The Philadelphia Eagles waived backup offensive lineman Sua Opeta on Friday afternoon, according to an official team announcement.
This development was not necessarily expected. Opeta’s time with the Eagles dates back to when they signed him as an undrafted rookie free agent following the 2019 NFL Draft. They’ve valued him as a developmental depth piece over the years while he logged four starts in 25 games played (425 offensive snaps).
More recently, however, Opeta has been relegated to being a healthy scratch on game days. The Eagles kept eight offensive linemen active ahead of him in Week 17. Josh Sills got the nod over Opeta due to the former’s tackle versatility whereas the latter has really only played at the guard positions.
And so Opeta being expendable to some extent factored in to the team’s decision to move on from him while they find themselves in need of roster spots. The Eagles activated 21-day practice windows for C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Robert Quinn, AND Brett Toth earlier this week. It’s possible they’ll activate all three players ahead of this week’s game against the New York Giants, though they certainly don’t have to do that. The Eagles also have a decision to make when it comes to Brett Kern considering how he’s out of practice squad elevations (without being subject to waivers) and they don’t currently have a punter on their roster.
It seems entirely possible, if not likely, that Opeta will be claimed by another team. The Eagles are known for having one of the very best offensive lines in the league. As such, their backups are more highly regarded relative to other teams.
On that note, a sneaky subplot to the Eagles’ 2022 season is how some of their OL depth has evaporated. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still currently in good shape with with they have. But losing Jack Anderson, Kayode Awosika, Le’Raven Clark, AND now potentially Opeta isn’t necessarily ideal.
Of course, Opeta was set to be a restricted free agent this offseason and it wasn’t likely that the Eagles were going to tender him. So, losing him now as opposed to losing him in March isn’t necessarily the biggest difference.
If Opeta somehow goes unclaimed, the Eagles likely won’t hesitate to bring him back on their practice squad ... assuming the interest is mutual.