Eagles

Final Eagles 53-man roster projection after last preseason game

Final Eagles 53-man roster projection after last preseason game

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The Eagles have finished up their preseason and are a week and a couple days away from their season opener. 

Just a quick disclaimer: I expect the Eagles’ roster to be fluid based on some injuries, but they still have to go from 90 to 53 by the deadline at 4 p.m. on Saturday.  

Here’s my final 53-man roster projection: 

QB (3): Carson Wentz, Josh McCown, Nate Sudfeld 

In this scenario, I’m exposing rookie fifth-round pick Clayton Thorson to waivers. I’m aware that it’s a little risky to do that; the Eagles don’t want to lose him. But I’m taking that chance because keeping four quarterbacks is too many. (And I haven’t seen enough from him to think teams will be knocking down the door for him.) The Eagles can get him to their practice squad and will be ready to bring him up if needed. 

RB (4): Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders, Corey Clement, Darren Sproles 

This means the Eagles will be cutting Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams and Boston Scott. I think at least one of those guys will end up on a 53-man roster somewhere else. If the Eagles keep five, I think Smallwood would be the guy they keep. Perhaps they could even trade Smallwood or Adams. 

WR (5): Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Mack Hollins

Maybe Hollins doesn’t really deserve this roster spot, but I think he makes the team because of special teams. Greg Ward was a tough cut because he probably deserves to make the team. The one thing he has going for him is his ability as a slot receiver. If they keep six, he’d be my pick. 

TE (4): Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Richard Rodgers, Josh Perkins 

This is exactly what the Eagles did last year. They kept Rodgers and put him on IR. I think that happens again with his foot injury. You can debate whether or not that’s right, but the Eagles like Rodgers. They returned him from IR last year and then signed him to a new contract in the offseason. Either way, I think Perkins is TE3 to start the season. 

OL (9): Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Andre Dillard, Jordan Mailata, Stefen Wisniewski  

My only somewhat surprising cut is Matt Pryor. There’s some precedent here. A few years ago, the Eagles kept Dillon Gordon on their roster as an inactive player for a full season and cut him the next offseason. And some folks want to cut Stefen Wisniewski — I get it — but with Brandon Brooks’ injury, I want to keep some interior OL depth with experience. If Big V has to start the season at right guard, Wiz is an injury at any of the interior positions away from playing. If Mailata (back) ends up on IR before the roster is final, then Pryor is on the team. 

DE (6): Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Vinny Curry, Daeshon Hall, Josh Sweat, Shareef Miller 

This is heavy on DEs, but I’m not prepared to get rid of any of these guys yet. Perhaps Miller could be a phantom IR guy, but he might be able to help this year. I haven’t seen enough bad to cut any of those last three. I will say I think Hall should be the fourth guy and get snaps this season — at least to start the year. 

DT (4): Fletcher Cox, Malik Jackson, Tim Jernigan, Hassan Ridgeway 

I cut Treyvon Hester, which was tough. I think he’s pretty equal to Ridgeway, but the Eagles traded for Ridgeway and he has more experience. If they keep five, Hester makes the team. 

LB (6): Nigel Bradham, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Zach Brown, Nate Gerry, L.J. Fort, T.J. Edwards 

Perhaps my most surprising move is keeping UDFA Edwards. He’s had a good camp and with the injury to KGH, I’m fine keeping an extra linebacker. Some have suggested the Eagles cut Fort, but I need him to be a starter in the base package in Week 1. 

CB (5): Ronald Darby, Sidney Jones, Avonte Maddox, Rasul Douglas, Cre’Von LeBlanc 

You’ll notice the omission of Orlando Scandrick, but I think he’ll be back once either LeBlanc or Rodgers hit IR. That means the Eagles will have their initial 53-man roster with just four healthy corners, but Scandrick will be back soon. I think Jalen Mills starts the season on PUP. 

