The roster cuts came deep today as the Eagles trimmed their
roster to 53... It's been a very interesting week for this team and a lot of veteran Eagles we've been used to seeing. Pinkston and Detmer both long time veterans of this team were cut earlier in the week(as I predicted the Vikings and Brad Childress signed Pinky today). And today Hank Fraley who has started season after season for the Eagles at center(81 games) was traded to the Cleveland Browns.
Oddly enough, the Eagles went hard after free agent center LeCharles Bentley seemingly because they thought Hank Fraley wasn't good enough... However, after an apparent handshake agreement with the Eagles Bentley jumped for Cleveland at the last minute. On his first play of practice, he injured his knee and was out for the ear. So in an odd twist of fate the Browns now have Fraley as their center... The Eagles will get a conditional pick in 2008. Obviously Jamaal Jackson is the team's starting center and Nick Cole will back him up.
Josh Parry, the bird's starting fullback last year was dealt to the Seattle Seahawks for a future pick. Clearly, Thomas Tapeh impressed Andy enough to win the starting FB job.
JR Reed, a great story from the offseason, was flat out cut. He came back from what everyone thought was a career ending knee injury and really fought for a place on this team. I was rooting for as I'm sure all Eagles fans were, but as I've written here several times he's just not the same player he once was. The spark he had in the return game was gone and he struggled in the secondary. Considine and Mikell are your backup safeties.
I was somewhat surprised to see that both Jabar Gaffney and Darnerian McCants were cut. I fully expected Gaffney to be gone, but it had seemed like McCants may have done enough to get himself a roster spot. In the end, it turned out that neither was going to make it because the Eagles chose not to keep 6 WRs. Reggie Brown, Donte Stallworth, Jason Avant, Hank Baskett, and Greg Lewis are your receivers.
I was disappointed to see Chris Gocong placed on injured reserve for the season. However, with him and Jeremy Bloom both being obvious projects meant for next year... maybe a season watching won't be so bad. Still, as a 3rd round pick it would have been nice to see what Gocong could do. Speaking of 3rd round picks, the Eagles 3rd rounder from 04 Matt Ware was also cut.
Some interesting names not on the cut list... RB Bruce Perry, who you would think would be the kick returner now that Reed is gone. CB Joselio Hanson, who was undrafted and didn't play last year but impressed in camp. Jerome McDougle whose injury history is well documented and was hurt again this offseason with a broken rib also made the team.
An interesting note... The Eagles are carrying 6 backs and 5 WRs. Could that mean more running? Westbrook, Buckhalter, Tapeh, Perry, Mahe. & Moats all seem to have made the final roster. Mahe & Perry seem to have both made this team to return punts and kickoffs respectively... That seems odd to me.