5 Philadelphia Eagles Guaranteed to Be on the Roster Bubble in 2011
The Philadelphia Eagles are set to make some major roster changes. Players that are getting up their in age, players that have had decreased production, players that make too much money or just players that have to be cut or traded to make room for new players are all on the chopping block.
The Eagles are in the beginning of a serious Superbowl run. I estimate that Andy Reid has three years to prove to both Jeffrey Lurie and the fans in Philadelphia that he is actually capable of bringing home the Lombardi trophy. Key keys like Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin are all in the prime of their careers and the time to win is now.
The Eagles' front office will have at least $20 million to spend on free agents and they will most likely use every last dollar putting this team in position to be great. The Eagles could possibly bring in three elite free agents along with a few quality backups to add depth to key spots as well.
Their are a handful of players whose jobs are in serious jeopardy whether they are former starters that will be pushed by younger guys or just guys that will have to fight just to earn a roster spot.
The Eagles are already loaded at defensive tackle with four capable starters with Brodrick Bunkley, Mike Patterson, Antonio Dixon and Trevor Laws. With the possibility of adding another monster in the middle in Albert Haynesworth, depending on what the Redskins are willing to do with him, one of the Eagles defensive tackles will be either release or traded before the season starts.
Bunkley seems to make the most sense. New Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera has stated that he wants to add a veteran defensive tackle. Bunkely makes sense as he started the last two years under current Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott.
Bunkley is on the final year of his contract with the Eagles and trading him for a mid-round draft pick to the Panthers seems like the ideal move for both sides. Bunkley has a combined three total sacks the past three seasons.
With Mike Patterson in the middle of a long term contract and both Trevor Laws and Antonio Dixon showing a ton of promise, Brodrick Bunkley looks to be the odd man out at defensive tackle.
Juqua Parker is a decent defensive end for the Eagles. Too bad for Parker, decent doesn't cut it anymore.
Parker has 19 sacks the past three seasons including six in 2011, but has wears down near the end of each season and struggled catching up with some of the more mobile quarterbacks. Parker is set to make $3.5 million in 2011, which will be too much of a cap hit for a team looking to upgrade at every position.
The Eagles currently have seven defensive ends under contract and will try to add another during free agency. Parker's average production and his decline play late in the season will most likely make him an easy cap casualty, especially when you have a defensive line coach in Jim Washburn who can turn nobodys into somebodys.
Juqua Parker can still help a team out as a reserve defensive end, but isn't a great fit in Washburn's system and his $3.5 million cap hit will make that decision a little easier for Andy Reid.
Joselio Hanson has been one of the best slot corners in the league the past two years. The flaw with Hanson is that he has been ineffective when covering on the outside.
Hanson will be due over $2 million in 2011, which is actually more than LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson's salaries combined. The Eagles have a ton of depth at corner and should feel comfortable putting second year player Trevard Lindley in place of Hanson as the nickel corner.
Hanson's inability to cover receiver on the outside and his somewhat high cap hit make him expendable with good depth already at the position.
Winston Justice is in year three of a five year deal that he earned in his first year as a starter in 2009, but 2010 may have cost him his job. Justice struggled in 2010, battling a knee injury, was eventually pulled during the playoffs in against the Packers.
King Dunlap is a promising young tackle who showed real potential during a start against the Atlanta Falcons where he shutdown Pro Bowl defensive end John Abraham. Andy Reid believes in Dunlap, claiming that he is a "legitmate contender" for the right tackle job.
The Eagles could elect to either trade Justice if possible or release him and sign a veteran tackle like Tyson Clabo via free agency.
The right tackle is a vital position for the Eagles as that player protects Michael Vick's blindside. Another year of poor play that the Eagles got from Winston Justice at right tackle will not only hold Philly back but could also keep Vick out of a few games due to taking way too many unnecessary shots.
Chad Hall was a speedy dual threat player who could play both out of the backfield and split out wide as a receiver when he played his college ball at Air Force. That was back in 2007, when he was third in the nation in all-purpose yards. Hall spent 2008 and 2009 serving in the Air Force. He was able to come back to football in 2010 and looked a bit rusty.
He failed to make the final roster cut, but did find a spot on the Eagles' practice squad. He spent the first month of the season there before getting promoted to the active roster.
Hall did not look quite as explosive as he did during his college days, but being back in football for a full year now, he may be able to get his speed back and be a much bigger factor in the offense.
The Eagles signed Sinorcie Moss last January to add some competition at the wide receiver spot and also as a kick returner. Of course, if the Eagles sign Plaxico Burress, neither player will have a shot to make the team as Andy Reid won't keep five receivers on the active roster.
Another year back in football for Hall could get all his speed back and impress the coaches enough to keep him at least as a kick returner.