S (4): Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Andrew Sendejo, Johnathan Cyprien 

I think these four guys are pretty safe. Sendejo and Cyprien didn’t play on Thursday night, but the Eagles know what they have there. 

ST (3): Jake Elliott, Cameron Johnston, Rick Lovato 

Unless they sign Carli Lloyd, these three are locks. 

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Redskins sign Eagles Super Bowl starter Ronald Darby

Redskins sign Eagles Super Bowl starter Ronald Darby

The Eagles will now see Ronald Darby twice a year. Which is about how often they’ve seen him the last few years.

OK, that’s a slight exaggeration, but Darby, who missed 22 games in his three years with the Eagles, agreed to terms of a one-year, $4 million deal with the Redskins Sunday, according to ESPN.

The Eagles acquired Darby from the Bills just before the 2017 season for Jordan Matthews and a third-round pick in 2018. Darby missed nine games with an ankle injury before returning to the starting lineup and playing at a high level down the stretch as the Eagles went on their Super Bowl run.

He suffered a torn ACL that cost him the last seven regular-season games and the postseason in 2018 and missed five games last year with hamstring and hip injuries.

Darby, who won a bronze medal in the 200-meter dash at the 2011 IAAF World Championships, had six interceptions as an Eagle, the most by any Eagles cornerback during the Doug Pederson Era.

At his best, he was a speedy, aggressive playmaking corner, but the Eagles just did not see that player very often, especially the last two years.

The Eagles went into the offseason committed to revamping the secondary, and they never had any intention of re-signing Darby, who made $5.625 million last year.

In Washington, Darby will be playing for new head coach Ron Rivera. The Redskins signed Kendall Fuller as a free agent but traded Quinton Dunbar, who started 11 games at corner for the Skins last year, to the Seahawks last week.

Darby is the seventh Eagles’ unrestricted free agent to sign elsewhere, following Halapoulivaati Vaitai [Lions], Jordan Howard [Dolphins], Kamu Grugier-Hill [Dolphins], Malcolm Jenkins [Saints], Nelson Agholor [Raiders] and Richard Rodgers [Redskins]. All but Howard were members of the 2017 Super Bowl team.

The Eagles made no effort to re-sign any of them.

Of the Eagles’ 15 free agents, only Jason Peters, Nigel Bradham, Vinny Curry and Josh McCown remain unsigned. The Eagles brought back Jalen Mills, Rodney McLeod, Nate Sudfeld and Hassan Ridgeway.

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Ever wonder how many Philly natives played for the Eagles?

Ever wonder how many Philly natives played for the Eagles?

When the Eagles signed Will Parks, who grew up at 2nd and Allegheny and attended since-shuttered Germantown High School, it got me wondering how many Philadelphia natives have played for the Eagles.

The answer is not many. Especially recently.

Going back to 1940, we found 14 Philly natives who played in at least one regular-season game for the Eagles.

We’re not including players from the suburbs [Vince Papale, Josh Adams, Matt Bahr] or Philly natives the Eagles drafted who never got into a game [Raheem Brock, Steve Ebbeke].

Anybody missing?

SHAREEF MILLER [2019]: You don’t have to go very far back to find the last Philly native to play for the Eagles. Miller, their 4th-round pick last year, graduated from George Washington High up in Somerton, and he did play for the Eagles last year – two special teams snaps against the Bills.

BRUCE PERRY [2005-06]: Perry, also a George Washington graduate, was the Eagles’ 7th-round pick in 2004. He played five games with the Eagles and had 16 career carries. On the last day of the 2005 season, he ran 15 times for 70 yards against the Redskins, a 4.7 average. He never had another NFL carry.

UHURU HAMITER [2001-02]: Hamiter was a defensive end who played at Mastbaum High in Kensington, leading the Panthers to the 1996 Public League championship. After playing at Delaware State, he went undrafted in 1998, but he signed with the London Monarchs of the World League and had seven sacks. The Eagles brought him into training camp that summer, and although he didn’t make the roster, he did resurface in 1999 with the Saints and played five games. He returned to Philly and played in eight games.

