Former CFL star Alex Singleton named Eagles captain, enters 2021 NFL season as leader for Philadelphia

Photo courtesy: Philadelphia Eagles

Former star CFL linebacker Alex Singleton has been named one of six captains for the Philadelphia Eagles to start the 2021 NFL season.

It’s a marked difference for Singleton entering his third year with the birds after working hard to standout and just make the roster in 2019 and 2020.

“For so long in my career, it’s been trying to fight for a spot. Every year you have doubt in the back of your head, you never really know when you’re in training camp,” Singleton said.

“I didn’t know if I was going to be here Week 1 last year. The role is bigger this year, I know I’ll be playing defence and that’s something I’m proud of.”

The 27-year-old Singleton played 16 games, starting 11, last season for the Eagles. He recorded a team-leading 114 total tackles, two sacks, recovered two fumbles, defended one pass and intercepted one pass which he returned for a touchdown.

Singleton signed a one-year exclusive rights free agent contract in March worth $850,000 plus performance incentives. He’s made over $1 million in the NFL so far and could be in line for a major pay increase with another productive season in the months ahead.

“It’s good to have him out there,” first-year head coach Nick Sirianni said. “I feel his experience, I feel his play-making ability.”

Sirianni has quickly become a fan of Singleton while trying to lead a resurgent Eagles season. Last year the birds finished last in the NFC East with a 4-11-1 record. The new regime is hoping to produce a winning record and Singleton will be vital to the efforts in defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s scheme.

“I love the defence that we’re going to be running. I’m preparing and finally excited to be in a game week,” Singleton said.

Philadelphia starts the season against Atlanta in Week 1. The Falcons have a new head coach in Arthur Smith and are trying to rebound from the worst record in the NFC at 4-12 last season. Matt Ryan remains the starting quarterback, face of the franchise and leader of the offence.

“He’s a special quarterback. He was minutes away from winning a Super Bowl against the Patriots. He’s a wining quarterback, that’s why he’s been there for so long,” Singleton said.

Even though Philadelphia is a long shot to win Super Bowl 56, Singleton remains confident the Eagles will be a competitive team and “surprise a lot of people” this year. The six-foot-two, 240-pound Singleton is ready to prove his words are true and walk the talk on the field.

“We get to be a whole new team, no one knows who we’re going to be,” Singleton said. “Us in this building, we know who we’re going to be and we’re excited to show everybody.”

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.