Eagles Start Bye Week Roster Churn
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - It didn't take long for the Eagles self-scout to promote action as the team waived 32-year-old safety Andrew Sendejo on Tuesday.
By moving on from Sendejo before Week 10 the veteran will not count against the 2020 compensatory-pick formula, a scenario in which should give the Eagles an extra fourth-round pick in the next April's draft.
Most of the Eagles defensive coaches raved about Sendejo but when the Eagles signed him back in the spring the organization felt the championship window was open. At 5-4 that might no longer be the case and with the likelihood that Sendejo would be a one-and-done player in Philadelphia, the future asset turned more important.
As expected Sendejo's reputation as a hitter who wanted to "make football violent again" also turned out to be a problem with both personal fouls on the field and dislike it off it stemming from a scary friendly-fire hit that has Avonte Maddox being stretchered off on Green Bay.
The problem now becomes depth at safety where the Eagles only have Rudy Ford behind starters Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod. Sendejo was also a core special-teams player for Dave Fipp, who was not only a solid coverage player but also the personal protector for punter Cameron Johnston.
The Eagles are far healthier at cornerback now after getting back Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby and Maddox back over the past three weeks and during Sunday's win over Chicago Jim Schwartz rolled out a traditional dime look over his usual big nickel preference when six defensive backs were on the field. In those instances, Rasul Douglas replaced Sendejo in the lineup.
Sendejo's role was not insignificant while he was here, playing just over 40 percent of the defensive snaps and nearly 70 percent on ST.
There are a few ways the Eagles could move forward. With CB Cre'Von LeBlanc also thought to be close to returning from injured reserve, Schwartz could now use Maddox at safety if he needs a body, something the versatile Pitt product was able to handle as a rookie.
Linebacker Nigel Bradham is also expected back from an ankle injury after his bye and adding him to coverage LBs like Nate Gerry and Kamu Grugier-Hill could up the 4-3 base looks as the weather turns down the stretch.
Jenkins practices as the second-team personal protector and putting more on his plate is not great but Jenkins will hardly complain.
The Eagles also placed DeSean Jackson on injured reserve after the veteran receiver underwent core-muscle surgery on Tuesday morning, a move that eliminated Jackson for the rest of the regular season.
With a need at receiver, the Eagles kicked the tires on two of their former receivers, Jordan Matthews and Torrey Smith.
Matthews worked out for Philadelphia on Tuesday and could be on the verge of his third stint with the organization although nothing has been finalized just yet. The Eagles also contacted Smith, who retired earlier this year, about potentially coming back but Smith is comfortable with his decision and not looking to make a comeback.
Matthews was a second-round pick of the Eagles in 2014 and went on to catch 225 passes for 2,673 yards and 19 touchdowns in his first three seasons in Philadelphia before he and a draft pick were traded to the Buffalo Bills in the 2017 preseason for Darby.
Injuries have been an issue since for Matthews but he returned to the Eagles last season and snared 20 receptions for 300 yards in a backup role.
Matthews signed with San Francisco as a free agent in the offseason and was released at the end of training camp before being brought back and released again.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen