Eagles WR John Ross Addresses 2023 Retirement Decision

John Ross retired less than one year ago, but his comeback attempt resulted in an Eagles deal last week. The former top-10 pick recently spoke about the regret he felt following his decision to hang up his cleats.

Ross admitted he immediately considered the retirement call a mistake when speaking to the media as Philadelphia’s newest receiver. Veteran DeVante Parker decided to end his career, a move which opened up a roster spot for Ross. The latter worked out for the Eagles before signing to their offseason roster.

“You look at it like this,” Ross said (via Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia). “In my situation, I was a top-10 draft pick and we all talk about it all the time. ‘If we ever get to the point where we have to try out, then we’ll be done.’ But then you get to that point and you don’t have no other choice. When I go the opportunity, I was probably the happiest person on Earth.”

In many cases, veterans who land deals last in the offseason are unable to survive roster cutdowns at the end of the summer. Ross will face a steep challenge in Philadelphia to carve out an offense role considering the team’s wide receiver depth chart. A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith (both of whom are attached to new, lucrative deals) are set to remain focal points of the Eagles’ passing game for 2024 and many years beyond that.

Ross – whose draft stock was boosted by a then-record in the 40-yard dash – struggled to establish himself as a consistent option on offense with the Bengals from 2017-20. Injuries kept him sidelined for stretches during that time, and he managed just 11 catches with the Giants in 2021. The 28-year-old did not play the following year, so his retirement decision appeared to mark an underwhelming end to his career. If he can catch on with the Eagles in 2024, though, he will have the opportunity to continue in the NFL.

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