The August 30th deadline for the Philadelphia Eagles and each of the other NFL franchises to announce the 53 men on their initial regular-season rosters has come and gone. There were some surprises. One came hours earlier.
Philly traded a fifth-round selection in 2023 and a sixth-round selection in 2024 to the New Orleans Saints to acquire safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. The Birds also get a seventh-rounder in 2025 out of the deal.
While we’re on the subject of the safety position, how about a hand for an undrafted rookie, Reed Blankenship? He made the cut after the Eagles decided to part ways with Anthony Harris. That was another surprise. Then came the unexpected addition of offensive lineman Josh Sills, another of the undrafted rookies acquired after the most recent NFL Draft. It was quite the day, but for Howie Roseman, the Eagles coaches, and etcetera, Wednesday won’t deliver a much-needed day off.
The work is only beginning for this Eagles team. There’s a waiver wire to comb through.
If you saw Josh Sills making the team, you’re in the wrong line of work. You should be hanging out in those Las Vegas hotels and helping the oddsmakers come up with those point spreads that we stress over on game days. He and Blankenship deserve a nice mention for making the near-impossible climb to keep their dreams of NFL stardom afloat, but for the Eagles, this is only the beginning of a long process of roster building that will continue throughout the coming season and beyond.
Yeah, Sills and Blankenship made the cut, but unfortunately, they’re far from safe. They must continue to endure the stress as every NFL franchise turns its attention to the waiver wire. More than 800 young men waived by pro football’s 32 teams are now on a list that every scout, coach, and general manager is studying.
Anyone with fewer than four years of accrued service time in the NFL is subject to being waived. Veterans with four years or more of service time are ‘vested’, as is the case with Anthony Harris. He’s now a free agent, and he’s able to sign with any interested team of his choosing.
After the trade deadline passes, vested veterans must go through waivers if released. Let’s stay in the present tense, that August 30th to August 31st area.
Teams that are looking to see if there are other prospects who are better than, say, the bottom five to ten guys on their roster for example still have their scouting caps on. They’ll study the wire to identify prospects and make claims on them if they so choose. Priority is determined by a ‘worst-to-first’ system.
Once the Super Bowl ends until the day after the third week of the regular season concludes, the priority order is identical to the first round of that year’s NFL Draft (before any trades were made). That means the current order of waiver priority looks like this.
As you can see, the Eagles are 19th. Whether or not they’re granted a prospect’s services is determined by whether or not he’s acquired by another interested team that precedes them in the above order. Players who are not claimed can be added to practice squads beginning on August 31st at 12 p.m. EST, so, as you can see, there are ways that the Birds can add, say, that bruising tailback if they’re interested in doing so.
That means again, the work is just beginning, and guys like Reed Blankenship, Josh Sills, and, dare we say, Jalen Reagor may still lose a little bit of sleep tonight as Tuesday closes and we move through what figures to be a very busy Wednesday as the Eagles begin piecing a 16-man practice squad together. Don’t be shocked if the game-day roster for Week 1 looks slightly different than the one we saw on August 30th.