Breaking down the Eagles' roster
It was an active Saturday for the Eagles and GM Howie Roseman as they traded away Stacy Andrews, made cuts and got the roster to 53 players. Here's a closer look at each positional group.
Breaking down the Eagles' roster
It was another eventful day for Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, who dealt offensive lineman Stacy Andrews to the Seahawks as the Birds trimmed their roster.
Here is a look at the current roster, broken down by position. Keep in mind that these guys aren't all safe. The Eagles will scan the list of players who were waived around the league and could very well make more roster moves before they take on the Packers a week from Sunday.
I didn't provide thoughts on positions that went according to plan, like quarterback and running back.
Quarterbacks (3): Kevin Kolb, Michael Vick, Mike Kafka
Running backs (4): LeSean McCoy, Leonard Weaver, Mike Bell, Eldra Buckley
Wide receivers (5): DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Riley Cooper, Hank Baskett
Thoughts: It became clear recently that the Eagles were going to keep Baskett. Normally, we have to guess which players were the last to be cut. But since the Eagles initially cut their roster to 55, we know the most difficult decision was probably Kelley Washington. I think the Eagles wanted to keep him, but just didn't have room for a sixth wide receiver. Washington would have provided special teams help and a veteran receiver for depth. But then again, it would have been tough to keep him active on gamedays. What gave Baskett the edge? Probably just familiarity with the system, the coaches and the players. He takes heat for the onsides kick in the Super Bowl last season, but the Eagles like Baskett on special teams. If the Eagles were working with an expanded roster, I'm sure they would have liked to keep Chad Hall too, but they have a lot of talent at the skill positions, and it would have been difficult to find a way to get him touches on offense.
Tight ends (2): Brent Celek, Clay Harbor
Thoughts: Cornelius Ingram was just never able to get healthy. He didn't look the same this summer after another offseason knee surgery. It would not be surprising to see the Eagles add a tight end in the next few days before the opener.
Offensive line (10): Jason Peters, Winston Justice, Todd Herremans, Jamaal Jackson, Reggie Wells, Nick Cole, Max Jean-Gilles, Austin Howard, King Dunlap, Mike McGlynn
Thoughts: It's amazing how quickly things can change in the NFL. What if I told you a month ago that in Week 1 Stacy Andrews would be a member of the Seahawks and his brother, Shawn, had a chance to start with the Giants? The Eagles signed Stacy to a six-year, $38.9M deal and got a total of two starts out of him. The signing was a complete disaster. There's no way to sugarcoat it.
With Andrews in Seattle, the Eagles have some options at right guard. Roseman told reporters that Nick Cole will get the nod for now. Wells, the veteran whom they acquired from Arizona, will likely be in the mix too though. If Jamaal Jackson is ready in Week 1, the interior of the O-line actually doesn't look that bad, but there are still questions. What level will Jackson be able to perform at? And how good is Wells if the Cardinals were willing to deal him for a sixth-round pick? Plus the whole continuity thing.
I'll admit I was surprised that Dunlap stayed on. The Eagles must still see potential there, but we'll know just how confident they are in him if Justice is sidelined. He could be one of the first to go if they make additional roster moves.
Note: The Eagles cut Jean-Gilles, but expect to re-sign him, so technically, his name should be left off.
Defensive line (10): Trent Cole, Brandon Graham, Juqua Parker, Mike Patterson, Brodrick Bunkley, Darryl Tapp, Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Antwan Barnes, Antonio Dixon, Trevor Laws
Thoughts: The only player that had a chance and was cut here was seventh-round pick Jeff Owens. He said on Twitter that he thinks he'll have a chance to make the practice squad if no other teams sign him. As I predicted earlier, the addition of Barnes did not bump anyone from the defensive line group off the roster.
Linebackers (7): Stewart Bradley, Akeem Jordan, Ernie Sims, Omar Gaither, Keenan Clayton, JaMar Chaney, Moise Fokou
Thoughts: Fokou had to be a little nervous when the Eagles signed Barnes, especially considering the Birds were trying Fokou out at defensive end this preseason. But he made the cut. Chaney makes it also, giving the Eagles a pair of rookies in this group. Along with Dunlap, Chaney would probably be among the first to go if the Eagles make a roster move. The interesting thing here is that the Eagles could potentially only play three linebackers on defense (Bradley, Sims and Jordan), despite having seven on their roster. The others will get a chance to compete on special teams.
Cornerbacks (6): Asante Samuel, Ellis Hobbs, Joselio Hanson, Dimitri Patterson, Trevard Lindley, Jorrick Calvin
Thoughts: I didn't think Calvin would make the team. The rookie was acquired from the Cardinals last week in exchange for Charles Scott. His ability as a return man had to help him. Still, put him in the same group as Dunlap and Chaney. Could be gone by next weekend.
Safeties (3): Quintin Mikell, Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman
Thoughts: Well, I told you I thought Demps was in danger, but I also told you I thought Harris would be safe. Instead, both got cut, and the Eagles kept just three safeties. The Eagles could switch one of their current players to safety or add a player in the next few days. As the roster is currently set up, they would have to play two rookies with zero games of NFL experience if Mikell were to go down. You also have to view this as a sign that they have big-time confidence in Allen and Coleman.
Specialists (3): David Akers, Jon Dorenbos, Sav Rocca
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