The Philadelphia Eagles officially announced the following roster moves on Tuesday evening:
- G/T Kayode Awosika, WR Deon Cain, LB Christian Elliss, CB Craig James, DE Matt Leo, DE Cameron Malveaux, S Jared Mayden, CB Mac McCain, LB JaCoby Stevens, TE Noah Togiai, and DT Marvin Wilson were signed to reserve/futures contracts.
It’s standard operating procedure for teams to re-sign most of their practice squad players to non-guaranteed deals immediately after their season ends. So, hardly a shocking development.
Still, we’ll run through this news on a player-by-player basis.
Prior to post-training camp roster cuts, there was thought Awosika might push for a spot on the team. He instead remained on the practice squad for most of the season. The Eagles used seven practice squad protections on Awosika, showing interest in retaining his services. Awosika saw his first regular season action against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 18. Awosika has the potential to be a key backup at guard/tackle moving forward.
The Eagles added Cain to their practice squad not too long after cutting Travis Fulgham. The 25-year-old wide receiver will get a shot to compete for a roster spot but probably won’t make the team next year.
Elliss profiles as a camp body at linebacker. The Eagles didn’t use any PS protections on him.
James went from being a special teams co-captain in 2020 to not playing any snaps for the Eagles in 2021. He gives the team extra depth but the guess is he’s entering his last offseason with the team.
As an internal exemption, Leo didn’t count towards the Eagles’ practice squad limit for the second year in a row. Leo will not be eligible to stick around in the same capacity in 2022. Leo turns 30 in May so the combination of his age and inexperience are working against him. With the Eagles looking thin at defensive end, however, he could get a shot to make the roster. Unlikely but not impossible.
The Eagles added Malveaux to their practice squad in late September and elevated him to the roster a few times late in the season. At 27 years old, his potential might be tapped out.
The Eagles used seven protections on Mayden after adding him to the PS in late October. They kept protecting him even when he wasn’t eligible to be elevated a third time. They clearly valued something about his potential and/or his special teams ability. He might have a shot to make next year’s team as a fourth or fifth safety.
The Eagles originally claimed McCain in September. He then bounced on and off the roster and ended up on the practice squad. The Eagles protected McCain every week he was on the PS, so they seemingly value his potential. But, then again, not as much as Tay Gowan or Kary Vincent Jr. since those two played more on defense in Week 18 than McCain did.
Stevens was the Eagles’ only 2021 NFL Draft pick who didn’t make the active roster. They didn’t seem to be too worried about losing the LSU alumnus, protecting him only three times. In limited game action, Stevens struggled and showed he has a long way to go converting from safety to linebacker.
Togiai rejoined the Eagles in October after originally being waived by them and claimed by the Indianapolis Colts in September 2020. He’ll theoretically compete for the third tight end spot. Tyree Jackson could potentially begin the season on the PUP list as he recovers from his ACL injury. That development could work in Togiai’s favor, if only temporarily.
The Eagles used two protections on Big Marv and elevated him for the Week 18 Cowboys game. He was once highly thought of so the Eagles are taking a chance on his upside. With Hassan Ridgeway set to be a free agent, Big Marv potentially has a path to making the roster as a depth defensive tackle.
PRACTICE SQUAD PLAYERS NOT SIGNED (YET)
John Hightower, KeeSean Johnson, Luke Juriga, Casey Tucker, and Raequan Williams all finished the season on the practice squad but were not part of this group that signed futures contracts. It’s possible the Eagles get around to signing some, if not all ... but there’s also a chance they’re just done in Philly.
If that’s the case, the Eagles moving on from their 2020 fifth-round pick in Hightower is noteworthy. Especially after they used a team-high 12 protections on him this season.