Eagles Cut Roster to 53
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - On a day where the Eagles extracted a pint of blood and a pound of flesh from the Minnesota Vikings for Sam Bradford, what was supposed to be the lede story of the day turned into an afterthought.
The Eagles, like every other NFL team, were forced to reach the NFL-mandated roster limit of 53 by Saturday afternoon and accomplished it by sending Bradford back to the Midwest and also releasing a host of players, including veteran linebacker Najee Goode and sixth-round pick Blake Countess.
Head coach Doug Pederson missed the eventful day because he was mourning the passing of his father, Gordon.
The others failing to make the final roster were quarterback QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson, running backs Byron Marshall and Cedric O’Neal. wide receivers Marcus Johnson, Cayleb Jones and David Watford, tight ends Chris Pantale and M.J. McFarland, and offensive linemen Darrell Greene and Barrett Jones.
From the defensive side of the ball, defensive tackles Bruce Gaston and Aziz Shittu were jettisoned as were defensive end Jake Metz, linebackers Myke Tavarres, Quentin Gause and Don Cherry, cornerback Jacorey Shepherd and safety Ed Reynolds.
Also, as expected Cody Parkey lost the kicking battle to Caleb Sturgis.
Four undrafted rookies made the final cut, wide receiver Paul Turner, versatile offensive tackle Dillon Gordon, defensive tackle Destiny Vaeao, and cornerback C.J. Smith, a teammate of Carson Wentz at North Dakota State.
Also, cornerback Eric Rowe stuck despite the fact that the Eagles were also trying to move him.
Currently, the Eagles have only four linebackers on the roster and are very heavy up front of both sides of the ball with 11 offensive linemen and 11 defensive linemen.
“Our 53-man roster is very fluid right now,” Eagles executive VP of football operations Howie Roseman admitted. “We'll see what happens in the next couple of days.”
As for the trade that sent Bradford to the Vikings for a pair of draft picks, including a 2017 first-rounder, Roseman admitted circumstances changed once Teddy Bridgewater went down in Minnesota.
“This was not part of the blueprint and part of our plan, but we have to take advantage of opportunities that are presented to us,” he said.
EAGLES 53-MAN ROSTER:
QBs: Carson Wentz, Chase Daniel
RBs: Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, Kenjon Barner, Wendell Smallwood
WRs: Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Dorial Green-Beckham, Josh Huff, Paul Turner
TEs: Zach Ertz, Brent Celek, Trey Burton
OL: Jason Peters, Allen Barbre, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Stefen Wisniewski, Matt Tobin, Isaac Seumalo, Josh Andrews, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Dillon Gordon
DEs: Connor Barwin, Vinny Curry, Brandon Graham, Marcus Smith, Steven Means, Bryan Braman
DTs: Fletcher Cox, Bennie Logan, Beau Allen, Taylor Hart, Destiny Vaeao
LBs: Jordan Hicks, Nigel Bradham, Mychal Kendricks, Stephen Tulloch
CBs: Leodis McKelvin, Nolan Carroll, Ron Brooks, Jalen Mills, Eric Rowe, C.J. Smith
S: Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Jaylen Watkins, Chris Maragos
P: Donnie Jones
K: Caleb Sturgis
LS: Jon Dorenbos
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen