As expected, Marcus Smith showed up to Eagles mandatory minicamp practice on Tuesday. Smith spoke with reporters after practice for the first time since he decided to skip all of the team’s voluntary OTA practices this spring.
You can read a complete transcript of what Smith had to say via Matt Mullin of PhillyVoice. He basically said he skipped voluntary practices because they were optional and he wanted to work out at home. He wasn’t delusional about the Eagles not picking up his fifth-year option or adding other defensive ends to the roster.
Smith also downplayed the notion he wants to be cut. Now, it’s not like he’s going to tell reporters he wants to be cut. But that’s the only way to make sense of this weird situation. Smith is likely aware the Eagles can cut him prior to his roster bonus is due on the third day of training camp in order to save $1,483,515 in cap space.
And given that fact, it’s just hard to imagine the Eagles keeping Smith around for much longer. At the very best, he’s going to be the fifth player in Philadelphia’s defensive end rotation behind Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Derek Barnett, and Chris Long. Heck, he might even be behind Steven Means.
The only thing preventing the Eagles from cutting Smith right now could be the NFLPA. The players’ union wouldn’t like to see a player seemingly getting punished for skipping voluntary workouts.
But eventually the Eagles are going to have to bite the bullet. Keeping Smith around just doesn’t make much sense. It’s time for the Eagles to move on from their 2014 first round pick.