Justin Fargas is tired of losing.
Fargas, the 30-year-old free agent running back, spoke to reporters during his visit to the NovaCare Complex and said that after spending his entire career with the Oakland Raiders, he's anxious to play for a contender.
"I had seven tough years in Oakland and I want to compete for a championship and that's the expectation here of this organization and that's the expectations of the fans here," said Fargas, who has never won more than five games in a season. "I want to be part of a winner.
"It's good to go see other organizations because I've only been a part of one for seven years. So it's good to see what else is out there and as far as the Philadelphia Eagles, I recognize that this is definitely a first-class organization from the staff, the players, the coaches, the facilities. Everything's really nice here."
Fargas was scheduled to be a restricted free agent in Oakland this season, but he was released days before he was reportedly due a $1.7 million roster bonus. The Raiders indicated that Fargas failed a physical, but Fargas says that is a misunderstanding, resulting from a bruised knee he suffered late in the 2009 season.
"I missed some time at the end of the season, the last two games," he said. "I was questionable for the last one, they held me out and from there the exit physical, I didn't pass that because I missed the last game. But I went for a re-check up in Oakland and they said I was fine and clear and when they released me I was told that it was strictly about money and that's where it stands."
Fargas arrived at the NovaCare Complex early this morning, toured the premises with head coach Andy Reid, spoke to a number of other coaches, and underwent a physical. He says he's been impressed with what he's seen.
"One, it's a great city," he said. "The city has a lot to offer. From what I know and understand, the fans are the greatest, very supportive of the team. Expectations are high, as they should be, because Philly's a known winner and always a contender.
Fargas said that he's already visited with the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns and he has more visits scheduled, but he's willing to work something out with the Eagles.
"I've been on a lot of planes in the last few days and that can wear on you a little bit," he said. "It's going to be tough to walk away from this situation after seeing different teams and being here and seeing how things are run here, it's a special place. Hopefully it'll work out."
Fargas also allayed concerns that he's heading for the physical decline that seems to beset every running back that hits the age of 30, though Fargas has rarely ever been a full-time ball carrier.
"I definitely have a lot of football left in me," he said. "I feel re-energized by this new opportunity for me. Like I said, my chapter in Oakland closed but at the same time it's given me new life in my career. I'm ready to have my best season ever and just make the most of my opportunity."
So the question then becomes how well would Fargas fit in with the rest of the Eagles roster? The former USC standout - he was college teammates with Mike Patterson and Winston Justice and has been in contact with Patterson - is a punishing runner who said he doesn't "really know how to play any other way but full speed and with all-out effort."
"From what I understand, they're excited about the possibility for me to be an Eagle," he said. "They feel like my style of play can fit in well here. Just knowing it's a tough city and a tough team and I consider myself a tough running back so it should be a good fit.
"I think with some of my experience and things I think (LeSean McCoy and I) can complement each other and I can help out in any way I can just with my experience and leading by example by the way that I work and approach the game. A chance to play with a Pro Bowl fullback in Weaver, as a tailback you have to be excited about that. Great offensive line, which should add to production, so it just seems like a great opportunity."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 2:37 p.m., March 12