The Eagles have added another young player to their running back stable. The team has claimed William Powell off waivers from the Cardinals. Powell is now the sixth member of the Eagles' running back group and is set to compete with Chris Polk, Felix Jones and Matthew Tucker for the third spot at the position. He also has kick return experience and figures to compete or at the very least, get looks as a returner during training camp and the preseason.
A former undrafted free agent out of Kansas State, Powell was signed by the Cardinals in 2011. Powell was waived that offseason and ended up spending the entire year on the practice squad. Last year, Powell made the active roster and appeared 13 games as a backup running back and kick returner. In Powell's one active NFL season, he ran for 217 yards on 60 attempts (3.6 YPR) and caught 19 passes for 132 yards (6.9 YPC). The 25-year old also returned 21 kicks for 507 yards (24.1) and had two returns of 40 yards or more. He also played a role on special teams coverage.
Powell was waived by Arizona on Tuesday. The young running back was a victim of a crowed unit, as the new coaching staff add three new players at his position this offseason. Bruce Arians signed Rashard Mendenhall as a free agent and drafted Stanford's Stepfan Taylor and Clemson's Andre Ellington. The numbers game was Powell's ticket out of Arizona and into Philadelphia.
With Tucker on the non-football injury list for failing his endurance tests on Tuesday and Jones' and Polk's respective injury histories, picking up Powell makes sense. He's young, can return kicks, has some experience in the NFL and is cheap. He also shares a name with an early cinema star who played the main character in the "Thin Man" films of the 30's and 40's.
In a related move, the Eagles cut Nick Miller. The former Raider and Ram played in the league from 2009-2011. He was out of the NFL all of last season. Miller, during his three-year career, has collected just four receptions for 48 yards and has been mostly a punt returner. In 2011, he returned a punt for a touchdown when he played for the Rams. He was a essentially a camp body.