Here are some players on the bubble or out the door for 2014:
- Michael Vick - This is going to be a tough decision, based on what the Eagles decide to do in the draft. If they want to draft another Qb at some point in the draft then Vick is gone for sure. If not, then Vick will likely stay, especially since he's expressed the sentiment that he wouldn't mind returning as a backup next year. I'm sure there will be teams out there looking to bring him in to compete for a starting position next year, if that is the case Vick might be hard pressed to stay. Vick is a free agent after this season.
- Kurt Coleman - Free agent, not a legit Safety, special teams contributor at best, 14 total tackles this season, although he plays with "heart," don't see him coming back next season under any circumstance.
- Nate Allen - Another free agent, and a former 2nd round pick, Allen finally put together a decent season, nothing outstanding, but much better then the previous years. He finished the season with 82 tackles. At best, he might be back in a backup role, but not much more.
- Patrick Chung - still has 2 years on his contract and cutting him would count for $1 mill in dead money next year on his $3.25 mill salary for 2014, but consensus of Eagles fans everywhere is that Patrick Chung is a liability as a starter. Don't see him returning as a starter. Even with Kelly's connection with Chung going back to Oregon, I say he's gone after this year.
- Colt Anderson - strictly a special teams player, is a free agent, but will probably be re-signed due to his special teams prowess.
- Keelan Johnson - will probably be in training camp, competing for a backup spot.
- Curtis Marsh - free agent, gone.
- Roc Carmichael - free agent, most likely gone or bring him back to compete for a backup spot during training camp.
- Brandon Graham - with 2 years left on his contract and having a figure of $3.4 mill in dead money if cut, Brandon Graham will most likely be returning unless they can find a trading partner for his services.
- Trent Cole - with $6.6 mill in salary next year and a dead money figure of $4.8 mill, Cole will likely be returning for one more year. He's finding ways to make plays in this 3-4 defense, and hopefully can continue to contribute next year. He has 56 tackles, 8 sacks and 3 forced fumbles this year. Not bad for a player who had to learn a totally new position at his age.
- Clifton Geathers - didn't see much from him this year, gone.
- Cedric Thornton - RFA, you gotta bring him back.
- Vinny Curry - bring him back to compete for a spot, we still have him under contract for 2 more years at a very reasonable salary.
- Damion Square - that punishing hit by Murray was embarrassing, but one play doesn't define a rookie's career, he should be back competing for a backup role next year but hopefully Eagles will have a lot more competition through the draft and free agency where it might be tough for someone like Square to easily make the team.
- Joe Kruger - coming off the IR from his rookie season, he'll be given a chance to show what he can do in the 3-4 with hopefully some added bulk. Too hard to predict since we didn't get to see him play this year.
- Casey Matthews/Najee Goode/Emmanuel Acho/Jason Phillips/Jake Knott - All ILB's, we need to add some competition at this position, not too comfortable with anyone of these players filling in for Ryans and Kendricks for more than a game or two. But would like to see how Knott and Goode play in the pre-season. Matthews is replaceable. Acho is probably gone. And Phillips was on the IR, so we don't know about him yet.
- Riley Cooper - free agent, had a really good season, Eagles should try to re-sign him at the right price.
- Jeremy Maclin - another free agent, bring back on a short-term deal so both sides can re-evaluate after a year or so, unless Maclin gets a nice deal somewhere else, then he might bounce for a big pay day.
- Jeff Maehl - under contract for 2014, will compete for a spot on the 53-man roster, but hopefully there's stiffer competition then he had this year.
- Damaris Johnson - under contract for 2014, will compete for a spot, but don't see him making it.
- Arrelious Benn - again, under contract for 2014 for $1 mill, if he's healthy, wouldn't mind seeing what he can do in this offense during the pre-season.
- Jason Avant - $3.96 mill salary on his final year, team leader, great blocker on offense and special teams. Hard to see the team drop him in his final year. There is something to be said for loyalty, especially towards team leaders. I see him back in training camp, competing for a backup spot. They have 6 wr's on the roster now, hopefully if they keep 6 next year, he can make the team depending on how many Wr's they try to add through either the draft or free agency. I'm pulling for him, and I think the team will do the right thing, as long as he can still perform at a high level during training camp and preseason.
- Brad Smith - contributor on special teams and Chip trusts him to run some gadget plays, he should be given a chance to come back in training camp and compete.
- Matthew Tucker - he'll face competition again in training camp for that 4th spot, let's see how much more improved he is during preseason in Year 2. Eagles are loaded at running back, so I don't see them drafting one at any point, but if a special talent drops to them in the draft, they won't be averse to making that selection.
- Offensive Line - the starters will return, there will be some competition for the backup spots, it's impossible to tell which backups will get cut or come back since we rarely get to see any of them play. Allen Barbre should definitely be back as a top back-up, and is under contract for one more year and hopefully some of those other backups are also ready to step-up and fill-in for the starters as needed next year. The only spot they can look at adding competition is for back-up center, not sure how Vandervelde would have held up if Kelce got hurt.
- Tight ends - No changes needed, although James Casey is making $3.98 mill and $4 mill the next 2 years, maybe they can get him involved more in the offense next year. Maybe he's replaceable for that salary, only $1 mill in dead money if he gets cut.
* All salary information gathered from www.eaglescap.com
As you can see from this list, there is definitely a need at Safety and Wide Receiver.
- Safety we'll have to look at the draft or free agency.
- Receiver we might be able to re-sign our own players and not miss a beat.
- LB's both outside and inside are also a position worth upgrading for the future if not for next year.
- CB depth needs to be replenished with an eye at the future.
- DL seems okay but no one really stands out, so an upgrade to bolster the line would be really helpful going into next year.
- QB position seems to be settled, maybe a 3rd QB if Vick doesn't re-sign.
Where and how these needs will be filled is a mystery. Getting into the playoffs will help evaluate the roster even further, any deficiencies on the team are even more highlighted in the pressure filled atmosphere of the playoffs. So let's see what the next game shows us about our personnel and where we need to be in 2014 in regards to our roster.