The Eagles acquired fullback Luke Lawton from the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a conditional draft choice in 2009.
Lawton played in 11 games with the Colts in 2007 as a reserve running back, fullback, and special-teamer. He rushed for 13 yards on five carries, with 29 yards and one touchdown on four receptions.
“I’ve always been a fan of the Eagles,” Lawton said during a conference call today. “They have a good offense for a fullback. I’ve watched their fullbacks in the past and they’ve always seemed to get a few dump-off passes here and there. They are always in there playing. I really like the chance to get in there as an every-down fullback.
“I think I can do well in an offense like that, just because of the fact that 2 years ago the Colts were one of the worst in the NFL on third-and-short, and last year with a fullback we went to No. 1 in the NFL on third-and-one. So, there is still a place in the NFL for a fullback whether people like it or not.”
Lawton will be battling for time at fullback with Jason Davis and Dan Klecko.
“I’m just going to go out there and worry about Luke Lawton and mowing my own grass,” he said. “Don’t worry about anyone else’s yard, make sure mine’s cut. Just try and do my job to the best of my ability and let the chips fall where they may.”
Lawton has played a number of roles on special teams, including as a long snapper.
“I kind of try and diversify some,” he said. “I’m harder to get rid of come cut time.”
Originally signed by Buffalo as an rookie free agent out of McNeese State in 2004, Lawton spent time on the Bills’ and New York Giants’ practice squads during his rookie season. He was also a member of the Jets’ practice squad for most of the 2005 season, but did play in four games on special teams, with two tackles. Lawton spent most of the 2006 season on the Colts’ practice squad.
A three-year starter at McNeese State and a first-team All-America selection at fullback, Lawton totaled 1,114 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns on 246 career carries (4.5 average) during his collegiate career, adding 569 yards and nine touchdowns receiving.
Lawton was a teammate at McNeese of Eagles rookie defensive end Bryan Smith.
“He’s a great player — a better athlete than I ever thought about being,” Lawton said of Smith.
In another move, the Eagles waived injured wide receiver Bill Sampy, who suffered a broken and dislocated left ankle during the first minicamp last month and needed surgery. He spent the last two seasons on the practice squad but his Eagles career was hampered by injuries.