The Philadelphia Eagles' roster is loaded with highly paid underachievers and hardly paid nobodies—there isn’t much middle ground.
After consecutive abysmal seasons from the Birds, the team’s fans and front office alike are undoubtedly looking over the roster and wondering how this happened.
Was it the schemes? Was it the approach to the game? Was it character? Or, is this wily pack of miscreants masquerading as a football team a misguided group of talented football players waiting to break out?
Who cares? As a whole, they are literally all losers: They haven’t won anything.
However, the team’s front office is going to have to consider this when they evaluate who should stay and who should go this offseason.
The following list is a position-by-position breakdown of which players the Eagles should keep, cut or trade (if they can).
Kelce is unquestionably a player the Eagles need to hang on to. He has been one of the NFL’s better centers during his short time in the league. He is also one of the only players who can (and will) only get better.
Tennant was brought in to relieve some of the Eagles’ offensive line trouble. Is he worth hanging on to? Well, the Patriots let him go, and the Birds wasted no time scooping him up.
However, the Eagles did so more out of necessity than out of value of Tennant’s skills. If Kelce goes down again, they’ll need to be sure they have someone to back him up who hadn’t just been cut a few times.
Asomugha is probably the biggest underachiever of all of the Philadelphia Eagles. Furthermore, he is arguably the most disappointing free-agent signing in the history of Philadelphia sports along with names like Chris Gratton and Adam Eaton.
Prior to the 2011 season, the Eagles gave Asomugha a rather big contract when they signed him that they can get out of for a $4M cap hit.
What to do with Nnamdi? He’s certainly lost a step, and that might be an understatement. If the Birds cut him, he won’t get a contract worth nearly what he has now.
However, if they keep him, they are risking a lot. The Birds are also not really in a position to lose a cornerback. Moreover, no team is going to take that contract for anything if the Eagles try to trade him.
Nnamdi and his representation know that, and they’ll probably end up renegotiating his contract. Although he shouldn’t be on the team, the right move is to renegotiate.
Verdict: Keep, but rework his contract
Boykin came out swinging this year with a few spectacular efforts, most notably against the Baltimore Ravens. But as the year went on, Boykin started to get exposed.
Although he’s not the next Champ Bailey, Boykin wasn’t all that bad. Unless you’re injured, once you flash a skill you own it. Given that, Boykin can break up plays and disrupt an offense.
Former Tennessee Titan special teamer Chris Hawkins is on an NFL roster by way of confusion and uncertainty on behalf of the Eagles’ management.
Hughes should be on this team because he’s a special team standout, and the team is too thin at cornerback, that letting go of him doesn’t make a lot of sense.
What is it about Trevard Lindley that makes me feel like he never got a fair shot? He was a four-year starter at Kentucky, where he recorded 158 tackles and 10 interceptions. If the team lets go of Nnamdi Asomugha or Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, hanging on to Lindley is a solid option.
Verdict: Keep on the condition one of the starting CBs departs.
Marsh is a converted running back who hasn’t been the worst backup on the team. He doesn’t exactly “get it done” on the field, but it’s not the worst thing when he’s out there.
DRC is a former Pro Bowler. He also got beat—a lot.
Looking back on what was expected of him before the start of the 2012 season leaves an unsettled feeling stirring in your stomach.
He’s up for an extension, and he really hasn’t earned it. He’ll want more money than he’s worth, and he’s proven himself to be a bit of a quitter.
DRC is one of the most gifted athletes on the team, but he didn’t apply himself the way he could have. He is better than what we saw, but risking keeping a player around who gives up when he doesn't think he has anything to play for isn’t worth it.
The Eagles need to draft another cornerback and have him start right away.
Verdict: Let him walk, begrudgingly
He is listed as a CB on the Eagles website, but Whitley has also been a safety. To be completely honest, who cares what happens to him?
Verdict: Keep, probably
Everette Brown is a journeyman who may be looking for a place to call home, and that’s not going to be in Philadelphia—especially with the guys ahead of him on the depth chart.
Letting go of Trent Cole is absolutely inconceivable. He is a mainstay whose reputation, if nothing else, earns him a spot.
How awesome was it when Vinny Curry tackled somebody? Curry is a local product, originally from Neptune, NJ. He grew up an Eagles fan and was a second-round pick in the 2012 draft.
Curry gets to where the ball is, and he’s a horse. He’s someone the Eagles need to hang on to—especially if Trent Cole is on the decline.
Boy, did Brandon Graham make the most of his opportunity this year! Graham was playing good football prior to Jason Babin’s release. But when he became the starter, Graham played like a first-round pick. He relieved a lot of fans in the process, too.
