He was asked whether the Eagles could keep six defensive ends, and the head coach wanted to make clear that he’s not too fond of letting capable pass-rushers walk for nothing.
“There’s a chance,” Reid said. “I’m stingy when it comes to defensive linemen, so we’ve got to work the numbers and just see how all that pans out. There will be some tough decisions all the way around there.”
There are 11 defensive linemen who can make legit cases for roster spots right now. In my mind, eight of them are pretty much locks: Jason Babin, Trent Cole, Cullen Jenkins, Fletcher Cox, Vinny Curry, Brandon Graham, Phillip Hunt and Derek Landri.
I’d probably put Cedric Thornton in that category too, but some of you may disagree.
The two I’ve left off are Antonio Dixon and Darryl Tapp. With Reid saying Sunday that Mike Patterson might not play at all this season, Dixon’s chances of making the roster probably increased just a bit. The veteran defensive tackle doesn’t offer much as a pass-rusher, but can be a run-stuffer inside.
Tapp, meanwhile, has had a very good preseason and beat five-time Pro Bowler Joe Thomas for a sack and forced fumble Friday night in Cleveland.
So Reid and Howie Roseman are left with three options:
1. Keep all 11 defensive linemen. It’s a big number, but not totally insane.
2. Cut Dixon, Tapp or Thornton. The most likely of the group would probably be Dixon.
3. Trade a defensive lineman.
The most likely trade chip would probably be Tapp. He’s a quality veteran who can help a team immediately. Tapp is due $2.575M this season and is a free agent after 2012. Perhaps he can get you a player (the Eagles could use offensive line depth or safety help) or a third-day draft pick.
“You get calls, yes you do,” Reid said, when asked if teams were contacting the Eagles about their defensive linemen. “You talk, not just about that position. Personnel directors, GMs, they are constantly on the phone, talking trades or talking about players, so yeah, that does take place.”
A bit vague, but you get the point. Teams are deciding on roster cuts this time of year, and they would all like to get something in return when a quality player just doesn’t fit into their plans. There’s one more week in the preseason, and rosters need to be trimmed to 53 by Friday at 9 p.m.
A couple years ago (2010), the Eagles made four trades between Aug. 30 and Sept. 4. They sent fullback Charles Scott to the Cardinals. They acquired offensive lineman Reggie Wells from Arizona. They dealt Stacy Andrews to Seattle. And they sent Tracy White to the Patriots.
Nothing major, but four deals that helped them shape their roster. We’ll find out in the next 10 days if they go a similar route this season.
WHAT YOU MISSED
The Eagles have a new starting WILL linebacker. Akeem Jordan takes over for Brian Rolle – for now. Here’s a take on what that means and what could be in store going forward.
And I mentioned this above, but Mike Patterson might not play at all this season, Reid said.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
This might be it for Terrell Owens (I know, we’ve said that before). The veteran wide receiver was cut by the Seahawks.
I’m no longer a Seahawk. I THANK the organization 4 the opportunity, I’m truly blessed beyond belief. My FAITH is intact & will NOT waiver.
— Terrell Owens (@terrellowens) August 26, 2012
The Bills apparently weren’t thrilled with Vince Young as they acquired Tarvaris Jackson from the Seahawks. That could very well mean the end of Young’s short stint in Buffalo.
And finally, Michael Vick said at Flight Night that he’s not worried about his ribs or being labeled injury-prone. Here were his comments, per Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com:
“I’m not really concerned,” he said. “I felt like I had a great training camp. I felt like I was into a rhythm. I felt like I would have played a lot of the preseason if I had been out there. I could’ve been productive.
“At the same time, I had the rib. You’ve got to be able to go out there when you’re needed and be at your best. I think I’ll be ready Sept. 9.”
Marty Mornhinweg and Juan Castillo will chat with reporters before the Eagles’ afternoon practice. And the Birds will have to get their roster down to 75 (currently at 79) by 4 p.m.
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