Jay Ajayi returns to Philadelphia as professional MLS gamer — is he done with football?

Jay Ajayi isn’t done with Philadelphia pro sports.

The former Eagles running back signed with Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union in a deal announced on Tuesday.

But he won’t be playing winger for the Union. He’ll be playing video games. He’s joining the team as an eMLS esports pro gamer playing FIFA for the 2020 season.

He’ll compete with 24 other pro gamers representing MLS clubs for the Series One trophy this season.

What does this mean for Ajayi’s NFL future?

Does this mean he’s done pursuing an NFL career? Probably not.

The top prize for the league that’s clearly using Ajayi to raise its profile is $7,500. It’s unclear how much the Union or MLS is paying Ajayi, but it’s not likely competitive with an NFL salary.

Whether Ajayi returns to the NFL is not up to him. The 26-year-old has a solid NFL resume that includes a Pro Bowl nod and a Super Bowl ring he earned from the 2017 season as a member of the Eagles.

But he struggled to see the field this past season in a brief stint with the injury-ravaged Eagles.

Jay Ajayi's staying relevant on the Philadelphia sports scene. (Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Struggles after ACL injury

The Eagles didn’t retain Ajayi after he ended the 2018 season on injured reserve with a torn ACL. They re-signed him in November after Darren Sproles landed on injured reserve, but released Ajayi prior to Week 17 when running back Jordan Howard returned from injury.

He tallied just 30 yards on 10 carries in his brief return to the Eagles.

Ajayi’s NFL playing days are in jeopardy. But he’s finding a way to remain relevant on the Philly sports scene.

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