Enthusiasm abounds during the early proceedings at Philadelphia Eagles training camp. Not too far off in the distance, however, looms the ugly aspect of camp—the casualties. At some point, the Birds must trim their roster from 90 to 75, then finally to 53 players prior to the regular season.
Most of the players who won’t make it already know they have long odds—so-called camp bodies. They’re rookies or young guys trying to gain footing in the NFL, just hoping to put some good tape together and maybe land on the practice squad or with another team, perhaps even in another league. Some could be invited back by the Eagles in the event of injuries or for another camp next year.
Inevitably, though, several of the players who don’t make the cut will be veterans who for some reason or other will be out of work. Either their ability has declined, they can’t stay healthy or maybe they were plain beaten out for a job and are no longer worth the paycheck. Whatever the reasoning, they become camp casualties.
In the Eagles’ case, the vast majority of their veterans are relatively safe. Quite a few of them played at a high level in 2013, and even in instances where their play is starting to slip, many are indispensable due to the lack of depth at certain positions.
That being said, there are always a few surprises around the NFL on cut-down day. While not everybody on this list is likely or even has a better than 50-50 chance of getting the boot, we’ll explain why the following five veterans have reason to look over their shoulder once the calendar is approaching September.