You don’t go from being a serious Super Bowl contender to a bottom feeder in the NFC in just one season and not have major consequences. That is the situation the Philadelphia Eagles see themselves in right now. We already now that Andy Reid is going to be fired at the end of the season, if not before. But what about the players?
There are going to be some major changes within the Eagles roster this season. The defense has become soft and the offense has lacked the depth needed to survive a injury riddled season. The last two Super Bowl champions, the Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants, both overcame a lot of injuries in their championship seasons.
Here are 10 players that will be shown the door after the nightmare season wraps up:
Andy Reid tried to turn Michael Vick into a true quarterback, but they failed each other. Vick is a play-maker at the quarterback position and not the other way around. His $17.9 million cap hit will be the breaking point this offseason. Nick Foles is going to be the future of this team unless the new head coach wants to go another route in the offseason.
Vick has 14 turnovers in nine games and has a completion percentage of just 58.5%. The Eagles are 3-6 with him as the starter this season, and 10-13 since he helped the Eagles clinch the NFC East in 2010.
This one won’t take much convincing. Demetress Bell has been one of the worst offensive linemen in Eagles history. He has consistently missed assignments and has just looked really out of place all season long. The Eagles can release Bell this offseason without penalty. He was initially signed as a one year replacement for Jason Peters at left tackle with a change to become a long-term solution at left tackle. He will probably be the first cut by the Eagles front office after the season.
King Dunlap was a quality backup offensive line for a couple seasons with the Eagles, but at this point his roster spot is better suited for someone else. He makes bonehead mistakes like not getting on the field with the field goal team and just not providing much in run blocking. Dunlap is a limited player that will be a free agent after the season.
The Eagles have two outstanding young running backs in LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown. There is no reason why they should keep an offensive tackle around who offers very little in run blocking. This offense has to get more physical next season and it starts with the five guys up front.
Jason Babin is a very specific type of football player. He is a pass rushing specialist and nothing more. He doesn’t offer much in run support and his spin move can get him out of position just as much as it helps him make plays. He can’t anchor a defensive line, he can only be an added bonus.
Babin will be due $3.5 million next season and his contract goes up even higher in 2014. He has 3.5 sacks this season through 10 games. With the mastermind behind the wide-9 scheme, Jim Washburn expected to be fired with the rest of the coaching staff, Babin will have no place in Philadelphia.
I don’t remember a defensive player in Philadelphia that was so respected one year and then so disliked the next. Jenkins has brought it on himself however. He has completely disappeared on the field, but is still managing to run his big yap throughout the games. He reportedly was mocking Robert Griffin III after a touchdown to Santana Moss that Jenkins thought would be called back because of a holding penalty.
Jenkins restructured his current deal with the Eagles and was able to get his 2012 and 2013 base salaries guaranteed, but his base salary for the 2013 season is only $1.5 million. The Eagles front office might rather eat that figure than deal with another sub par season from Jenkins.
Darryl Tapp was supposed to be released or traded this offseason to make room for an extra offensive linemen, tight end or defensive back. He was kept instead and the Eagles have never really seen the benefits of that move this season. Tapp has just a half sack this season while he has taken a lot of playing time away from some of the young defensive ends.
Most people believed that Tapp was going to be traded to a team in need at some point either during preseason or the trade deadline. Tapp has stayed put through it all. Looking back, the Eagles could have used an extra fourth or fifth round draft pick this April. Now they get very little for Tapp and nothing at the end of the season.
Jamar Chaney has always been a great athlete at the linebacker position, but he has never really developed as a football player. His instincts are awful and he has always been a sloppy tackler. 2013 will be the final year of his rookie deal, but I don’t think he even makes it that far with the Eagles.
Chaney has recorded multiple solo tackles in a game just twice this season. That included his work on special teams and on defense. He had a couple of good starts as a rookie in 2010, but since then he has never really produced on the football field. The Eagles need to add a couple linebackers to the roster this offseason and preferably a couple that perform well on special teams.
I’m starting to think that the Oakland Raiders had a good laugh when the Eagles signed Nnamdi Asomugha back in 2011 when he signed a five year, $60 million deal. Nnamdi is a press corner who has lost a lot of speed. That is a huge deal for a press corner. If he misses on his intital press, the wide receiver can gain a lot of separation on the route. That means the safety has to make a play in order to prevent a big gain.
Nnamdi is only guaranteed $4 million next season and is likely to be a cap casualty (due $15 million in 2013). He has been far too much of a liability in pass coverage and has been a really awful tackler at the same time. You can call this free agent signing a bust.
If Nnamdi Asomugha is half of the Eagles problems in the secondary, then Kurt Coleman is the other half. Coleman has looked lost in pass coverage and has offered little in run support. It’s hard to blame Coleman. He was a seventh round draft pick in 2010 who was undersized and under-athletic coming out of Ohio State. He didn’t promote himself as the team’s starting free safety and he didn’t give the Eagles no depth behind him.
Coleman just isn’t quick enough to handle wide receivers in pass coverage and he isn’t physical enough to do much against tight ends either. The Eagles have to address the safety spot in the offseason and it just makes more sense to just dump Coleman before his final year of his rookie contract than to keep him as a backup.
The punter is not a position you pay much attention to until it is either outstanding or awful. For the Eagles it has been awful. For McBriar, you have to look past his 48.5 yards per punt. His hangtime has been way too inconsistent and he has downed just 7 of his 32 punts inside the 20. Hangtime is crucial for a coverage unit. 50 yard line drives look great in the box score, but they often lead to big returns because the Colt Andersons of the world don’t have enough time to cover the punt.