Corey Nelson

Eagles release veteran linebacker Corey Nelson

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Eagles release veteran linebacker Corey Nelson

After he had a very disappointing summer, the Eagles have released veteran linebacker Corey Nelson, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. 

Nelson, 26, was signed as a free agent this spring and was brought to Philadelphia with the opportunity to compete for a starting job. But Nelson quickly fell behind on the depth chart and seemingly didn’t make a play all of training camp. 

The Philadelphia Inquirer first reported Nelson’s release. 

By cutting Nelson, the Eagles will avoid paying him his $1 million base salary. It should also save the Eagles a comp pick, which probably made the decision even more of a no-brainer.

Nelson was passed by Kamu Grugier-Hill and Nate Gerry on the depth chart. One of them will start on at weakside linebacker, while LaRoy Reynolds and Joe Walker will probably earn reserve roles. 

Nelson came to Philadelphia with some promise. After being a career special teamer with the Broncos, the Eagles thought they were getting a player with plenty of untapped potential. Instead, they got a player who didn’t stand out once and had become almost forgotten by the time the Eagles cut him today. 

While the Eagles cut Nelson, they also signed undrafted rookie Jaboree Williams from Wake Forest. Williams was with the Eagles as a tryout player this spring. 

With the moves, the Eagles roster sits at 89. They have an extra spot if they want to fill it for Thursday's preseason finale. But the roster must be down to 53 by 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1. 

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Roob Knows Podcast: Being at Canton, remembering Tom Heckert

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Roob Knows Podcast: Being at Canton, remembering Tom Heckert

On the latest edition of Roob Knows, Reuben Frank shares his thoughts on the contract extensions for Doug Pederson and Howie Roseman. Roob went to Canton and saw Brian Dawkins' speech in person. A chat with Corey Nelson as he battles for a starting linebacker spot. Finally, Roob offers his thoughts on Tom Heckert, who died at 51 years old.

1:30 — Contract extensions for Roseman and Pederson.
5:00 — Culture Roseman and Pederson have created.
7:30 — Roob's Canton experience for Dawkins' speech.
10:00 — Dawkins' influence amongst Eagles fans.
15:00 — Dawkins' battle with mental health.
19:00 — Not many Eagles in the HOF.
21:30 — A conversation with Nelson.
27:30 — Roob remembers Tom Heckert.

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Eagles 2018 training camp battles: Weakside linebacker

Eagles 2018 training camp battles: Weakside linebacker

As we get near the start of the Eagles’ 2018 training camp, we’re going to take a closer look at some of the key position battles to watch this summer.

Today we’ll look at weakside linebacker.

Names to know

Kamu Grugier-Hill, Nate Gerry, Corey Nelson

What to watch

After years of trade speculation, the Eagles finally just released Mychal Kendricks this offseason. It saved them $6 million in cap room and let Kendricks out of a situation he had been ready to leave for some time. It also left the Eagles with a void. No, Kendricks didn’t play at an All-Pro level last season, but he stepped into a larger role after Jordan Hicks went down and helped the Eagles win a Super Bowl. Now, he’s gone and his old starting gig is up for grabs.

When Nelson was signed this offseason and said he was told he’d compete at the weakside linebacker spot, it raised some eyebrows. That was Kendricks’ job and as long as he was on the team, he wasn’t going to give it up. Now, it all makes more sense.

The WILL linebacker in the Eagles’ system doesn’t play a ton. The Eagles are in their nickel package for around 75 percent of their defensive snaps, which means two linebackers instead of three as the team brings an extra DB on the field. So Hicks and Nigel Bradham will stay on the field for most of the game and the third linebacker will play about a quarter of the snaps. And it’ll be one of these three guys.

What all three guys seem to have in common is the ability to cover. Grugier-Hill and Gerry are both converted safeties and Nelson is much smoother in coverage than Kendricks ever was. All three are good athletes and have shined as special teams players, but are hungry for more responsibility.

It’ll be interesting to see if this competition goes into the season. Bradham is suspended for the season opener, so it seems like two of these guys will start next to Hicks. So read into it how you will … because the guy who plays the WILL in that game might not be the guy who plays it in the next game because the player at the SAM will be on the field more and could possibly be ahead on the depth chart.

Prediction

Grugier-Hill appeared to be in the lead for this job and I think he hangs on, although this one really is up in the air. I just think his two years in the defense will mean something to Jim Schwartz and it’ll be enough to give him an edge on a second-year player and a veteran special teams player. 

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