The Eagles have to cut down from 75 to 53 by 9 p.m. Friday; early this afternoon they released 19 names, none of them a quarterback.
Reinjuring his hamstring in the preseason finale might have been the last straw for veteran safety OJ Atogwe. Also gone are TE Brett Brackett, LB Keenan Clayton, DT Landon Cohen, TE Chase Ford, WR Mardy Gilyard, WR Chad Hall, CB Joselio Hanson, FB Emil Igwenagu, OT DJ Jones, WR Marvin McNutt, LB Adrien Moten, DT Ollie Ogbu, LB Ryan Rau, DE Monte Taylor, S Phillip Thomas, DT Frank Trotter, OL Stave Vallos, and OL Brandon Washington.
Hanson, 31, an Eagle since 2006, was a mild surprise. He has been a reliable slot corner. But Hanson was cut before the 2011 season, then brought back for less money, and in April, the Eagles drafted Brandon Boykin pretty much expressly to replace Hanson. Still, in the early going at Lehigh, coaches indicated Hanson was significantly ahead of Boykin and would he hard to displace. Boykin must have caught up.
Gilyard was a 2010 fourth-round pick of the Rams who had an excellent camp and preseason at an extremely deep position for the Eagles. he and Hall getting cut indicates the Birds won't carry more than five wide receivers for the opener, including Riley Cooper (collarbone) who probably isn't going to be ready to play. Hall retains practice squad eligibility, but he might have played well enough last season and this preseason to catch another team's eye.
Gilyard also ought to be able to get a job somewhere. He caught a Trent Edwards touchdown pas Thursday night in the preseason finale, and afterward talked about what it was like waiting to learn his fate.
"I'm not going to sleep at all tonight. No, not at all. Just because, it's like, for the guys on the bubble like me and Chris [RB Polk], all the guys that have been repping with the [second and third teams], the team has so many weapons that you're just stressed out, you know what I mean? It's the name of the game," Gilyard said.
There has been no word on the quarterback drama between Mike Kafka and Trent Edwards, one of whom won't make it. Until this week, all indications had been that the Eagles remained very high on Kafka, who broke his nonthrowing hand in the preseason opener, and that they would not be swayed by Edwards' strong preseason. But the last few days, that has seemed less clear, Some Eagles sources now seem to expect Edwards to win the battle.