Jalen Carter has been in the news a lot lately. He’s the consensus top prospect in this month’s NFL draft, but could fall down the board due to his connection to a car accident that killed a UGA teammate and staffer in January.

If you’re not familiar with the story, police say Carter was racing the vehicle that ended up crashing. Earlier this month, he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing, and ended up receiving 12 months of probation, a $1,000 fine, and 80 hours of community service.

There are other lingering reports of “character issues” with Carter, which are somewhat nebulous and floating around social media. There’s been little on-record reporting on that topic, but the Eagles were Carter’s first NFL pre-draft visit and the Birds sit there at pick #10, which puts the defensive tackle in play should he slide down the board.

Naturally, that might worry some fans, who don’t want a “problematic” player on their team, but we should all feel confident that the Eagles will get this right, because they do a ton of background research and place a lot of value in due diligence.

To that point, when’s the last time the Birds had a big problem with a player? You could say they perhaps misjudged Carson Wentz from a leadership and personality perspective, but outside of the Josh Sills situation, there’s been very little on the legal/criminal front. Kyle and I were talking about this on Crossing Broadcast, and we came up with the following:

  • 2023 – Josh Sills indictment
  • 2020 – DeSean Jackson Louis Farrakhan-gate
  • 2018 – Daryl Worley released after arrest for DUI, firearm possession, etc
  • 2018 – Nigel Bradham suspended one game for punching a hotel worker
  • 2016 – Josh Huff released following arrest on marijuana and gun possession
  • 2016 – Lane Johnson second PED suspension
  • 2014 – Lane Johnson first PED suspension
  • 2014 – Mychal Kendricks insider trading
  • 2013 – Riley Cooper N word extravaganza
  • 2009 – Vick signs with Eagles

Let me know if we missed any, and I’ll update the list, which can be plastered with caveats. Kendricks, for instance, was no longer with the Eagles when the insider trading charges were filed. Johnson said he was unaware he had taken a banned substance, Worley was released during training camp, and Huff wasn’t a big part of the team to begin with. Vick had already served a jail sentence and Sills is a reserve who only played four snaps last season.

The bottom line is that the Eagles have had what, two incidents to speak of since 2018? It’s the DeSean Jacccson Farrakhan story and the Sills indictment, which has yet to be settled in court. They didn’t sign any wife beaters or make any controversial high draft picks or stock up on free agent criminals in that time frame. They didn’t go out and bring in a Pacman Jones or a Kareem Hunt or a Deshaun Watson. They’ve had one player suspended for a grand total of one game over the last five seasons. And when an issue does pop up, those players are typically released or the PR team is out in front with the appropriate action. We can certainly argue about how they handled the Riley Cooper situation, but the point I’m trying to make is that the Eagles typically do a good job at avoiding disasters and they run the franchise “the right way.” They’re not shrugging off character issues like other teams. They’re not turning a blind eye.

I don’t think there’s any NFL team that has a 100% track record of getting every move right, or bringing in nothing but choir boys, but the Birds have largely averted controversial stuff over the years. They haven’t done much in this regard to turn fans against them. They do take this stuff seriously, and when it comes to Jalen Carter, they’ll exercise due diligence before drafting him, if he does fall to #10. They might not get it right, but they won’t just brush aside the concerns.

Plus, Big Dom is a good judge of character. Can’t go wrong with this guy behind the scenes: