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NFL - US Sports: Eagles swoop for top-ranked Olympic hurdler

The Philadelphia Eagles signed Olympic hurdler Devon Allen to a three-year contract on Friday, but the track star says he won't focus on football until after the World Athletics Championships in July.

The Eagles, 1/1 to make the playoffs, were one of a number of teams to sit up and take notice of Allen when he ran a scorching 4.35-second 40-yard dash at Oregon's pro day earlier this month.

Back after six-year break

The 27-year-old hasn't been in uniform since 2016, when, as a wide receiver, he had 54 receptions for 919 yards and eight touchdowns in 29 games for the Oregon Ducks.

That's when he chose to put football on hold to forge an excellent track and field career.

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Allen has made the US Olympic team twice and finished fifth and fourth in the 110 metres hurdles finals in the past two Games.

Late last summer, he hit a real purple patch on the track by clocking three of his four fastest times for the event, including a personal-best 12.99 in Croatia that ranked first in the world for 2021.

Last chance saloon?

But his window of opportunity in the NFL is closing fast and he faces a tough fight to make the Eagles' 53-man final roster once he heads straight to minicamp after the championships in Eugene, Oregon.

"I'm going to put football on the back burner for now," he said, via the Oregonian.

"I wanted to come to pro day and announce that I'm taking this seriously. The goal is to get ready for Worlds, compete at Worlds, win, break the world record, and then July 18th when Worlds is done, go to camp the next week."

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