Eagles discussing visit with White House, but reportedly haven't committed yet

After winning Super Bowl LI, the New England Patriots visited the White House on April 19 of last year. As of Monday, April 23, it's still not clear when or if the Philadelphia Eagles will make their trip to the White House to celebrate their victory in Super Bowl LII back in February.

On Monday, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that the Eagles still haven't committed to making the customary trek to the nation's capitol. They're still discussing the matter.

Per The New York Times' Ken Belson and Michael D. Shear, both the White House and the Eagles acknowledged that they've been in communication with each other regarding a potential visit.

"We have been in conversations with the Eagles about timing and are working with them to make it happen," Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said. "We hope to have something finalized in the next couple of weeks."

"We have been in contact with White House representatives and are currently discussing the logistics of an upcoming visit to Washington," a spokesman for the Eagles said. "We are honored to receive this invitation and view this not only as an opportunity to be recognized for our on-field accomplishments, but also as an opportunity to engage in productive dialogue with the leaders of our country."

If the Eagles choose to skip the visit, they won't be the first. After the Golden State Warriors won the NBA championship last season, they had their invitation rescinded by Donald Trump after he saw that they were hesitating to decide if they would accept an invitation. So, in that sense, it is somewhat surprising to hear that the Eagles and the White House are at least discussing a potential visit considering just how many players on the Eagles' Super Bowl roster have indicated they'd pass on a White House trip.

Defensive end Chris Long, who played on the Patriots two seasons ago and skipped their White House visit, made it clear that he will not go this year. Running back LeGarrette Blount, who has since joined the Lions, also played for the Patriots in 2016 and skipped the White House trip because he didn't "feel welcome in that house." Safety Malcolm Jenkins has said that he will not attend a White House visit, in addition to criticizing Trump. Receiver Torrey Smith, who's now with the Panthers, said that his decision to not attend "goes beyond politics ... I don't think he is a good person." As a team, the Eagles participated in the widespread protests during the national anthem last season after Trump called for teams to release players who kneel during the national anthem. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie donated $2,700 to a group supporting Hillary Clinton before the 2016 election. According to The New York Times, Lurie called the Trump presidency "disastrous" during a private NFL meeting in October. 

So if the Eagles do go to the White House, the nature of the visit could be a significant departure from the Patriots' visit a year ago. Patriots owner Robert Kraft considers Trump to be a good friend while coach Bill Belichick supported Trump during the election.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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