The Eagles officially released Dorial Green-Beckham on Friday (story here). Here are three reasons why.
1 - DGB was very bad
This is the main reason above all else. It’s really as simple as that.
DGB wasn’t good enough to stick around. He has ideal size, yes, but he just didn’t play up to his physical ability. His effort was also in question at times ... both on and off the field.
DGB struggled mightily in spring practices this year. He dropped a lot of passes and constantly got yelled at by new Eagles wide receivers coach Mike Groh. The Eagles gave him plenty of time to show what he can do and it was clear DGB just wasn’t good enough.
A small factor here is that the Eagles save around $500,000 in cap space by cutting him. That’s not a ton (in the NFL world, at least) but it makes the decision to cut him even easier.
2 - The Eagles are high on Marcus Johnson
Adam Caplan, who has good Eagles sources, notes that the team is high on Marcus Johnson.
#Eagles got an extended look at Marcus Johnson during OTAs with Jordan Matthews (knee) sidelined. Johnson took advantage of extra reps.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) June 30, 2017
Johnson signed with the Eagles as an undrafted rookie free agent last year. The team was higher on him than you would have expected but then he got hurt in training camp. Johnson was waived and then signed to the practice squad later during the 2016 season.
Now Johnson is back and there’s a real chance he could make Philadelphia’s 53-man roster. The 6-1, 204 pound pass catcher had a good spring. He’s not a star or anything but he could potentially beat out Shelton Gibson if the Eagles only keep six pass catchers. Johnson ran a 4.37 40-yard dash at his pro day so he’s got some speed.
It seemed noteworthy to me that Johnson was getting some reps with the Eagles first team offense during minicamp earlier this month.
3 - The Eagles are also high on Mack Hollins
Caplan also notes the Eagles like what they’ve seen out of Hollins. We’ve previously heard a similar report.
Hollins had a good spring as well. He didn’t make a ton of super flashy plays; he was just really consistent and didn’t make many mistakes. Hollins figures to be a key special teams player for the Birds this season and moving forward. It remains to be seen how large his offensive role will be but he figures to get some kind of playing time there.
Closing the book on DGB
Let’s be honest: DGB’s fate was sealed a long time ago. The Eagles clearly weren’t going to keep him after adding Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith in free agency. Philadelphia selecting Hollins and Gibson in the 2017 NFL Draft only further confirmed that.
The Eagles’ wide receiver picture now looks something like this heading into 2017:
Alshon Jeffery is the team’s No. 1 wide receiver target.
Torrey Smith is a veteran contributor who can help stretch the field.
Jordan Matthews is a solid slot receiver for this team assuming he doesn’t get traded.
Nelson Agholor is still very much a bust but at least he had an encouraging spring.
Hollins is a special teams guy and role player/backup at receiver.
That’s five receivers right there. I think the Eagles could keep six with either Johnson or Gibson being the guy. Gibson really struggled during spring practices — he just couldn’t catch the football. So I’d give Johnson the edge right now.
Trading Matthews would open up another receiver spot, but the Eagles wouldn’t make a deal just so they could do that. With that said, if the Eagles really do like Johnson, perhaps that makes Matthews more expendable.
There’s still a lot of time left for the Eagles’ wide receiver situation to play out. All we know for sure is that DGB won’t be part of it.