EIGHT GONE AND THE PROJECTED 53
EIGHT GONE AND THE PROJECTED 53
The Eagles reduced the roster from 75 to 67 today by cutting eight players.
Released were wide receivers Bam Childress and Jamal Jones, cornerbacks Nick Graham and Jamal Jones, running back Ryan Moats, safety Marcus Paschal, offensive lineman Stefan Rodgers and linebacker Pago Tagofau. Not a surprise in the bunch.
The roster must be reduced to 53 players by 6 p.m. tomorrow.
The two issues that most needed to be resolved as coach Andy Reid and general manager Tom Heckert sat down this morning to discuss the roster were the defensive line and fullback.
The strong feeling here is that Jerome McDougle does not make the team even though he had an outstanding preseason. McDougle will play elsewhere this year, but if your greatest fear is that he'll end up in a New York Giants uniform because the defending Super Bowl champions need help at defensive end, you should relax.
The Eagles will first try to trade McDougle and, rest assured, they will not trade him to the Giants. If he does end up with the Giants, so be it. This is a guy who had three sacks in his first five NFL seasons and the 2 1/2 sacks he registered this preseason weren't against starting NFL tackles. McDougle is a good guy who has been through a lot in such a young lifetime, but it's hard to imagine he's about to become a great player.
As for the fullback situation, if it comes down to Tony Hunt and Jason Davis, the Eagles will go with Davis. But it seems like every year the Eagles fill at least one position with a player who has been cut from another team and that may be the case at fullback this season.
Here's a projection of what it could look like after the Eagles have made their final cuts.
Quarterback: (3) Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb, A.J. Feeley. Easy enough.
Running back: (3) Brian Westbrook, Correll Buckhalter and Lorenzo Booker. Easy enough.
Fullback: (1) Jason Davis. The best thing that could happen to Tony Hunt is that he's released so he can go be a tailback again somewhere else.
Wide receiver: (6) Kevin Curtis, Reggie Brown, DeSean Jackson, Hank Baskett, Greg Lewis, Jason Avant. It's really not a bad group, especially when Curtis and Brown are healthy.
Tight end: (2) L.J. Smith and Brent Celek. What do you need a third one for?
Offensive line: (10) Tra Thomas, Todd Herremans, Jamaal Jackson, Shawn Andrews, Jon Runyan, Max Jean-Gilles, Nick Cole, Winston Justice, King Dunlap, Mike McGlynn. If this morning's MRI on Jean-Gilles reveals something more than a sprained knee, Scott Young will make the team. It's possible Young could make it over McGlynn anyway.
Safety: (5) Brian Dawkins, Quintin Mikell, Sean Considine, J.R. Reed, Quintin Demps. The Eagles don't usually keep five safeties, but Demps' ability to return kicks changes the equation.
Cornerback: (4) Asante Samuel, Sheldon Brown, Lito Sheppard and Joselio Hanson. Kyle Arrington lands on the practice squad.
Linebacker: (6) Omar Gaither, Stewart Bradley, Chris Gocong, Akeem Jordan, Rocky Boiman, Joe Mays. Andy Studebaker lands on the practice squad.
Defensive line: (10) Mike Patterson, Brodrick Bunkley, Trent Cole, Juqua Parker, Victor Abiamiri, Chris Clemons, Trevor Laws, Bryan Smith, Darren Howard, Dan Klecko. Clemons can play even though he didn't play much in the preseason.
Specialists: David Akers, Sav Rocca, Jon Dorenbos. Easy enough.