The Eagles Have Their Final 53…For Now
By Ed Benkin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The NFL’s deadline for teams to cut their rosters down to 53 players came on Saturday, and the Eagles made their cuts two hours before the deadline. While there was the usual assortment of surprises with both the players that were kept and players sent packing, General Manager Howie Roseman says the team may not be done making roster moves before the season opener.
“It’s a fluid process with our roster,” said Roseman. “We’re out there right now looking at players through the waiver wire. We’re going to continue to evolve and look at the back end of our roster.”
The Eagles had trimmed their roster to 62 players earlier in the day. The final nine cuts featured several notable names. One of them was former first round pick Danny Watkins (see related story), and Roseman believes the offensive lineman needs a change of scenery.
“We’re starting anew here,” Roseman said. “We have a new head coach and a new football team. We just thought the timing was right to move on, not just for us but also for Danny.”
Another veteran sent packing was tight end Clay Harbor. The Eagles had moved Harbor to wide receiver during the preseason, but it came down to a numbers game for Harbor in the end.
“We’re trying to find guys with different skill sets,” said Roseman. “Clay’s got speed and athletic ability and can catch the football. We felt like we had some tight ends here that could do that as well. We were looking for some versatility because we were looking at the back of our roster. It was obviously a tough decision for us.”
Among the other cuts were Wide Receivers Greg Salas and Russell Shepard, Safety David Simms, Running Back Matthew Tucker, and Linebackers Travis Long and Chris McCoy. The Eagles also kept three undrafted rookies as Defensive Lineman Damion Square, Linebacker Jake Knott and Offensive Lineman Matt Tobin all survived cutdown day. It is another indication of the younger direction the team is taking.
“We have 19 guys from the last two drafts on our roster,” Roseman said. “It’s a young football team as we’re kind of growing together with some veterans who we think can be here for a while.”
The Eagles will have another off day on Sunday before beginning preparations for their September 9 season opener against the Washington Redskins.