The Eagles have made some room on their roster. They can only carry 80 players into training camp and had 82 signed, with Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy still to go.
The three players released today were injured defensive tackle Amon Gordon, running back Walter Mendenhall, and quarterback Adam DiMichele (who most people didn't even know was at the OTAs).
The Eagles will still need to cut at least one more player heading into camp and I would imagine it to be local punter from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, Ken Parrish.
The Implications of Amon Gordon's Release
Unfortunately, Gordon required what is definitely a season ending, and possibly career ending, surgery to repair a ruptured achilles tendon. The Eagles were going to need to cut some talented players, but this is not the way anyone wants to see a player depart.
It also looks as though Philadelphia took two rookie free agents to compete for the vacant defensive tackle position.
Jervonte Jackson, 6'5", 300 lb from Florida Atlantic and Trevor Jenkins, 6'1", 287 lb from Middle Tennessee State have an outside opportunity to make the team as a fifth defensive tackle if they can impress.
I would think it likely that these guys represent nothing more than training camp bodies, and if the Eagles really want a fifth tackle, they may very well look to the waiver wire.
For the Eagles to keep just four defensive tackles fits the mold pretty well, as their defensive scheme calls for sliding a defensive end into the interior on passing downs for more quickly developing pressure and pursuit.
The Implications of Walter Mendenhall's Release
I had very high hopes for rookie free agent Walter Mendenhall as an Eagle. Many fans were looking forward to the promise of a 6'0", 225 lb running back, but it is not to be.
Unfortunately, Mendenhall never had an opportunity to strap on the pads and really show what he could do. I must assume that he had a falling out with, or just never really held serious interest from, the coaches.
Sometimes these guys come around again when the practice squad starts to take shape. I can hold on to my hopes for that.
In the end, what it does mean?
Much to the chagrin of many Eagles fans, it is a much more promising outlook for returning third string running back Lorenzo Booker.
Andy Reid has remained consistently resolute regarding his confidence in Booker's ability. He does fit the mold for Reid's system very well, but his two-yards-and-change average per carry in the 2008 regular season lost him a lot of fan support.
It is premature to dismiss Booker based on his average, when he didn't have a statistically significant number of carries with which to arithmetically average in the first place.
Booker had his moments of shine in the 2008 training camp and preseason, so we will have to see if running backs Eldra Buckley and Kyle Eckel can challenge him in training camp in 2009.
Hopefully, Booker is not lingering around strictly because of the investment of the 2008 fourth round draft pick.
I am going to give Andy Reid and company the benefit of the doubt here, as they have been amazing this off season, and I'm sure Booker is much better than his 2.5 yard per carry average would otherwise indicate.
Who is Adam DiMichele and Where Did He Come From?
I think this guy snuck past security and found his way onto the practice field wearing a Ron Jaworski jersey or something. That's the rumor, at least.
O.K., that's not true, but local Temple Owl alumni Adam DiMichele's stay with the Eagles didn't last very long. No big surprises here, but it would have been nice to find a young diamond in the rough at quarterback to challenge for a back-up role—especially a local kid.