The preseason is over and every team now has their roster trimmed down to 53 players. During the final roster cuts, the Eagles made a few surprising moves. They released (not traded away) slot specialist cornerback Joselio Hanson. The Eagles also kept nine of their players from the 2011 draft (the other two, Greg Lloyd and Stanley Havili, are on the practice squad) while also keeping one undrafted rookie, punter Chas Henry.
The Eagles were looking for a new punt returner in order to keep DeSean Jackson healthier and fresher throughout the season, but they cut their three potential punt return men, Sinorice Moss, Johnnie Lee Higgins and Chad Hall.
There were a few other surprises to make team, like 33-year-old Juqua Parker, who is taking a pay cut in order to stay with the team, and Colt Anderson, who made the team as mainly a special teamer.
There were five players that stood out as players that should have made the team. All five players put together a great preseason, but on a roster as loaded as the Eagles, nothing is a sure thing.
Derek Landri looked like the perfect candidate to go along with Cullen Jenkins in defensive line coach Jim Washburn's rotations. Landri had four sacks in 2010 with the Carolina Panthers in 16 games. He also had two sacks in the preseaon with the Eagles this summer.
Landri demonstrated a good spin move and was able to bring consistent pressure to the opposing quarterback.
The Eagles decided instead to keep defensive tackle Trevor Laws. Laws failed to record a single sack in his first two seasons but showed his potential in 2010, racking up four sacks.
The Eagles appear to be set with just four defensive tackles on their 53-man roster, which was probably the deciding factor that kept Landri from making the final roster.
Joselio Hanson has never been able to prove himself as an adequate corner on the outside, but he certainly has proven to be one of the best at covering the slot.
Hanson was the most likely causality at cornerback with three Pro Bowl players ahead of him in Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Asante Samuel, and three very promising prospects waiting in the wings in Trevard Lindley, Curtis Marsh and Brandon Hughes.
The Eagles' third-round pick in the 2010 NFL draft appears to be a bust. Daniel Te'o-Nesheim lost his spot on the roster to former Canadian Football League star Phillip Hunt.
Hunt finished the preseason with three sacks and was a constant force in the pass rush. Te'o-Nesheim had one sack and was inconsistent throughout preseason.
His high draft pick in 2010 wasn't a factor in this decision as Hunt clearly was the better player. The Eagles will keep five defensive ends through the first six weeks until Brandon Graham is eligible to come off the PUP list.
Te'o-Nesheim was signed on to the Eagles' practice squad after he was cut. He could find his way back on the roster if any of the defensive ends get hurt. He can also be signed by any team to their roster at any time while on the practice squad.
With the release of Greg Lloyd, the Eagles will not have a true backup middle linebacker on their roster. Should starting middle linebacker Casey Matthews go down, Jamar Chaney would most likely take on that role.
Lloyd doesn't posses the coverage skills that Matthews and Chaney, do but he is a very physical linebacker who is capable of having a major impact against the run. Lloyd finished his college career at UConn with 173 career tackles and three sacks.
Lloyd was signed on to the practice squad and could find his way onto the roster if any Eagles linebacker misses significant action due to a an injury.
The Eagles decided decided to keep just two tight ends on their final 53-man roster. Donald Lee was the obvious causality. Brent Celek is the clear-cut starter, and Clay Harbor has a much higher ceiling. Still, the Eagles lost out on a proven veteran with Super Bowl experience.
They will miss out on his eight years of experience and his 198 career receptions. Philly has struggled in short yardage and red-zone situations under Andy Reid. They need good production out of their tight ends in 2011 in order to overcome those shortcomings inside the 20.
Clay Harbor will have to produce more as the Eagles' No. 2 tight end. He finished the 2010 season with just nine receptions for 72 yards.