The Philadelphia Eagles officially announced the release of 19 players on Saturday. These cuts come before the team is required to reach the 53-man roster limit deadline at 4:00 PM EST on Saturday, August 30th. The current Eagles roster now stands at 53 players.
Among those cuts were a few surprises that included running back Matthew Tucker, fifth round pick Ed Reynolds and trade acquisition Kenjon Barner.
Reports of the Eagles cuts have trickled down since Friday morning, but on Saturday, the team announced its full list of moves. The list features the waiver requests of Tucker, Reynolds, Barner, cornerback Roc Carmichael, offensive tackle Kevin Graf, kicker Alex Henery, wide receiver Damaris Johnson, safety Keelan Johnson, running back Henry Josey, linebacker Josh Kaddu, defensive tackle Wade Keliikipi, quarterback G.J. Kinne, cornerback Curtis Marsh, wide receiver Ifeanyi Momah, wide receiver Will Murphy, wide receiver Quron Pratt and defensive tackle Damion Square.
Those moves mean that Jeff Maehl is currently the sixth wide receiver on the Eagles roster and that the team decided to keep just three running backs, which likely means that the staff is comfortable with Chris Polk's health. The team was unable to trade Damaris Johnson, despite shopping him prior to the deadline. Of those that made the team, 36 players were on the Eagles roster last season.
The Eagles also placed WR Arrelious Benn (lower back) and LB Travis Long (torn left ACL) on injured reserve. Lane Johnson will be placed on the reserve/suspended list for the first four games of the 2014 NFL regular season.
Of these moves, only Tucker is really a massive surprise. He played well throughout the off-season and seemed to earn a spot, while Polk sat out with an injury. That's probably the only move I disagree with at this point. The team was unable to deal Johnson, which is good for whoever is able to get him off of waivers.
I think it was a smart move to Dennis Kelly even though the team also kept Andrew Gardner. It also seems like the team had significant depth when compared to last year's squad. The practice squad should feature plenty of quality players.
Remember, just because the Eagles got down to 53, it doesn't mean they are done moving things around. There is the waiver wire to consider, as well as some possible trade deals. I am actually pretty shocked that Howie Roseman was unable to work a player-for-player deal or three before the deadline. I am also kind of bewildered at the thought of keeping just three running backs with the age and injury history behind LeSean McCoy.
Reynolds being cut was something I have pretty much predicted since he was drafted. I wasn't really impressed by his tape and think he needs a lot of work. Square, Johnson, Graf, Henery, Josey and Tucker should be guys to watch on the waiver wire.