Hunt is a former CFL stud who made a name for himself in the preseason (for whatever that’s worth). Given how weak the team is elsewhere, focusing on the defensive line shouldn’t be on top of the front office’s to-do list.
D-Tapp renegotiated his contract to remain on an NFL roster, but he hasn’t produced the way the team needs him to. He’s good for depth, and he certainly hasn’t been bad. Nonetheless, the Eagles should free up some roster space and develop some younger players.
Can the Eagles let go of Derek Landri? No.
Fletcher Cox is a stud who is going to be one of the NFL’s best DTs in the future. He was not given enough playing time while Juan Castillo was around, and he’s been a monster since Castillo left. Cox is someone you build around.
Cameron finished his rookie year with not much to speak of. Though he doesn’t have any plays that will make any highlight reels, he should stick around at least until the end of next year’s preseason roster cuts.
Dixon is a big guy whose size makes him a great run-stopper. But is he worth hanging on to?
Considering the fact that he isn’t a part of the offense of the secondary, he should stick around for short yardage situations, and because he isn’t part of the worst unit on the team.
Jenkins is the only winner on the team, having earned a Super Bowl ring with the Green Bay Packers prior to coming to Philadelphia.
He was great in a 3-4, and he has been great at times and good most of the time in Philadelphia. You have to hang on to Cullen Jenkins.
Although Mike Patterson’s situation as of late has been unfortunate, the Philadelphia Eagles is a professional organization in a rebuilding process, and Mike Patterson has not been good since his return from brain surgery.
I wish Patterson all the best in the future, but it’s time to part ways.
Since Thornton isn’t exactly a superstar in the making and the Eagles are rebuilding, what’s the point in hanging on to him?
He’s been underwhelming and is by no means one of the better players on the defensive line.
USC product Stanley Havili went under the radar during his rookie year and probably could have been used more than he was.
He was good in college, and he had a great game this year during the Eagles’ first game against the New York Giants.
Havili probably has a bright future.
The versatile Igwenagu was on the team’s practice squad for the better part of the season. In college, he played several positions on offense and even spent some time on the defensive side of the ball.
I’m not sure if he can be a great blocker, which is what the Eagles need from a fullback as long as LeSean McCoy is around.
We need to see more of him.
Verdict: Keep until at least the first wave of 2013 roster cuts.
Nate Allen has proven himself incapable, but he’s also the best safety on a team with really bad safeties.
Allen should be kept only for depth. It will be absolutely unacceptable for the Eagles to start the 2013 season with the same starting safeties.
Special teams ace Colt Anderson took over at safety toward the end of the 2012 season and hasn’t looked back. But the rest of us are looking further into the future than he is.
The Eagles should keep him because of his special teams play and also because of how bad the other safeties are.
He also led the team in tackles during the last four games with 36.
If only Kurt Coleman’s passion translated into production. His heart is there, but he just isn’t good enough to be a safety in the NFL.
Coleman should be handed his walking papers because of Colt Anderson’s play, and because he just can’t get it done.
Mathis is consistently among the NFL’s best OGs, and 2012 was no exception. With his performance and how weak the team’s O-line is, keeping Mathis is a no-brainer.
Was Scott that bad? It doesn’t matter, because he was better than King Dunlap and Demetress Bell.
Scott should be kept for depth.
Julian Valverde, Danny Watkins, and Dallas Reynolds
All three of these guys should be banished to the furthest regions of football obscurity. Their roster spots are among Andy Reid’s more colossal misjudgments.
Verdict: Get rid of them all by any means
Who else is going to kick the field goals?
DeMeco Ryans was what the Eagles needed him to be. Although he can’t cover anyone, his presence at middle linebacker kept the Eagles' defense from completely imploding.
Kendricks had a few great games against a few great TEs. He should be kept because of his potential and because of how weak the team is at linebacker.
Ryan Rau should stick around, because the rest of the linebackers should go. We don’t exactly know what he is yet, but the team has to see what it has in him.
Jamar Chaney, Marcus Dowtin, Akeem Jordan, and Casey Matthews
All of these players should be released regardless of whether or not there is anyone to replace them and regardless of their special teams' presence.
The Eagles need an overhaul at the LB position, and none of these guys are any good. If you can’t adequately perform at your position, why are you on the team?
Verdict: Cut them all
By all means, the team should hang on to Jon D. He’s a ball-hiking virtuoso.
Is Herremans a guard or a tackle? Regardless, he’s better at both than the team’s guards and tackles not named Peters or Mathis.
Herremans’ contributions on the offensive line were sorely missed when he went down against the New Orleans Saints. If the Eagles’ season wasn’t officially over before that point, it definitely was by the time he took a seat on the bench.
The best LT in football used to be Jason Peters, and without him, the Eagles’ offensive line didn’t have a shot from the first snap of the 2012 season.