CHUCK WEBER [1959-61]: Weber went to Abington High, but he grew up in Philly, so we’ll keep him in the Philly section. Weber was actually the Eagles’ middle linebacker in 1960, when Chuck Bednarik played outside. Weber had six INTs in 1960, most by an Eagles linebacker until William Thomas had seven in 1995. In a 1960 game against the Cowboys at the Cotton Bowl he became the first linebacker in NFL history with three INTs in a game. He remains one of only six Eagles with three interceptions in a game and the only linebacker. Kurt Coleman is the last to do it.

EDDIE BELL [1955-58]: Bell went to West Philadelphia High and played at Penn. The Eagles drafted him in the 5th-round in 1953, and Bell, one of the first African-Americans to play in the NFL, had nine INTs in four seasons with the Eagles before spending time in the CFL and then the AFL with the New York Titans, who eventually became the Jets.

JOHN MICHELS [1953]: Not to be confused with the John Michels who was once traded for Jon Harris, this John Michels was a guard who went to West Catholic and then played at Tennessee. He was a 25th-round draft pick in 1953 and played 11 games for the Eagles.

JESS RICHARDSON [1953-61]: Richardson was from East Falls and went to Roxborough High. He was the Eagles’ 8th-round pick in 1953 as a defensive tackle out of Alabama. Ray Didinger tells me Richardson grew up blocks away from the Kelly family and was friends with Grace Kelly, who became Princess of Monaco. He played nine of his 12 NFL seasons with the Eagles, made a Pro Bowl in 1959 and started on the 1960 NFL Championship team.

WALT STICKEL [1950-51]: Stickel went to Northeast High and played at both Tulsa and Penn before the Bears drafted him in the 21st round in 1945. He finished his career with the Eagles, playing in 11 games.

MIKE JARMOLUK [1949-55]: Jarmoluk, an interior lineman, attended Frankford High and Temple and was drafted by the Lions in 1945 before finishing his 10-year NFL career with the Eagles.

BILL MACKRIDES [1947-51]: Mackrides played at West Philly and Nevada and was the Eagles’ 3rd-round pick as a QB in 1947. He spent all but three games of his six-year career with the Eagles and was a backup on two NFL Championship teams. He threw 15 touchdown passes.

BERT KUCZYNSKI [1946]: Kuczynski went to Northeast High and Penn and played in one game for the Eagles.

MIKE MANDARINO [1944-45]: A West Catholic and La Salle grad, Mandarino played in 13 games for the Eagles in the 1940s.

BUCKO KILROY [1943-55]: Kilroy grew up in Port Richmond and attended Northeast Catholic and played college ball at both Notre Dame and Temple and also served in the Merchant Marines before spending his entire 13-year NFL career as an interior lineman with the Eagles, often playing both ways. He started 103 games for the Eagles, playing on both the 1948 and 1949 NFL Championship teams and was named to the NFL’s Team of the Decade for the 1940s. After his playing career, Kilroy spent nearly 50 years as an NFL executive, including 37 years with the Patriots.

JACK FERRANTE [1941, 1944-50]: Great story. Ferrante grew up in South Philly and then West Philly and briefly attended high school somewhere in the city, although nobody seems to remember exactly where. He left school to work during his sophomore year and was only 18 when he starting playing semi-pro football. After earning a local reputation, he got a tryout with the Eagles in 1941. He played three games and caught two passes, then got another tryout in 1944, and this time he stuck. Ferrante wound up spending the next seven years with the Eagles, catching 169 passes for 2,884 yards, 31 TDs (tied with Brent Celek for 12th-most in Eagles history) and a 17.71 average (7th-best in Eagles history) while starting for the 1948 and 1949 NFL Championship teams.

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