The Eagles need to get from 90 players to 53 on their roster by 6 p.m. Aug. 31. They’ll get to 75 by Aug. 27. Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman still have a lot of work left to do as they whittle their roster down. The Inquirer’s Eagles beat reporters will spend the next two weeks predicting who stay and who goes. Here’s the lineup:
Wed, Aug. 14: Defensive linemen
Thur., Aug. 15: Offensive linemen
Fri., Aug. 16: Quarterbacks / Specialists
Mon., Aug. 19: Outside linebackers
Tues., Aug. 20: Running backs
Wed., Aug. 21: Inside linebackers
Thur., Aug. 22: Wide receivers
Fri., Aug. 23: Cornerbacks
Mon., Aug. 26: Tight ends
Tues., Aug. 27: Safeties
LIKELY TO KEEP: 3.
WHO STAYS: Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Matt Barkley.
Some NFL teams keep only two quarterbacks on their 53-man roster. But with the competition between Michael Vick and Nick Foles relatively close, and the chance of Vick, who is now the odds-on favorite to win the job, getting hurt always prevalent, Kelly will likely go with three. Odd as it sounds now, there was talk as recently as a month ago that the Eagles could possibly cut or trade Vick if he finished the runner-up. It’s safe to say that after two excellent preseason games Vick isn’t going anywhere. He’ll earn an additional $3.5 million on top of the $3.5 million bonus he received this offseason once he makes the club.
There are several writers clamoring for Kelly to name Vick his starter heading into next Saturday’s preseason game at Jacksonville. I’m not sure he will. As my colleague Zach Berman has pointed out, Kelly waited until the week leading up to the season opener before he named two of his starting quarterbacks at Oregon. He isn’t going to be rushed into a decision. Would it help the first team offense to start working with its de facto starting quarterback asap? Sure. But would it kill them if they waited a week? No. The offense has looked pretty good in two games with the way Kelly has run things. Foles deserves another shot. He’s played well. I’d like to see him throw more passes downfield and I’m sure Kelly feels the same way. Kelly likely also wants to see more of Vick overall. As well as he’s looked, he’s played only five series. All that being said, it would take a near meltdown for Vick to not win the job.
Matt Barkley hasn't done enough to enter the starting quarterback conversation, but he's shown enough on the field to suggest he could start in the NFL. It's still very early in his evaluation phase, though. I have questions about his arm strength, but he could be the game manager type, which could serve the needs in Kelly's offense.
WHO GOES: Dennis Dixon, G.J. Kinne.
Remember when a few writers actually suggested that Dennis Dixon could end up being Kelly’s starter? Good times. Dixon was brought in strictly to help the other quarterbacks get adjusted to Kelly’s system and as a favor to the former Oregon quarterback. G.J. Kinne has been a loyal subject. He’s helped out on special teams, playing various roles, and even took a pop when a player on the Patriots kick team ran him over. Kinne didn’t attempt a pass against the Panthers Thursday night. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s released sometime over the next few days.
LIKELY TO KEEP: 3.
WHO STAYS: Alex Henery, Donnie Jones, Jon Dorenbos.
Alex Henery will win the kicker contest by default. There’s no other kicker in camp – obviously. He missed a 44-yard field goal attempt against the Panthers and hasn’t been as consistent as he should have been through the first three weeks of camp. But that’s about as much concern as there should be. Donnie Jones has been the more consistent punter in camp and has a proven track record.
WHO GOES: Brad Wing, James Winchester.
Brad Wing has a heck of foot and gets great hang time. But he isn't as reliable as Jones -- at least not yet. James Winchester was signed because Jon Dorenbos suffered a concussion. Dorenbos should be back soon.