The Eagles will have to trim their roster down to 53 players by this Saturday, September 3rd. The current roster stands at 80 players, some of whom will be fighting for a spot on the team in tonight’s preseason finale against the Jets.
Unfortunately, 27 players have to be cut by Saturday and there could be a few surprise names on the list.
A few particular veterans might be given the axe for reasons ranging from salary cap savings to not being a schematic fit to simply being outplayed by the guy behind them.
Who could these players be? We’ll go over the more notable cut predictions in a little bit more detail.
DE Juqua Parker – He has a cap figure of $4.3 million this year so that alone could be the nail in the coffin for him. However, he also has age and projected production working against him.
Parker is 33 years-old, an age at which the play of many defensive ends begins to deteriorate. Last season he had six sacks but four of them came in the first three games which indicates he may wear down as the season goes on.
He also hasn’t been able to get on the field this preseason while dealing with a calf injury. Therefore, a player like Phillip Hunt has been able to build a case for a roster spot.
There is an outside chance the Eagles could actually try to trade Parker but they wouldn’t garner much value in return.
C Jamaal Jackson – BG over at IgglesNest brought up the possibility of the Eagles cutting Jackson based on this quote by Andy Reid during a radio interview on 610 WIP when asked specifically about Jackson’s future with the team:
“Jamaal is 31 years old, and Jamaal has had a phenomenal career in the National Football League, and will continue to have a phenomenal career.”
In Reid-speak, let me break down the meaning of that quote section by section…
“Jamaal is 31 years old” equates to “he’s older now and has had significant injuries the past two years. You know how we feel about age and injuries.”
“Jamaal has had a phenomenal career in the National Football League” equates to “He’s had a good run here in Philadelphia but it’s time to move on.”
“And will continue to have a phenomenal career” equates to “He’ll catch on with another team and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Jackson was the early starter at training camp and in the first preseason game. But for some reason he has been usurped by rookie Jason Kelce. Kelce appears to be offensive line coach Howard Mudd’s boy.
After witnessing Kelce’s struggles against Cleveland, I thought for sure Jackson would regain his status as a starter. But nonetheless, Kelce has been announced as the starter.
If Jackson is cut, who becomes the backup center? My guess is A.Q. Shipley. Mudd was high on him early in camp and appears to be more of a schematic fit than does Jackson.
Jackson has a better chance at being traded than does Juqua Parker mainly because he has more market value. He can still be a starter or at least a valuable backup somewhere.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a trade for a mid-late round pick before the cuts.
CB Joselio Hanson - It has already been reported that the Eagles are fielding offers for Joselio Hanson, their steady if unspectacular slot cornerback.
The Eagles now have the “big three” trio of corners along with some good young prospects to groom therefore Hanson suddenly finds himself as the odd man out.
This shouldn’t really be a surprise at this point but Hanson has been a staple in the Eagles’ secondary for the past five seasons. If they can’t pull off a trade, he will very likely hit the streets by the weekend.
DT Trevor Laws – The former second-round draft pick may find himself on the outside looking in come Saturday. He has been struggling with an injury for much of the preseason and has allowed for players such as Derek Landri to shine.
Laws has been somewhat of a disappointment during the past three seasons. However, he did show some signs of life last year in collecting four sacks. Prior to the start of training camp, I had pegged Laws as a player who may “break out” under new DL coach Jim Washburn.
That could still be the case but as the NFL saying goes: “you can’t make the club in the tub.” Laws’ injury opened the door for Landri and Anthony Hargrove to make an impression.
So far, Landri has really stood out in the preseason and at this point, it would almost be an upset if he doesn’t make the team.
It’s going to come down to a numbers game for Laws. The Eagles usually keep 10 defensive linemen. Will they go six DEs and four DTs or five of each?
If they choose to only keep four DTs, my money is on those guys being Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson, Antonio Dixon and Derek Landri.
Does Laws have any trade value? Possibly. He’s still young and is coming off a season in which he showed improvement.
Most of the rest of the cuts we’ll see shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone. A few players who were on the team last year could be on the bubble though.
Players such as Chad Hall, Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, Trevard Lindley, Eldra Buckley and Mike McGlynn should be sweating bullets about now. Buckley would be the least surprising from this group but the others would be a mild upset in that they’re young and contributed last season.
Though ultimately I do see Te’o and Lindley surviving.
Could there be any other surprise cuts? Certainly. But who? One thing I’m interested in seeing is how they play the numbers game with certain positions.
How will they break down the DL position? Who makes the cut for the backup offensive line positions?
How many LBs and WRs will they keep?
How will the numbers shake out in the secondary? They usually keep nine defensive backs. Will they go with six CBs and three safeties or five and four?
We’ll find out the answers to all these questions in roughly 48 hours.