The first time I signed with the eagles, they chose me.
I was only a 23-year-old boy from Austin, Texas.
This is funny, because, bringing the project in 2012 – Philly was the team that showed me the most attention from a mile. And after meeting with Andy, Doug, Howie and everyone else ……. I really wanted to play for them. But I sincerely thought it was more like smoke or something. Actually, I did not think they would prepare me.
Of course, even when the day of the project came, they called it: the third round, the 88th overall. My phone started vibrating and I will never forget it ̵
"Nick, this is Andy Reed." I was on the flight the following morning. The second time I signed with the eagles, I chose them.
I was a 28-year-old free agent and I had some good opportunities. Some interesting offers. But the truth is that after they showed interest … … it would always be Philly.
The reason I signed up was not football in the end. Tory and I expected our first child, our daughter, Lily. And as much as I admire the eagles as a franchise … Love Philadelphia as a city.
I realized this was a lot more than the decision of X and O. It was a decision about the city where she would spend her first years with her daughter and remember her first memories and call her in her hometown.
And there's something about it … but my heart told me Philly.
I'm sure part of it will always be.
James Lang / USA TODAY Sports
Before moving on to the next chapter of my career, I want to thank you to some of the people who have helped make this last chapter so special.
I want to thank Andy Reed and everyone else who played a part in preparing and developing me first, even then.
I want to thank the entire organization of the Eagles – and when I say all, I want to say it sincerely. From Mr. Lurie, to Howie Rosemann, to Coach Pedersen and all the others who were so able to return me for a second round and make it successful …. but also for our trainers; our video team; the staff of our equipment; our staff; Home, our head of security; our porters; our media relations team; our masseurs; our chefs; our sports and scientific equipment …. I'm talking about everyone and everyone who makes it so special every day to get to work and put the midnight green. (I even want to thank Chip Kelly for trading me in 2015. Without this challenge in my life, I would not be the player I am today.)
I want to thank my teammates. It was a joy to play this game with each of you – and there is nothing to compare with gameday with all of you. The sideline, the collection, the dressing room … all of this. I will love these moments
Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty Images
Finally, but not least, I want to thank the Philadelphia city and the Eagles fans everywhere.
Because it's a great honor to play for this team and this city … … the real privilege is over the last year since we won Super Bowl – as the Eagles fans share their stories with me . To remind me how we just did not win Super Bowl; we won the first Super Bowl of the Eagles . To hear from locals how their father, the father of the father or mother or the mother of the mother, wept with tears of happiness after the game. To learn how for most people rooting for eagles is more than a solution – it's a birthday.
Philadelphia, thank you for welcoming me into yours.
You will forever be part of mine.