He will be back next year, but there are questions about whether or not he will return to form. Regardless, he will be better than everyone else the Eagles have. Furthermore, given how dominant he was prior to getting injured, there’s really no reason to believe he won’t be close to the same player.
Dennis Kelly, Matt Reynolds, King Dunlap, Demetress Bell, Matt Kopa, Nate Menkin
These players have flat-out not been good enough to warrant keeping around. King Dulap has been on the team forever, and he has never exhibited anything that made keeping him around a viable option.
Demetress Bell’s name makes you laugh.
It’s time to rebuild the O-line. The starters are solid, but there is no depth. None of these guys can hold their own, so it’s a far better idea to cut ties and bring in others. If you know someone is a bad backup, why keep him around?
Verdict: Cut them all
Well, it doesn’t matter if the Eagles draft or sign a punter. They need to part ways with McBriar. His best days are behind him, and he didn’t exactly do much to put the Eagles' defense in a position to win consistently.
Personally, it’s hard to say Michael Vick has to go. He has been one of the best players in the NFL since my early teens, and he was everyone’s favorite player growing up.
But he is old now, and he’s injury prone. Plus, his contract is far too big to consider keeping him around with the risks involved, regardless of the next head coach’s offensive philosophy. It’s unfortunate, but the Eagles need to part ways with No. 7.
Unfortunately, Nick Foles is going to be the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles heading into the 2013 season.
He could be good, he could be bad. No one knows. However, he hasn’t shown anything that warrants thinking he’ll be a great NFL starter.
But this is about who should stay and who should go, and Foles has to stay.
Did anyone else want to see Trent Edwards start toward the end of the season?
He’s not old, but he wasn’t good when he had the opportunity to start in Buffalo.
Since there are no QBs and the fact that Michael Vick’s days as an Eagle are likely over, in the first few rounds of the draft, the Eagles should consider that going into the season without Trent Edwards probably isn’t the best idea.
Although his 2012 was underwhelming, Brent Celek has a history of good play.
Hopefully next season will be a return to form for arguably the franchise’s best TE of all time.
Unfortunately for Clay Harbor, like many others on this list, the team is rebuilding, and there are other options on the depth chart who have more potential.
The team should carry at least four TEs, but it should draft another. Though he’s a good blocker, he’s just not good enough. He’s also inconsistent.
Evan Moore and Derek Carrier
Moore is a better option to backup Brent Celek than Clay Harbor, and we don’t know much about Derek Carrier.
The pair of them should be kept until the first wave of preseason cuts to see who is a better option.
Verdict: Keep them
Jackson is small, disruptive, and he doesn’t play seeming too interested all the time.
That said, he’s a great WR. His only real problems are his size and vulnerability to injury. It would be great to see the Eagles put him in the slot, feature him in the return game again, and draft a big WR to play opposite Jeremy Maclin.
If there is a team that will take his contract, the Eagles should trade him. But it wouldn’t be a bad thing if he stuck around
Verdict: Trade if they can
The Eagles have to hang on to Maclin and acquire a big WR to play opposite him. Maclin could be the best No. 2 in the NFL if that was the case.
The fact is that he’s not big enough to be an elite wideout. However, he has the skill to be an impact player on offense.
The Birds WR corps is a big target away from being the NFL’s best. It’s a shame Andy Reid never saw it that way.
Isn’t it sad that Jason Avant was the Eagles most reliable WR in 2012?
Avant is sure-handed despite the fact that he doesn’t get YAC.
The Eagles have to keep him because of his consistency, and also because he will be the third best QB on the team when Vick walks.
Cooper isn’t the red-zone target an NFL team needs. However, you need to have depth at WR if you want to be a good NFL offense, and there’s no reason to let Cooper go.
Cunningham is an interesting case. He is Michigan State’s all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards. He’s also one of the team’s biggest receivers at 6’2” and 215 pounds.
The Dolphins cut him before the start of the 2012 season, and the Eagles signed him to their practice squad. He’s worth hanging on to until the conclusion of the preseason to see what he can do.
Verdict: Keep for now
Although Johnson has shown a few flashes of adequacy, DeSean Jackson should be the team’s return man.
Johnson is 5’8”, and he weighs 175 pounds. He is not going to wind up being a key target in any offense, and he’s not going to be a threat in the NFL.
Ronald Johnson, Marvin McNutt, Nick Miller, Greg Salas, DeMarco Sampson
It’s time to part ways with these guys to make room for WRs 6’3” or taller. The Birds have been a wideout away from being a great offense since the departure of Terrell Owens, and hanging on to these guys takes up space that could be occupied by guys who could be great.
Verdict: Cut them all