Stunning news. There is no other way to put it. The fact that the Eagles have made the decision to jettison running back Tony Hunt, their third-round draft choice last year -- and to do it not even halfway through his sophomore season -- is jaw-dropping. It just is.
When they tried to turn him into a fullback at the end of the summer, a lot of people thought it was because they didn't like the fullbacks they had, which was true. But it was more ominous than that. A long time ago, an Eagles player -- a tight end -- was watching one day when they changed some guy's position and brought him over to compete at tight end. We all went up to the established starter and wondered if he saw this as a challenge to him or slight aimed at him or anything like that, and he yadda-yadda-yadda'ed something in reply. When we were done, he grabbed me by the arm and half-whispered, "Look at him. He's the one who's nervous. Everybody knows it's always bad when they change your position."
So this was obviously bad for Hunt. To me, much more interesting is reading what this might mean for the Andy Reid/Tom Heckert personnel operation. I have defended their drafting in the past as average to above average, given how late they have drafted in most rounds. But they have whiffed on a lot of free agents, and the third round has become a black hole for them -- Ryan Moats, Matt Ware, Billy McMullen, now Hunt. This is a significant miss and a significant mouthful for Reid/Heckert to swallow.
Everybody knows what the Eagles did in the off-season, shaking up their front office and promoting Howie Roseman from the contracts side of the operation to be vice president of player personnel. It is unclear exactly what that means for the long term, but the Kremlinologists who follow this team are looking at every scrap of available information in an attempt to figure out if there is going to be a significant role-reduction for Reid/Heckert in the future.
No one knows right now. The Eagles probably don't know. It would be a watershed moment if it were to happen. And again, repeated, underlined: no one knows.
But a move like this, at a time like this, really is stunning.
With that, the wondering continues.