As expected, the Philadelphia Eagles released 14 players on Saturday anticipation of the 75-man deadline scheduled to take place on Tuesday, August 26th at 4 PM EST. The Eagles roster now stands at 76 players.
Most of these releases were expected except for two surprises: defensive end Joe Kruger and inside linebacker Jake Knott.
Kruger was originally selected by the Eagles in the 7th round (No. 212 overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft. Kruger spent his entire rookie season on the injured reserve list after struggling to make in impact last summer. Kruger spent the 2014 offseason working hard; he even gained 20 pounds while trying to bulk up. Unfortuantely for Kruger, however, he found himself caught in a numbers crunch. The Eagles already have a number of talented defensive ends. The emergence of 29-year old Brandon Bair and the acquisition of Taylor Hart in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft ending up hurting Kruger's roster chances.
As far as Knott goes, he was originally signed by the Eagles as an undrafted free agent in 2013. Knott played well enough to earn a roster spot and contributed on special teams during the season. Knott's 2014 offseason didn't get off to a great start, however, when it was announced he would be suspended four games for testing positive for PEDS. To make matters worse for Knott, he suffered a hamstring injury that has kept him out of practice since Friday, August 1st. It's a little curious the Eagles released Knott now because they could have kept him on the suspended list and made a decision to keep or cut him later on. He wouldn't have counted against the Eagles 53-man roster limit until after Week 4 of the 2014 season.
It's worth noting that both Kruger and Knott are still practice squad eligible.
Part of the reason the Eagles make their cuts earlier than the deadline is so that it gives these players chances to land elsewhere, according to Kelly. At the same time, it also gives the Eagles more room to make a move if a player they like comes available.
The Eagles still have one more cut to make in order to get down to 75 by Tuesday.
Full list of players that have been released.
Inside linebacker Jake Knott
Defensive end Joe Kruger
Defensive end Alejandro Villanueva
Kicker Carey Spear
Defensive back Davon Morgan
Safety Daytawion Lowe
Defensive end Frank Mays
Tight end Blake Annen
Offensive lineman Michael Bamiro
Offensive guard Karim Barton
Wide receiver Kadron Boone
Wide receiver B.J. Cunningham
Offensive lineman Donald Hawkins
Tight end Emil Igwenagu