Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Philadelphia Eagles Top 10 Free Agent Signings—No. 5

Part 6 of 10

No. 5 Ricky Watters

After choosing to allow Herschel Walker to walk after the 1994 season, the Eagles gambled by signing the outspoken Ricky Watters when he could not come to terms with the San Francisco 49ers. Waters had his controversies during his Philadelphia tenure, but was highly productive over those three seasons.

The talented running back was a workhorse running the ball and a threat in the passing game. During his stay in Philadelphia, Watters posted some of the best rushing and total yards from scrimmage numbers in team history.

In 1995, he rushed for 1,273 yards on his way to 1,707 yards from scrimmage and 12 visits to the end zone. He improved upon those numbers the following season by rushing for 1,411 yards, accumulating 1,855 yards from scrimmage and scoring a team-leading 13 touchdowns.

Watters contributed another fine season in 1997, but began to wear out his welcome by clashing with offensive coordinator Jon Gruden and building his reputation as a "me first" player. Fairly or unfairly, an incident that season became permanently attached to his reputation when he failed to extend his arms to catch an important pass to avoid getting hit by defenders in an exposed position.

Later when questioned about it, Watters made his infamous response "for who, for what?" This situation pretty much assured his exit at the end of the season.

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