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NFL roster cuts: Appealing options on the waiver wire for the Eagles

The Eagles have just cut the roster to 53 players, but the team's work may not be done just yet.

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles are at the league's roster limit, but there is still an opportunity for the team to upgrade some positions by claiming players on the waiver wire. Hundreds of players have been cut over the weekend and they will either be picked up on waivers, get signed to a practice squad or remain on the street. The waiver wire could serve the Eagles well as plenty of quality players have been caught up in numbers games and/or were ill-fit for their new coaching staff.

Philadelphia is 22nd in line on the waiver wire, so the pickings may be slim when it comes to upgrades. However, the Eagles are in a great position to sit back and let the process play out. With an already-talented roster, the team could theoretically pass on making a move, but there have been rumors to the contrary. The Eagles look to upgrade wide receiver, inside linebacker and quarterback depth or just added to units like safety, cornerback and running back.

Let's take a look at the 10 players that may appeal to the Eagles on the waiver wire:

CB Terrance Mitchell

A former Oregon Duck with talent, it's hard to believe he was cut by such a lowly Cowboys team. Mitchell was selected in the seventh round of this year's draft. He failed to stick with Dallas but his familiarity with the Eagles coaching staff may lead the team to take a flier on him. He would be the sixth cornerback on the roster.

QB Terrelle Pryor

While I highly doubt that Pryor is an option given his need for development and the Eagles low-pecking order on the waiver wire, he may have some appeal to Chip Kelly. A solid arm and much better legs, Pryor could be a guy that Kelly develops into a solid backup quarterback. He will likely get claimed long before the Eagles have an opportunity.

LB Nico Johnson

A three-time BSC Champion, Johnson was drafted in the fourth round of last year's draft. He lost his job to players with more experience, but could be an interesting low risk, high reward player for the Eagles. He played in six games as a rookie (one start) and made seven tackles on the season.

S Robert Lester

As an undrafted rookie, Lester got thrust into a major role with the Panthers. He played special teams and even started four games. At 6-foot-1 and 225 pounds, he has the size the Eagles like and he has some experience that could serve him well as the fourth or fifth safety.

CB Josh Thomas

If the Eagles are looking to add to the cornerback position, Thomas has experience as a starter and on special teams. In three season, Thomas has appeared in 38 games (10 starts) and collected 64 tackles, nine pass deflections and an interception. He was beaten out for his spot in a crowded unit.

RB/KR Marcus Thigpen

With Nolan Carroll fighting for a starting gig, Kenjon Barner and Damaris Johnson waived, the Eagles may look for a kick returner. The front office has a familiarity with Thigpen, as he was in Eagles training camp as a rookie. He has a career return average of 24.8 yards and scored a touchdown in 2012. He was limited as a running back with just seven carries for 26 yards (3.7 YPC) in his career.

WR Stephen Hill

Hill has been nothing but a bust, but if there is anyone that repair an offensive player, my money is on Chip Kelly. Hill is big and fast, so perhaps the Eagles will find those attributes appealing for a project player. Hill was overdrafted, there is no doubt about it, but a fresh start could benefit him. Just 23, he has 23 games (19 starts) under his belt to go along with 45 catches for 594 yards and five touchdowns. He would likely be the fourth best receiver on the Eagles roster, but does he play special teams?

S Duke Ihenacho

Ihenacho went from being a starter for a Super Bowl loser to getting caught in a numbers game. He was signed as an undrafted player by the Broncos in 2012 and appeared in two games on special teams. Last season, due to injuries, Ihenacho played in 15 games (14 starts) and collected 73 tackles, six pass breakups and three forced fumbles. He could be a nice grab as the fourth safety (he'd likely played over Chris Maragos).

TE David Paulson

You can talk all you want about Duck Bias, but the reality is that Chip Kelly likes being familiar with his players and it makes sense (to an extent). Paulson is obviously not as versatile as Trey Burton but does have more experience and a relationship with Kelly. The 2012 seventh round pick was waived by the Steelers after two years in Pittsburgh. He has appeared in 32 games (nine starts) and caught 13 passes for 153 yards (11.8 YPR).

LB Kelvin Sheppard

Entering his fourth season in the league, Sheppard has starting experience in both a 4-3 and a 3-4 offense. He was traded from the Bills to the Colts for pass rusher Jerry Hughes last offseason and played in 15 games (seven starts) for Indianapolis and collected 46 tackles and a sack. In three seasons, he has played in 47 games (31 starts) and accumulated 122 tackles, three sacks and three pass breakups. He is probably not ideal as a starter, but would be a massive upgrade over Casey Matthews at inside linebacker and has starting experience in case he needs to step up. His is only 26.

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