The NFL waiver wire results are in following roster cuts and the Philadelphia Eagles made a successful claim! The Birds are adding running back Jason Huntley to their team.
To me the most surprising move was releasing fifth-round pick Jason Huntley, who by all accounts was having a very good training camp as a change-of-pace back. I thought that drafting Huntley might have meant that Ty Johnson was on the outside looking in, but it appears that they felt Johnson was more worthy of that initial roster spot.
Even as a fifth-round pick, it is very unlikely that Huntley will be poached by another team, especially without any NFL tape out there. So, in essence, this move is harmless if all you’re worried about is him sticking around with the Lions. However, I thought Huntley could contribute right away, and while that is still possible should they decide to promote him to the active roster soon, it seems as if the Lions might not have a role for him right away which comes as a surprise to me.
Huntley was cut in part because he got caught up in a numbers crunch. The Lions already have two second-round picks in their backfield in Kerryon Johnson and D’Andre Swift. They were also planning on adding Adrian Peterson, who they reportedly signed earlier today. Ergo, Huntley could’ve made their team if they were thinner at running back.
Huntley is on the smaller side at 5-9, 193 pounds. He does boast a strong athletic profile with great speed, elite explosiveness, and okay agility:
Considering their shaky depth at the position, I'm a bit surprised rookie 5th round pick Jason Huntley didn't make the team.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) September 5, 2020
I'd suspect they try to bring him back in some capacity. pic.twitter.com/uCkO1X8T87
Huntley had a solid track record of production at New Mexico State as a runner, pass catcher, and kick returner. Perhaps he’ll be in the mix to return kicks for the Eagles? Stats via Sports-Reference:
Huntley seems like a smart pickup. The Eagles probably view him as an upgraded version of what they were looking for in Adrian Killins, who still might be joining the practice squad anyway.
The Eagles will have to open up a roster spot to add Huntley to their 53-man roster. And Howie Roseman said they can’t simply put guys on injured reserve to open up spots for claims, so it’ll be interesting to see who gets cut. It’ll also take some time for Huntley to actually join the team as he’ll have to travel and go through COVID-19 testing before being allowed inside the NovaCare Complex.
With the new guy in the fold, the Eagles have four backs on the 53: Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Corey Clement, and Huntley. Sanders figures to have a huge role in 2020 while Scott and Clement are complementary pieces. Huntely will probably only be a special teams guy at most to start.
In other waiver news, the Carolina Panthers claimed former Eagles draft picks Rasul Douglas and Shareef Miller. The Panthers notably hired former Eagles national scout Pat Stewart as their new director of player personnel earlier this year. Carolina also employs former Eagles analyst Taylor Rajack as their director of football analytics.
Eagles undrafted rookie free agent signing Noah Togiai was claimed by the Indianapolis Colts. Darn you, Frank Reich! There was thought the Eagles might keep Togiai as a third tight end on the 53 but they went with keeping just Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. Togiai would’ve been a good bet for Philly’s practice squad so they’ll have to find a new tight end for that.
None of the other Eagles cuts were claimed ... including 2017 second-round pick Sidney Jones. So, maybe the Eagles bring him back on their practice squad?