An hour before the 9 p.m deadline, the Philadelphia Eagles made their final cuts and now stand at the mandatory 53-man roster.
The latest cuts being quarterback Mike Kafka, punter Matt McBriar and defensive tackle Antonio Dixon, the Eagles have made some rather shocking decisions. Before we get into it, here are all the cuts made today: QB M. Kafka, P Matt McBriar, S O. Atogwe, TE B. Brackett, LB K. Clayton, DT L. Cohen, DT A. Dixon, TE C. Ford, WR M. Gilyard, WR C. Hall, CB J. Hanson, FB E. Igwenagu, T D. Jones, WR M. McNutt, LB A. Moten, DT O. Ogbu, LB R. Rau, DE M. Taylor, S P. Thomas, DT F. Trotter, OL S. Vallos and OL B. Washington.
Some of those names come as no shock, while others raise a few eye brows.
First things first; cutting Kafka and keeping Trent Edwards was probably one of the biggest decisions the Eagles made this offseason. Letting the second-year player go with a broken hand shows the Eagles are really buying into what Edwards has to provide for the team. Numbers don’t lie, and Edwards proved he was worth that $1 million the Eagles gave him.
Next we’ll get into the defensive side of things. I was kind of surprised when the Eagles decided to cut Antonio Dixon (who many people predicted would be the starter over Fletcher Cox on opening day). Even though Dixon was quiet this preseason, the Eagles have had him around for a while to know what he is capable of and it really threw me off when he was released.
Even though DT Frank Trotter and LB Ryan Rau were newer players on the roster, I thought they had an impressive preseason. Rau finished the four preseason games as the Eagles leading tackler with 11 total tackles while Trotter had 9 tackles along with 3 sacks. We all know the depth the Eagles have on that defensive-line, so for these players to be let go shows us that the players still on the team must really be special.
Another shocker was seeing the Eagles release Joselio Hanson. I thought he was looking rather good this year, but the Eagles felt Curtis Marsh and Trevard Lindley looked more fresh.
In the back field, the Eagles let O.J Atogwe walk. Atogwe was signed this offseason with hopes to take over at safety, but failed to stay healthy and was out-played. Atogwe was a former play maker in this league, it is just a shame he couldn’t carry those talents along with him to Philly. The defensive back has 373 tackles and 25 interceptions in his seven years in the league.
Now for the offense. I would first like to point out the Eagles are keeping all four running backs; McCoy (obviously), Dion Lewis, Bryce Brown, and Chris Polk. I thought at least one of the newer backs would’ve been released, but the Eagles are keeping the quad-threat.
I know many people are disappointed, but Chad Hall is no longer an Eagle. The fan-fav has been released and is no longer eligible for the practice-squad team. He had 9 receptions for 94 yards in the past four games, but failed to get into the end-zone, much like the story of his career. Along with Hall, Mardy Gilyard was released as well. I think this move was a huge mistake, beings he caught 9 balls for 151 yards and two touchdowns. Gilyard is also not eligible for making the practice-squad, and some other team will benefit greatly from having him on board.
One receiver the Eagles let go that is practice-squad ready is rookie big-man Marvin McNutt. During the offseason and all throughout camp, McNutt was a star. His sure-hands and size gave him an advantage over his defender and he really looked as if he would be giving Jason Avant a run for his money. Turns out, he will not be getting that opportunity. The main reason is probably due to his one reception for 13 yards in four games. I hope he does better at practice, because I look forward to seeing him soon in the near future.
The last subject here is going to be the tight ends; Brent Brackett and Chase Ford. With Brent Celek and Clay Harbor already on the roster, it would be kind of pointless to have three at the position. Brackett put up two touchdowns for the Birds this offseason, but so did Harbor. I guess the Eagles stuck with experience and didn’t want a second Brent on the team.
What are your thoughts about the Eagles cutting these players? Anyone think some were a mistake, or perhaps a player that is still on the team that shouldn’t? Let us know!