Eagles Cuts Tracker: The Path to 53
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Eagles are moving on from a number of players on Sunday but they've also committed to two, backup offensive lineman Chance Warmack and recently-acquired cornerback Dexter McDougle.
Warmack, a former first-round pick signed a one-year, make-good contract in the offseason and has done well enough in training camp and the preseason to get another year tacked on and is now under contract through the 2018 season.
Warmack has spent the summer backing up starting guards Issac Seumalo and Brandon Brooks and is a favorite of offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, who also coached Warmack on the college level at the University of Alabama.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia also extended McDougle, a nickel option who was acquired for safety Terrence Brooks from the New York Jets last week.
Currently, Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills are penciled in to start outside at cornerback with Patrick Robinson in the slot but expect McDougle to push for playing time as he gets more comfortable with Jim Schwartz's defense.
"For Dex, he's got a skill set to play the nickel corner position," Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said. "We saw that in his Jet tape. Obviously, [it was] a little bit of a leap of faith because he only played in that one preseason game. We're looking for guys who can have defined roles and we feel like he can do that."
The biggest surprise of the final cuts may have been who stayed as a pair of rookies - fourth-round running back Donnel Pumphrey and fifth-round receiver Shelton Gibson -- made the final 53 despite some struggles over the summer.
"He's a guy that was getting first-string reps and everyone was talking about how excited they were on him," Roseman said when discussing Pumphrey. "We spent a lot of time scouting this running back class, scouting him in particular, and he's got a body of work. ...sometimes it takes a while for rookies. We're in a unique industry where there's really no patience. There's no other industry where you take a guy out of college and if they don't look exactly like you're hoping a month in, you just look to dump them. We want to develop our players."
As for Gibson, Roseman had a similar explanation:
"When we drafted these guys, we knew that they were rookies [and] they were a work-in-progress," he claimed. "We knew that if Shelton went back to school and didn't come out early, he's probably drafted higher and that we were going to have to spend time to develop him and his skill set."
Conversely, fifth-round linebacker Nate Gerry, who was attempting to make the transition from college safety at Nebraska to NFL LB, was the lone rookie draft pick exposed to waivers.
"I think it's a credit to the other guys at that position," Roseman said mentoning Joe Walker, Najee Goode and Kamu Grugier-Hill. "...That was a tough one. That was one of the last ones we did right there. We understand it's a transition for him and it's going to take some time. But it was just the nature of the numbers game."
Joining Gerry on the waiver wire over the next 24 hours are: running back Byron Marshall, receivers Bryce Treggs and Greg Ward, tight end Billy Brown, offensive linemen Aaron Neary, Josh Andrews, Dillon Gordon, Taylor Hart and Darrel Greene, defensive tackle Justin Hamilton, cornerbacks C.J. Smith and Jomal Wiltz and punter Cameron Johnston
Veteran offensive lineman Dallas Thomas was released and two players, defensive end Alex McAlister and safety Tre Sullivan were waived/injured.
EAGLES FINAL 53-Man Roster:
QUARTERBACKS: (2) - Carson Wentz; Nick Foles
RUNNING BACKS: (5) - LeGarrette Blount; Darren Sproles; Wendell Smallwood; Corey Clement; Donnel Pumphrey
WIDE RECEIVERS: (6) - Alshon Jeffery; Nelson Agholor; Torrey Smith; Mack Hollins; Marcus Johnson; Shelton Gibson
TIGHT END: (3) - Zach Ertz; Brent Celek; Trey Burton
OFFENSIVE LINE: (8) - Jason Peters; Issac Seumalo; Jason Kelce; Brandon Brooks; Lane Johnson; Stefen Wisniewski; Halapoulivaati Vaitai; Chance Warmack
"We think we have eight starters on the offensive line," Roseman said. "So not only [Warmack], but in Wiz [G/C Stefen Wisniewski] and V [T Halapoulivaati Vaitai], we think those guys are all starters in the National Football League. I know I've said this a lot, so I'm going to sound repetitive, but it's hard to find offensive linemen. It's hard to find those guys."
DEFENSIVE LINE: (10): Brandon Graham; Fletcher Cox; Tim Jernigan; Vinny Curry; Derrick Barnett; Chris Long; Beau Allen; Steven Means; Destiny Vaeao; Elijah Qualls
LINEBACKERS: (6): Jordan Hicks; Nigel Bradham; Mychal Kendricks; Joe Walker; Najee Goode; Kamu Grugier-Hill
"Joe Walker had a good preseason," Roseman said. "He's another guy coming off a knee injury. We were really bummed when he got hurt last year. He's got physical traits. It's hard to find Mike linebackers who is have shock, and he's able to do that.
"Then you look at [LB] Najee [Goode]. Najee has versatility. He can back up really both the outside positions and play inside, and [he is] really a huge part of our special teams. It's important for us to be good on special teams.
"And then [LB] Kamu [Grugier-Hill], when we look at Kamu, we think he has a chance to be not only one of the better special teams players on our team, but in the league."
CORNERBACKS: (6): Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills; Patrick Robinson; Dexter McDougle; Rasul Douglas; Jaylen Watkins
SAFETIES: (4): Malcolm Jenkins; Rodney McLeod; Corey Graham; Chris Maragos
SPECIALISTS: (3): P Donnie Jones; PK Caleb Sturgis; LS Rick Lovato
NFI: CB Sidney Jones
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen