Eighteen months after signing guard Stacy Andrews to a six-year, $38.9 million deal, the Eagles traded the offensive lineman to Seattle for a 2011 seventh-round draft pick Saturday.
Andrews played in just ten games for the Eagles last season, two as the starting right guard. He ended up earning just over $9 million from the original deal, according to a league source. That works out to $900,000 a game that the Eagles paid for Andrews' services.
It's safe to say the Eagles didn't get what they bargained for when they signed Andrews as a free agent in February 2009. But there were red flags.
For one, Andrews was just four months removed from having torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Secondly, the Eagles almost immediately moved him to guard even though he played most of his career at tackle.
"To be fair, we watched him at tackle in Cincinnati and . . . he had played three games, like he has voiced, at guard," said Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, who also proclaimed Nick Cole the new starter at right guard. "So it was a projection."
The Eagles originally slotted Andrews at right guard so that his brother, Shawn, could move to right tackle to replace Jon Runyan.
"I did it because [the Eagles] said it would help Shawn's back," Stacy Andrews said when contacted Saturday night by phone.
Shawn Andrews, of course, never played right tackle for the Eagles and was eventually released. He signed an incentive-laden deal with the New York Giants three weeks ago and is showing that he has perhaps recovered from the back issues that plagued his final two years in Philadelphia.
Stacy Andrews said that Shawn's troubles affected the way he was portrayed in the media and by fans. His agent Rich Moran went further and said the younger brother's issue affected how the Eagles dealt with the elder one.
"I think that what happened with Stacy had a lot to do with what happened with Shawn," Moran said. "He was playing his brother's position. . . . If Stacy knew that he was being signed to play guard he would have never signed."
The Eagles' admission that the Andrews signing was a failure was just one move – albeit the most significant – on a cutdown day with a flurry of activity.
NFL teams were required to trim rosters to 53 by 6 p.m.
However, the Eagles wound up cutting their roster to 52 because the Andrews deal wasn't officially completed until three minutes after 6 p.m. After releasing 11 players, dealing away Andrews and linebacker Tracy White (to New England) and trading for Baltimore defensive end Antwan Barnes, the team was forced to waive another player.
They released Max Jean-Gilles, but said that they expect to re-sign him when they are permitted to do Sunday even though the five-year guard is now a free agent. An Eagles source said it was 99.9 percent certain that Jean-Gilles would return, even though he can sign with any team.
A message left with Jean-Gilles' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, was not returned Saturday evening.
Jean-Gilles was just one of several familiar names to be on the list of released players. To some surprise, the Eagles cut safeties Quintin Demps and Macho Harris. The two were assumed to be fighting for the fourth and final safety spot, but the Eagles decided to keep just starters Quintin Mikell and rookie Nate Allen and reserve Kurt Coleman, also a rookie.
"That's the way the numbers panned out, and obviously, I think you'll see another safety added here to the practice squad," Roseman said.
The Eagles can add up to eight practice squad members at noon Sunday. A number could come from the cut list, provided they clear waivers. To be eligible, the players must not have played in a regular season game.
Cornelius Ingram is a candidate to land on the practice squad. The tight end is trying to come back from back-to-back ACL tears in his left knee in successive Augusts, and could remain unclaimed.
Other players who were released and are eligible to return to the practice squad include wide receivers Chad Hall and Jordan Norwood, guards Fenuki Tupou and Dallas Reynolds, defensive tackle Jeff Owens, center A.Q. Shipley and defensive end Eric Moncor.
Owens, a seventh-round pick, is the only 2010 draft selection to get cut. Tupou was a 2009 fifth-round pick.
The last cut, and he can accurately be described as such because the Eagles waited until past the deadline to announce it, was veteran receiver Kelley Washington. With wide receiver Hank Baskett back and on the team, a special teams expert like Washington was expendable.
The Eagles started the day by acquiring Barnes, a 6-foot-1, 251-pound fourth-year player that played outside linebacker in the Raven's 3-4 defensive scheme, but will play end with the Eagles. The team surrendered a 2011 seventh-round pick to get the 25-year-old, who posted 20 tackles and five sacks in 37 career games.
"We've always had our eye on Barnes," Roseman said.
Roseman was able to wrestle a 2012 seventh-round pick from the Patriots for White, who wasn't expected to make the team. On Friday, the Eagles traded away another 2011 seventh-round pick to get guard Reggie Wells from Arizona.
That move portended the Andrews trade. Nick Cole, who has been sidelined for most of the last month with knee swelling, is penciled in as the starter at right guard, but Wells is insurance.
Andrews had intimated during the off-season that he was not comfortable playing guard. His effort in the preseason suggested as much, as he struggled with some of the basic chores of the position.
Andrews said that when he agreed to restructure his contract and take a pay cut in the off-season, Roseman said he that would be the starter at right guard.
"We told him . . . that he would have the opportunity to be a starter here, which he did have," Roseman said.