Roster Analysis: Few Surprises With Eagles Final Roster
Here was a veteran who is just 18-16 in his time with the Eagles, who turned the ball over over 30 times in his three seasons here, and the Eagles had a young player like Nick Foles ready to take over the job.
That Vick won the starting job is evidence of how much Chip Kelly wants to win this season. While Foles could give you a potential view of the future, Vick gives you the best chance to win now, and Kelly thought that was more important.
While Vick is the starter, the Eagles made some interesting cuts over the weekend, they let go of Danny Watkins, the former first-round pick, as well as cornerback Curtis Marsh, a former third-round pick, meaning that along with Jaiquawn Jarrett, the Eagles top three picks from the 2011 draft have all be released. Philadelphia kept three undrafted rookies on the roster yet released the two former high-round picks.
Those were just a few of the facts from what was a cut-down date that has a few surprises in Philadelphia.
Biggest Head-Scratcher: Tight End/Wide Out Clay Harbor. Yes, he moved all over from tight end, linebacker, back to tight end and then to wide-out. Yes, he was going to make $630,000, which is a lot for potentially the fourth tight end. But he is a team-first guy, a versatile guy, showing he was willing to do whatever it takes to make the team and gave the team a tight end and wide-out in an emergency situation . While it's possible to see the business rationale behind the move, the team ended up keeping Emil Igwenagu - more an an H-back type of player.
Most Surprising Cut: Linebacker Chris McCoy. Now, he's not the biggest name, but he's showed he could rush the quarterback, something that is key in today's NFL. McCoy was one of the true outside linebackers on Philadelphia's defensive this training camp yet he was let go so the Eagles could go with Connor Barwin, Trent Cole and Brandon Graham.
Most Telling Move: Defensive back Brandon Hughes is on the 53-man roster, meaning Philadelphia liked him more then former third-round pick Marsh and expects him to be ready to play at some point in the first six weeks. Hughes could have been on the Physically Unable to Perform list as he recovered from a broken hand. Had he remained on that list, he would not have counted against the 53-man roster limit, but he would have been ineligible to play until Week 7 at the earliest.
Most Puzzling Trend: Watkins and Marsh were both let go, continuing a trend of Philly's atrocious 2011 draft. Philadelphia has now cut it's top three picks it drafted in the 2011 draft. Safety Jaiquawn Jarrett was let go before his second season in 2012 and now Watkins and Marsh have been added as roster casualties.
Now, let's put a microscope on the shape of Philadelpiha's roster.
Kept: Matt Barkley, Nick Foles, Michael Vick
Comment: Nothing surprising here. In fact, Philadelphia might have one of the better situations in the league at backup quarterback with Foles very capable should Vick struggle.
Kept: Bryce Brown, LeSean McCoy, Chris Polk
Comment: McCoy is one of the top players in the league at this position, but Brown is a very dynamic runner who should play a big role in Kelly's offense..
Kept: Allen Barbre, Todd Herremans, Lane Johnson, Jason Kelce, Dennis Kelly, Evan Mathis, Jason Peters, Matt Tobin, Julian Vandervelde
Comment: Philadelphia is hoping it line can stay healthy, something it could not do in 2012. With Peters, Mathis, Kelce, Herremans and Johnson, they expect to be one of the top lines in the NFL - but depth is an issue.
Kept: Jason Avant, Riley Cooper, DeSean Jackson, Damaris Johnson, Jeff Maehl
Comment: Losing Jeremy Maclin was a big blow, but Avant may have been the best player in camp, Cooper is a solid player and Johnson has big-play potential.
Kept: James Casey, Brent Celek, Zach Ertz, Emil Igwenagu
Comment: This could be one of the deepest positions on the team, many thought Casey and Ertz would bounce Celek, but that hasn't been the case. Keeping Igwenagu was a surprise, instead of Clay Harbor, a former fourth-round pick.
Kept: Fletcher Cox, Vinny Curry, Clifton Geathers, Bennie Logan, Isaac Sopoaga, Damion Square, Cedric Thornton
Comment: Vinny Curry stood out all camp and in the preseason games, but really is out-of-place in the 3-4 look. How will Cox make the transition as he bumps out to end, and do they have enough talent on the left end and nose to stop the run - huge questions, but a talented, young group.Linebackers
Kept: Emmanuel Acho, Connor Barwin, Trent Cole, Brandon Graham, Mychal Kendricks, Jake Knott, Casey Matthews, DeMeco Ryans
Comment: Acho and Knott provide good depth at inside linebacker, but Barwin is the only true outside backer on the roster currently. Matthews was a surprise, he has been a good special teams player and that's why he is on the final 53.
Kept: Nate Allen, Colt Anderson, Brandon Boykin, Patrick Chung, Kurt Coleman, Bradley Fletcher, Brandon Hughes, Curtis Marsh, Jordan Poyer, Cary Williams, Earl Wolff
Comment: A huge re-do in the offseason, the defensive backs are still a big question. Chung will start, but its still unclear next to who at safety. Williams and Fletcher are the top two corners, but after Boykin, there are questions at corner.
Kept: Jon Dorenbos, Alex Henery, Donnie Jones
Comment: Philadelphia kept three specialists just like always. Dorenbos and Henery are two of the best, Jones beat out rookie Brad Wing.