The feel-good story of former Australian rugby player Jordan Mailata possibly playing his way onto the Eagles' 53-man roster could turn into a feel-bad story for Chance Warmack.
Warmack has had a quiet, unremarkable training camp and preseason. As recently as a few weeks ago, he seemed to be plodding along toward another season as a backup guard, which is not what Warmack envisioned when the Tennessee Titans drafted him 10th overall in 2013, but hey: He has a Super Bowl ring and a chance to win another, with a team that projects to again be among the NFL's most talented.
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Then Mailata, 6-foot-8, 346 pounds, began amazing observers with how well he was learning to play left tackle, having never even been in a football game before this preseason. Now it seems the Eagles might not be able to get him through waivers and onto the practice squad when cutdowns arrive this weekend. If Mailata is on the roster, a guard or tackle who would have made it otherwise won't be, unless the Eagles overstock the O-line. That seems unlikely, given that injuries will cause them to go into the Sept. 6 season opener thinner than they'd like at several positions.
So Warmack's name is coming up in trade rumors. He is unlikely to fetch anything amazing, but a powerful, 6-2, 323-pound guard with 51 career starts might be worth something to someone.
"Honestly, man, I don't know what's going on," Warmack said Tuesday. "I'm just focused on the Jets [in the final preseason game]. That's all I can control."
Warmack played for Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland at Alabama, and signed with the Eagles last year. He's on a one-year, $2.5 million deal, $875,000 of which would remain as dead salary-cap money if he were traded.
"I think it's gone really well," Warmack said when asked about his camp and preseason. "Everything is slowing down for me even more. I'm learning so much stuff from the older guys. … However it plays out, be positive about it and attack it, that's all I can do."
The Eagles signed former practice squad tight end Anthony Denham, who practiced with them Tuesday. That's interesting in that TE Richard Rodgers is expected to miss the season opener with a knee injury. The team could go with just Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert on the opening-week roster, with Isaac Seumalo available as a blocking tight end, but if Doug Pederson wants a third pass-catching TE, in Denham the Eagles brought in a player who already knows their offense.
The Eagles brought in no training camp competition for rookie punter Cam Johnston, but special-teams coordinator Dave Fipp said Johnston would be competing against the rest of the league — meaning other punters the Eagles could bring in after cutdowns. Johnston is averaging 47.6 yards per kick with a net of 45.2. He had an 81-yarder negated by a penalty in the New England game.