New Eagles safety Andrew Sendejo knows a thing or two about adversity. That's why he's admired what the Eagles have accomplished over the past two seasons.
"One of the things I love most about this team, this organization, is just they're winners," Sendejo said shortly after officially signing his contract on Thursday at the NovaCare Complex. "Even in the last two years, going through some adversity, guys are able to find a way to figure it out and still win some ballgames."
Two seasons ago, the Eagles overcame a slew of injuries to beat Sendejo's Vikings in the playoffs on the way to the franchise's first Super Bowl crown. In 2018, Philadelphia rallied once again down the stretch to make the postseason and reach the Divisional Round.
Sendejo wasn't drafted out of Rice in 2010. He participated in Tampa Bay's rookie camp and had a tryout with New Orleans, but that's it. No other interest. Sendejo signed with the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the now-defunct United Football League where he was coached by Dennis Green.
"Coach Green taught me how to be a pro," Sendejo said of the former Vikings and Cardinals head coach. "It was a great stepping stone. Thankfully, it was around when I was going through this process because who knows where I would actually be at."
Sendejo parlayed that opportunity into a role with the Dallas Cowboys as he coincidentally made his NFL debut against the Eagles late in that 2010 season. After a short stint with the Jets the following year, Sendejo found a home with the Vikings.
Now entering his 10th NFL season, Sendejo has played in 13 games or more each year from 2012-17. He accumulated at least 97 tackles three times, including 2013 when he posted a career-best 104 tackles and started 10 games. He was in the starting lineup for every contest he played from 2015 through this past season.
"Not to be too cliché, but never giving up,” Sendejo said of his secret to surviving in the NFL. “My mindset is I know I can play in this league, so that's what kept me going through the years, that whole journey until I finally landed in Minnesota. Just kind of never being satisfied with making the team and then becoming a special teams guy and then you want to be a starter and from there working your way up and obviously winning a Super Bowl."
That's the one thing missing from Sendejo's résumé. 2017 provided him with his best chance, but the Eagles steamrolled Minnesota 38-7 to claim the NFC title.
"It was tough. It was definitely tough," he said. "Haven't had a lot of good experiences being on the other side, so I'm thankful to be on the good side of that now. I just want to help out wherever I can to help us win another championship."