Eagles release CB Brandon Hughes, leave roster spot open

Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

The Eagles have announced they released veteran CB Brandon Hughes.

Yesterday, Hughes was ruled for Monday night's game with a hand injury that he suffered in the preseason. This move leaves the Eagles with only 5 cornerbacks on the roster: Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher, Brandon Boykin, Jordan Poyer, and Shaun Prater. They're very thin at that position.

As the Eagles have pointed out, the roster stands at 52 now but there is no corresponding roster move.

This could be a sign that the team is interested in bringing back Hughes after Week 1 because he's a vested veteran. Coincidentally, this is a topic we just discussed at BGN today. From Mike Kaye:

The full guarantee of a "vested veteran" salary is obviously beneficial to a player that has made it past the average NFL career (3.5 years), but it can also be a curse for high-paid players that are past their prime or fringe guys with little leverage. NFL general managers are aware of the value of keeping only a select number of "vested veterans," because teams want the flexibility to wipe contracts off the books if a player is not delivering on the field. This is why you will see several talented "vested veterans" on the street during Week 1, but suddenly sign a deal on the Tuesday after the first games are played.

Cutting Hughes now essentially saves the Eagles from having to guarantee his salary throughout the whole season. Now he can be cut later in the season without the Eagles having to worry about paying him after his release.

Hughes isn't a starter but he has proved to be a quality depth option at CB and can play on special teams. It wouldn't be a shock to see him return sometime later in the week after Monday's game, but it's possible the Eagles could be looking into other vested veteran options.

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