Chris O'Meara/Associated Press
The top of the depth chart may appear to be set at most positions, but Geoff Mosher for CSNPhilly.com suggested all things are not necessarily as concrete as we suspect. He suggested five veterans who could be in danger of not only losing their starting jobs, but their roster spots altogether.
Mosher ultimately concluded that right guard Todd Herremans, outside linebacker Trent Cole and tight end Brent Celek are likely safe. All three were beyond serviceable last year, and in Herremans’ and Coles’ case, there would be very little savings with the salary cap.
That leaves outside linebacker Brandon Graham and cornerback Bradley Fletcher.
I’m not of the mindset the Eagles would cut Graham. Sure, he isn’t an ideal fit for a 3-4 defense, but the former first-round pick still managed to apply pressure on opposing passers in limited opportunities last season. Given the lack of established depth at the position, Graham might wind up being the best pass-rusher on the entire defense if Cole happened to be out for any length of time.
If nothing else, I would expect Graham to command some value in a late-August/early-September trade—a late draft pick, at least.
Fletcher was the one that really got me thinking. At first, seeing his name on the list was a genuine surprise. I felt he was the better of the two starting corners last season, finishing tied for 17th with 15 pass breakups in 14 games in ’13. However, if a release was motivated by trying to save a couple of bucks, it might theoretically makes sense. Of course, that’s all contingent upon free-agent addition Nolan Carroll beating Fletcher out for a starting job.
Fletcher is scheduled to become a free agent in the offseason, so there’s no appearance of loyalty there. According to Spotrac, Philadelphia could save $3.65 million against the cap by releasing him now.
Then again, the Eagles knew full-well their cap situation—which is fine, by the way—when Carroll was signed. Meanwhile, while it wouldn’t make financial sense to release Cary Williams, his job opposite Fletcher feels as though it’s just as much if not more up for grabs. In conclusion, I personally am not anticipating any surprise cuts, but as you can clearly see, you never know.