Philadelphia Eagles' Most Surprising Roster Moves From "Cut Day"
If nothing else, there is certainly one thing we can say about brand-new Eagles general manger Howie Roseman: the man is not boring.
Roseman's first "cut day" as the Eagles' GM yielded two trades, releasing two former starters as well as keeping 10 draft picks and two more rookies not drafted by the Eagles.
I was highly critical of the Eagles' decision to keep 13 draft picks because I figured there was no way more than seven or eight rookies actually made the roster.
Clearly I underestimated the youth movement in Philly as a grand total of 12 rookies make up the 53-man roster. That's an insanely high amount and it could result in more long-term success than anything immediate.
There were several surprises out of Philadelphia this past Saturday, but let's take a look at the five most surprising and intriguing.
Trading Stacy Andrews to Seattle
The move started to look inevitable on Saturday, but only a week ago no one would have guessed that Andrews would actually get traded. Some were calling for him to be released, but I doubt even they thought there was a chance he wouldn't be an Eagle.
In the end, the Eagles wound up getting peanuts for Andrews (a seventh-round pick), but the move saved them $5 million and with the addition of Reggie Wells from Arizona, keeping Andrews around was no longer necessary.
Trading for Antwan Barnes from Baltimore
About four hours before the roster was supposed to be trimmed down, the Eagles continued making moves and actually adding guys.
Barnes, who played outside linebacker in the Baltimore Ravens' 3-4 scheme, is someone Andy Reid has had his eye on ever since Barnes came out of college back in 2007.
Reid has a way of eventually getting his guy, and he made it very clear he wanted Barnes. In Philly, Barnes will likely play more defensive end than linebacker, but his versatility could prove very valuable.
I had a hunch they might trade for a defensive end or linebacker, but Barnes never even crossed my mind.
Cutting Macho Harris and Quintin Demps
Demps, we were told, was going to be the heir apparent to Brian Dawkins. But, unfortunately for us, that went down the drain after Demps proved he was a total blockhead during the 2008 NFC Championship game.
The next year, after Dawkins was allowed to walk to Denver, Demps was slated to take over at free safety, but couldn't hold on to the job and was replaced by Macho Harris, a fifth-round pick out of the 2009 draft, before the season even began.
Now they're both gone and there doesn't seem to be an Eagles fan in Philly or anywhere else ready to shed a tear for either of them.
Good riddance, you both played like six-year-olds and never realized the potential everyone saw.
Keeping Kurt Coleman as the Lone Backup Safety
Originally I thought the Eagles could keep three safeties, but I figured the guy would be Demps due to the fact that the Birds were lining him up at both safety positions and were using him as the primary kick returner during the preseason.
I happened to be right with my first instinct about keeping only three safeties, but it turned out to be seventh-round pick Kurt Coleman who got the nod as the primary backup.
Roseman hinted that the Birds might still add a safety, but for now, Coleman is the man should either Nate Allen or Quintin Mikell go down.
Keeping Hank Baskett Over Kelley Washington
I'm repeating myself at this point, but it's something that needs to be said. Reid must start paying more attention to the special teams, but he refuses to do so.
Someone has to tell him that the best special teams coordinator in the league (which they have) is completely useless if he doesn't have guys to work with.
Sure, Baskett is a decent special teams player, but nothing like Washington, who has turned it into a niche.
Washington, along with White, made it seem like Reid was taking a renewed interest in the third phase of the game, but now they're both gone and the team will be relying heavily upon their rookie linebackers to step up.
Keeping Rookie Corner Jorrick Calvin
I was actually less surprised by this than most, figuring there was little chance Reid cut the guy before getting to really see him some more. He was impressive enough against the Jets that keeping him just made sense.
Trading Tracy White to New England
White was a free agent for how long, so why didn't the Patriots just sign him when he was still on the street rather than sacrificing what will likely be a seventh-round pick in 2012?
It's not much, but they could have had him for nothing about a month ago.
King Dunlap Sticks Around for One More Year
Why not just cut Dunlap and keep Kelley Washington around? Reggie Wells can play right tackle in a pinch and Nick Cole could slide in at right guard.
Or, for that matter, Austin Howard likely would have little trouble making the transition.
Keeping Dunlap just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, and the only thing I can think is that Reid and offensive line coach Juan Castillo see too much raw potential in Dunlap to cut him loose just yet.
But was it really worth sacrificing a guy like Washington or defensive tackle Jeff Owens?
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