," Moffitt told The Associated Press at the time. "And I think it's really madness to risk your body, risk your well-being and risk your happiness for money.

"Everybody, they just don't get it and they think it's crazy. But I think what I was doing is crazy."

Moffitt had more to say when he retired, and it's strong stuff. How Moffitt has had a change of heart and mind, and the path he's taken to get here will be interesting to hear from Moffitt. What we know is that he's had off-the-field problems to beat and that he convinced the Eagles to sign him to a contract.

In a sense, Moffitt is "just a guy" who has a chance to win a job on a 53-man roster. Nothing more, nothing less. Except that the Eagles have new faces at the guard positions so the chatter from the outside is of concern about the offensive line because of those new faces. Jeff Stoutland, an offensive line coach who has always been fantastic coaching what he has in his room, spoke confidently during the spring about guard candidates like Allen Barbre, Matt Tobin, Andrew Gardner. He likes Kevin Graf and Dennis Kelly. He likes all of his guys.

And so Moffitt adds to the competition. He was a third-round draft pick from Wisconsin in 2011. His ESPN draft profile: "Moffitt almost always finds a way to get the job done. His footwork is sound, he gets into position and he walls off defenders well enough to create seams. He doesn't have great athleticism and his technique is suspect at times in pass pro; more often than not, he stays in front long enough for the quarterback to get the ball out. He made strides in terms of competitiveness as a senior."

Nine starts for Seattle as a rookie and then he suffered a season-ending knee iinjury and was suspended during that time for violating the NFL's policy on a performance-enhancing substances. Moffitt got in six starts for Seattle in 2012 but was reportedly involved in some off-the-field issues. His time in Seattle was winding down.

Soon, after a trade to Denver and a near-trade to Cleveland, Moffitt walked away from the game.

The New York Times wrote a fascinating profile on Moffitt last November. From then until now, Moffitt has done an about-face on what he wants in his professional life.

Now Moffitt has another chance. One of the people who saw Moffitt's dedication to his football return was Jay Glazer, the FOX scoop master who also trains athletes, and who worked Moffitt to the core and came away convinced Moffitt was ready to again make the committment and have the skill level apparent to make it in the NFL.

"I have never been so proud of a guy I've trained than I am of John Moffitt," Glazer wrote on Twitter when Moffitt announced he was un-retiring. "Retired two years ago (because) he knew he had drug issues, took time to go to rehab, clean up his life, beat his demons and he has taken his life back! Guy inspires us every day. He came to me three months ago at (Glazer's gym) Unbreakable to train to take his career back. He's become the favorite of every player in our gym. He officially un-retired today. Free agent starting guard. So proud of him to get here."

Those are the pieces of the Moffitt puzzle that I know. He has a lot to learn in a very short period of time. He hasn't played since 2013. Chip Kelly's Training Camp is work, man, really hard work. Conditioning must be at a premium. Moffitt is, truly, "just a guy" trying to win a job. There is a lot more to his story, of course, but from a football standpoint, that's the truth of the matter.

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