Today is the day that the Philadelphia Eagles must make some hard choices in order to trim their roster to 53 players by 6:00pm. There are several players on the roster bubble whose chances of making the team will depend on how many players the Eagles choose to keep at certain positions.
Heading into the 2010 season after the final cuts, the Eagles’ roster numbers were broken down like this:
QB – 3
RB – 3
FB – 1
WR – 5
OL – 10
TE – 2
DL – 10
LB – 7
CB – 6
S – 3
LS – 1
K – 1
P – 1
Most of that will remain the same with the possible exceptions of the safety and wide receiver positions.
But in order to add a spot for those two positions they would have to go lighter at two other positions. This is where the Eagles really need to evaluate what kind of talent they have at each position and decide where they need to have the extra bodies.
For example, they’ll have to weigh whether or not keeping a fourth safety is more important than keeping a 10th offensive or defensive lineman. Then weigh the upside each individual player will have.
To break that down a little more, consider this: The top three safeties on the Eagles right now are Kurt Coleman, Jarrad Page and Nate Allen. There is no way the Eagles will cut their second-round draft pick in Jaiquawn Jarrett.
If Allen were completely recovered from his injury, Page probably wouldn’t be in the mix. But right now, he is. So, do you keep a journeyman like Page because he’s playing better than Allen right now even though he doesn’t project as the long term starter?
If so, is keeping Page important enough to sacrifice depth at OL or DL?
Whether or not to keep six wide receivers this year is another hard choice for Andy Reid and crew. The top five are set with DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Steve Smith and Riley Cooper.
However, the Eagles likely want to limit Jackson’s duties as a punt returner. Does that mean they will be more inclined to keep an extra receiver who can return punts because of this?
Again, this would be at the expense of depth at another position.
Chad Hall, Sinorice Moss and Johnnie Lee Higgins are all candidates for the potential sixth receiver spot.
This is an even tougher decision because not only are you considering roster spots, but you are weighing in the aspect of a possible injury to star receiver Jackson (on a punt return) if you don’t add the extra guy here.
Furthermore, which of those three guys do you keep? Hall, Higgins or Moss?
The Eagles are almost assuredly going to keep 10 defensive linemen just because they love having depth and a rotation there. If they go short anywhere, it will be at the offensive line position.
But is that really smart this year with all the questions surrounding that group? Logic would say that if you’re weak in a certain area, you shouldn’t limit your options.
That is most likely what they’ll do though (keep only nine OL).
Another thing to think about is what if the Eagles want or need to keep a sixth receiver and a fourth safety? There is no way the Eagles will cut back to eight offensive linemen so where does the extra spot come from?
As stated before, the Eagles always keep 10 defensive linemen. Do they only go with nine this year? If so, that impacts players like Derek Landri, Anthony Hargrove, Juqua Parker, Trevor Laws and Daniel Te’o Nesheim.
Or do they only go with six linebackers or five cornerbacks? Linebackers are coveted for the kick coverage teams and you can never have enough corners.
Although, I can foresee the Eagles only going with five CBs this year because I believe Joselio Hanson is definitely on his way out via trade or getting cut. Then they would just choose between Brandon Hughes and Trevard Lindley for the fifth spot.
These are all complicated and complex decisions that need to be made today. If they cut a decent player who catches on with another team…and then the Eagles get a rash of injuries at that position…that decision would obviously come back to haunt them.
Tough, tough choices will be made today.
How do you see things playing out?