No surprises in first round of cuts by Philadelphia Eagles


Chip Kelly has been known to shock the world with his offseason moves, but the first round of cuts this preseason was not one of those times. The Philadelphia Eagles announced the release of 12 players on Sunday to cut their roster down to 78. They will eventually need to trim it down to 75 before Tuesday at 4 p.m., which is the deadline to do so.

The players who were waived were CB Marc Anthony, S Brandon Bishop, C Mike Coccia, T Kevin Graf, DE Alfy Hill, WR G.J. Kinne, WR Mike Johnson, LB Dasman McCullum, WR Josh Reese, DE Jeremy Towns, TE Justin Tukes and OL Jared Wheeler.

Among those guys, Kinne and Graf have both been with the Eagles for at least one season, although almost exclusively on the practice squad. Kinne recently switched from quarterback to wide receiver this offseason to give him a slightly better chance of making the roster. Unfortunately, their depth at both positions is relatively solid, not allowing Kinne to make it even through the first wave of cuts.

The bottom line with this group of guys is that nearly no one had any of these guys having a chance to make the actual roster, so it’s really no surprise they were released. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to at least see Kinne or Graf get picked up by someone else’s practice squad at some point throughout the next week or two.

According to Pro Football Focus, Graf, Tukes, Hill and McCullum graded worse than -1.0. Graf was a -1.2 in 34 snaps while Tukes was given the same grade with only 27 snaps. Hill was a -1.4 and McCullum was a -2.2. The limited number of snaps for these players was already an indicator that they probably wouldn’t last too long.

In fact, even though it can sometimes be difficult to receive a positive grade, 11 of the 12 players received a negative grade, except for Bishop, who didn’t play at all for the Eagles.

The Eagles will also have to release three more players, or decide to put someone on injured reserve. Moving JaCorey Shepherd to IR would count as one of those three. Emmanuel Acho is also strangely still listed on the roster despite being waived/injured a few days ago due to a thumb injury. If both of those players are removed from the active roster, they’d only need to release one more player, which wouldn’t be too difficult.

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The fact that Kelly releases the guys a day early is actually a blessing in disguise for them as it gives them extra time to generate interest from other teams. I’m not sure any of these guys would be able to make it on another team’s main roster, but a practice squad seems reasonable.

As for players who might be on their way out soon, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a surprise cut on the offensive line. The backup offensive linemen have actually looked pretty bad at times. Julian Vandervelde and Matt Tobin, both of whom have been on the main roster the past couple years, have struggled a lot this preseason. Tobin has especially struggled with run-blocking, ranking 132nd out of 136 offensive tackles this preseason, according to PFF.

John Moffitt is another guy who has really struggled so far. He hasn’t seemed to be able to shake off the rust and may find himself without a job if he doesn’t turn it around. According to PFF, he’s been the third worst guard in both overall terms and in run-blocking.

With how poorly some of these guys have played so far, it’ll be interesting to see if a rookie free agent will end up making the team this year. Malcolm Bunche and Brett Boyko have played pretty well thus far, but they’ve each only had 21 snaps which is too small of a sample size. Regardless, it will be interesting to see what they do.

Next: Eagles can't let Sam Bradford's injury history limit their offense

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