At this point in the year, all 32 teams are working to craft their rosters. The weeks ahead will huge for the team's success and it is critical that the moves are made for the team to build a winner. The Eagles, coming off a season where the team finished with 4th-worst record in the league, have already made a plethora of moves. But just like in any performance-based industry, the job is never done.
The failures of last season will actually serve as more of benefit to the new coaching staff than a hindrance. As a bottom-five team, the Eagles are among those with first dibs at the waiver wire. The team is primed for a shot at talent on teams that no longer need their services due to fit, age, salary and everything in between. That is why it is important for the Eagles to keep a watchful eye as teams mold their rosters throughout training camp and the preseason.
While the Eagles are not likely to pick up a Pro Bowler, depth will be very important during the season. In 2012, young players like Darius Butler (Colts), Clyde Gates (Jets), and Phillip Adams (Raiders) were claimed off waivers and got quality playing time. The waiver wire also can change the market on vested veteran (four or more seasons of experience) free agents that are cut during the preseason or veterans still looking to sign a deal after a summer of "no-calls". If a team can grab a solid third safety, they may be less inclined to pay big dollars for a guy like Quintin Mikell or Kerry Rhodes. Luckily for the Eagles, they will have the 4th-highest priority on the waiver wire and can use to their advantage if the Chiefs, Jaguars and Raiders pass on talent that would be great fits for Philadelphia.
What you need to know about the waiver wire:
- Only the Chiefs, Jaguars and Raiders have higher priority than the Eagles
- If a player has played an accrued four seasons prior to being cut, then he is what is called a "vested veteran." Vested veterans are not subject to waivers and can sign with another team immediately as a free agent. These players only are subject to waivers following the trade deadline (example: Jason Babin in 2012).
- If a non-vested veteran is cut, a team must wait for them to past through waivers in order to sign them to the practice squad. A team can sign a player off an opposing practice squad as if that player is a free agent.
- Only players with less than three season of practice squad duty or players that have less than 9 active games of experience during one accrued season can be part of a practice squad. Eagles non-rookies who are qualified for the practice squad include Clifton Geathers, Vinny Curry, Dennis Dixon, Greg Salas, G.J. Kinne, Chris Polk, Emil Igwenagu, B.J. Cunningham, Derek Carrier, Nate Menkin, Ed Wang, Emmanuel Acho, and Chris McCoy.
- First cuts (75) are typically on the Monday following the third preseason game. Final cuts (53) come the weekend of the final preseason game.