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Examining the roster ties between Patriots, Eagles with joint practices set for August

Four former Eagles currently reside on the Patriots’ 90-man roster.

Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

When the New England Patriots visit the Philadelphia Eagles later this summer for a pair of joint practices, as announced Tuesday, it will mark a revisit for some.

And not only for recent Alabama products ranging from quarterbacks Mac Jones and Jalen Hurts to running back Damien Harris, wide receiver DeVonta Smith, center Ross Pierschbacher, defensive tackle Christian Barmore and linebacker Anfernee Jennings.

New England’s roster currently includes four former Eagles. Philadelphia’s roster, on the other hand, includes one former Patriot.

Here’s a glance through those NFL connections leading up to the Aug. 16-17 sessions and the 7:30 p.m. ET preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field on Aug. 19.

PHILADELPHIA

Alex Singleton, linebacker — Singleton spent one week on the Patriots’ practice squad as an undrafted rookie in September 2015. The Montana State alum would also have stints with the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings before being drafted No. 6 overall by the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders. He’d go on to win the Grey Cup, twice be named a CFL All-Star and secure the 2017 Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award. Singleton then signed a futures contract with the Eagles in January 2019. The 27-year-old has appeared in 26 games, including 11 starts, since then. His Eagles stay spans 125 tackles to go with two sacks, two fumble recoveries and an interception returned for a touchdown.

NEW ENGLAND

Nelson Agholor, wide receiver — Philadelphia turned to Agholor in the first round of the 2015 draft at No. 20 overall. The wideout out of USC proceeded to play in 71 games and log 62 starts as an Eagle. Agholor tallied 224 catches for 2,515 yards and 18 touchdowns, earning a Super Bowl LII ring against the Patriots along the way. He departed for the Las Vegas Raiders on a one-year pact in 2020, and tied his career high with eight touchdowns while setting new highs with 896 receiving yards and 18.7 yards per reception. A two-year, $26 million agreement with New England followed for Agholor, now 28, in March.

Devin Ross, wide receiver — Ross landed with the Eagles in May 2019 after entering the league the previous spring as an undrafted free agent with the Tennessee Titans. The ex-Colorado target would be waived by Philadelphia with the non-football injury designation before training camp commenced that July. Ross now begins his second tour with the Patriots, having re-signed in June after participating in mandatory minicamp on a tryout basis. The 25-year-old originally signed to New England’s practice squad in October 2019 and remained in the fold through October 2020 on the scout team.

Akeem Spence, defensive tackle — Since arriving out of Illinois in the 2013 NFL draft, Spence has made stops with six clubs. The defensive tackle’s stop in Philadelphia stretched six games and seven tackles in the fall of 2019 before his release. After finishing that season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Spence joined New England’s practice squad midway through 2020. He signed to the 53-man roster in December after serving as a standard elevation. The 29-year-old Spence would see 104 snaps along the Patriots’ D-line across six contests, posting nine tackles.

Jalen Mills, defensive back — Mills appeared in 63 games and made 49 starts in the regular season during his Eagles career. Between his work at cornerback and safety, the 2016 seventh-round draft choice out of LSU recorded 283 tackles, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble and five interceptions. New England signed Mills, also a Super Bowl LII champion, to a four-year, $24 million deal as free agency got underway. The 27-year-old started each of his 15 games for the Philadelphia secondary last campaign.