Back on March 16, the Eagles announced that they were not going to tender running back Corey Clement and allow him to become a free agent.
At the time, it looked like Clement, who went from undrafted free agent to Super Bowl hero in a matter of months, was headed elsewhere.
But Clement had no intention on having his departure from the team he grew up cheering for being a permanent one. To him, it was more of a goodbye-for-now-type of situation. When his agent approached him about where he would like to continue his professional career, Clement had only one wish: to once again don midnight green.
"Make sure this happens," Clement told his agent.
Once the Eagles opted not to select a running back in the 2020 NFL Draft, it opened the door for Clement get his wish. On Wednesday, it happened — Clement and the Eagles agreed to terms on a one-year contract, meaning that Clement will be, as he called it, about that "Bird Gang" life for at least one more season.
"This team means a lot to me," Clement told reporters Thursday. "When I first found out the news that they weren't going to tender me, I took it to heart a little bit because Philly is home to me. I love the city with everything. If I could bleed green, I would."
"But it comes to a time when it's a business, I understand. Now I can only look forward because I'm back being an Eagle, my head is held high, and I'm ready to get going," he added.
Clement sported a smile from ear to ear when talking about his return to the Eagles on Thursday, as the organization is special to him for a number of reasons. Giving him his first chance in professional football and winning a Super Bowl are near the top of the list, but too are the people who make up the organization.
Among those people is assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley, who Clement spoke of with great reverence Thursday.
"To be honest, I just love what Duce Staley brings to that offensive room, the running back room," Clement said. "I can put my last cent on it that ... that the room is just untouched when it comes to the grind, the awareness, the attention to detail. Just the everyday grind when it comes to Duce Staley, man."
"That guy acts like he's playing the game and that's what I want as a coach," he added.
Although Clement has nothing but good things about his return, he recognizes the reality of what is to come, which is having to finding his way in a running back room that includes a budding star in Miles Sanders and another improbable story in Boston Scott, the latter of which flourished in Clement's absence in 2019.
Clement may have been a Super Bowl hero once upon a time, but injuries have derailed his last two seasons. In 2018, it was a knee injury. In 2019, it was his shoulder. Because of this, nothing is promised for Clement in 2020. He is well aware of this and is approaching this opportunity with the Eagles as if it is his last.
It starts with availability, and Clement has taken extra measures to make sure he will be on the field throughout the 2020 season. Whether it is improving his diet or his workouts, Clement is putting it all on the line in 2020.
"I knew I had a lot left in the tank when it comes down to the 'Bird Gang' life," Clement said. "I want to be here. I want to retire here one day."