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How the possible NFL roster reduction would affect Eagles' training camp


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The Eagles could be forced to cut 15 players from their roster before training camp even starts.

According to USA Today’s Mike Jones, the NFLPA - the players’ union - is considering a proposal that would reduce training camp roster limits from the current 90 to 80 or even 75 to make it easier for teams to satisfy the league’s strict summer camp social distancing restrictions and also now that the NFL has reduced the preseason schedule from four games to two.

What would this mean for the Eagles?

It would mean several intriguing rookies, and perhaps some well-known veterans, could find themselves out of work in the next few weeks.

Common sense says most of those 15 players would be undrafted rookies, although the Eagles always keep a few of those on the roster and several got sizable bonuses this year

This is all just in the early stages right now. Because roster size is part of the CBA, it would presumably take an agreement between both the NFLPA and management council for any change to go into effect.

But let’s take a look at who might be in jeopardy if the Eagles do have to trim 15 players before they even get to camp:

Offensive Line [15]

The Eagles have a couple undrafted rookies in Luke Juriga and Julian Good-Jones. But Juriga got the most guaranteed money of any undrafted rookie on the team ($116,000), so he’s not going anywhere. Interior linemen Nate Herbig and Sue Opeta were both on the 53 last year, but Herbig could be an early roster casualty if the Eagles are that high on Juriga. Among the tackles, Casey Tucker would make the most sense. The Eagles can also place Brandon Brooks on Injured Reserve to buy themselves a spot.

Running Back [6]

One of the undrafted rookies - Cincinnati’s Mike Warren or UCF’s Adrian Killins Jr. - could be in jeopardy. Or the Eagles might choose to part ways with Elijah Holyfield and keep the rookies, although they liked Holyfield enough to add him last December.

Wide Receiver [14]

You need legs in camp, but 14 is a lot of receivers. There’s a large group of holdovers from late last year still under contract - Shelton Gibson, Deontay Burnett, Robert Davis, Marcus Green - along with newcomers like undrafted Khalil Tate and Manasseh Bailey. The Eagles drafted two receivers in the later rounds, but there’s no way they'll part with Quez Watkins or John Hightower. Most likely, the cuts - as many as three - would come from Gibson, Davis, Green, Tate and Bailey.

Tight End [5]

After Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert, you have veteran Josh Perkins, holdover Alex Ellis and undrafted Noah Togiai from Oregon State. Togiai got $100,000 guaranteed, which might protect him and leave Ellis or Perkins vulnerable.

Quarterback [4]

You can’t have training camp with fewer than four QBs, so Kyle Lauletta is safe for the time being.

Defensive Tackle [8]

The Eagles liked undrafted rookie Raequan Williams to give him $100,000 in guaranteed money, so he’s staying put. If the Eagles need to release an interior defensive lineman it would likely come from Bruce Hector, Albert Huggins or Anthony Rush. Of that group, Rush played the most last year, so I would expect Hector or Huggins to be in jeopardy.

Defensive End [8]

The Eagles are invested in all these guys. They could buy a roster spot by placing Daeshon Hall on PUP.

Linebacker [8]

Dante Olson, an undrafted rookie out of Montana, would likely be the odd man out, although Alex Singleton could be an option.

Safety [6]

Of the pure safeties on the roster, Marcus Epps and Rudy Ford would be most in jeopardy. Both are mainly special teamers.

Defensive Backs [4]

The Eagles list four players - all rookies - as "defensive backs,” or combination corner-safeties. This group includes Grayland Arnold, Michael Jacquet, Elijah Riley and Prince Smith, all undrafted. The Eagles are highest on Arnold, which could leave the others vulnerable.

Cornerback [9]

Most of the Eagles’ corners have legit roster chances, so I don’t see any potential early cuts coming from this group (Rasul Douglas, Sidney Jones, Craig James, Cre’Von LeBlanc, Avonte Maddox, Nickell Robey-Coleman. Darius Slay, Tremon Smith, Trevor Williams). 

Specialist [3]

The Eagles only have one of each now so they’re not going anywhere.

So to get from 90 to 75, one way to do it would be three offensive linemen, one running back, three receivers, a tight end, a defensive tackle, a linebacker, a safety, two of the rookie corner-safety combo guys and then placing Brooks and Hall on Injured Reserve.

As of now, NFL teams are currently allowed to carry 90 players until Sept. 5, when rosters must be reduced to the regular-season limit of 53. Once players clear waivers teams are allowed to re-sign up to 12 to their practice squad.


What would you guys do? I think there's some obvious cuts there. 

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c'mon man - it's a non-issue. 

Say the number is 75 and these guys go - 

Jeffrey and Hall on PUP and Brooks on IR - that leaves 12.

So you cut - 

WR Deontaty Burnett, Khalil Tate, and Mannaseh Bailey - 9 more to go

OL - Keegan Render, Julian Good-Jones, and Casey Tucker - 6 more

TE Alex Ellis and DE Matt Leo - - getting there

CB - James Craig and Prince Smith

S - Marcus Epps and Michael Jaquet - DONE

It's just like the old days when there were two cut down days and this is the first of them. Would anyone really miss and of these guys? Maybe the writers who do trailing camp article on the longest of longshots every year, but not me. 

There's still a raft of young and undrafted guys who can fight for a roster spot - RB's Warren and Killens, Wide outs Gibson, Watkins, Green, and Davis. OL Juriga, Opeta Herbig, and Mailata. TE Perkins and Togai, DE's Toohill and Ostman. DT's Huggins, Hector, Rush and Williams. LB's Riley, Singleton, Olsen, and Brown. CB - Douglas, Leblanc, Williams, Smith, Riley, and Arnold. S - Parks and Ford.

That leave plenty of speculation and interesting camp battles to follow. Take note how many of the guys the writer speculated wouldn't make this first cut would still be there.  He's a dope or he just doesn't know the roster.  


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