Eagles News: Philadelphia Works Out Eight Players, Including Two Wide Receivers

Plus: One Eagles player wins an award.

Greg Ellingson. (USA TODAY Sports)

Greg Ellingson. (USA TODAY Sports)

Here’s a quick look at some Eagles news and notes.


The Eagles worked out the following eight free agents on Tuesday:

WR Greg Ellingson
DB Tay Glover-Wright
P Richie Leone
LS Tyler Ott
DB Matt Smalley
WR Dez Stewart
P Taylor Symmank
DB Mitchell White

Quick background on each player:

Ellingson: 28-year-old wide receiver. 6-3, 197 pounds. Has been in the CFL since 2013. Named a CFL All-Star in 2016.

Glover-Wright: 24-year-old cornerback. 6-0, 174 pounds. Bounced around the NFL since going undrafted in 2014. Spent two games on the Colts’ roster in 2015.

Leone: 24-year-old punter. 6-3, 216 pounds.  Also handled field goals and kickoffs in the CFL.

Ott: 24-year-old long snapper. 6-3, 252 pounds. Played in four career NFL games.

Smalley: 22-year-old cornerback. 5-10, 195 pounds. Attended Lafayette College and grew up as an Eagles fan. Worked out at Philadelphia’s local pro day leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft.

Stewart: 23-year-old wide receiver. 6-2, 201 pounds. Was in training camp/preseason with Washington before spending some time on the Packers’ practice squad.

Symmank: 24-year-old punter. 6-1, 182 pounds. Vikings considered signing the UDFA to compete with their punter in training camp but ultimately didn’t.

White: 26-year-old cornerback. 5-11, 183 pounds. Played in the CFL since 2013.

It’s worth noting the Eagles have an open spot after officially placing Ryan Mathews on the season-ending injured reserve list (more on that later). It’s possible the Eagles will promote running back Terrell Watson from the practice squad to the active roster, so the Eagles could also soon have a scout team vacancy.

The Eagles could be looking to sign some of these free agents to futures/reserve contracts when the season is over.


Jenkins was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week due to intercepting Eli Manning twice during the Eagles’ win over the Giants. The veteran safety returned one of Manning’s picks for a touchdown.

Jenkins has now been named NFC Defensive Player of the Week twice in his Eagles career. He’s won the award four times since entering the league in 2009.

Jenkins joined future Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins as the only other Eagles safety to ever win multiple Defensive Player of the Week awards with Philadelphia.

Jenkins was named a third-team Pro Bowl alternate last week.


The Eagles officially placed Mathews on injured reserve on Tuesday. Mathews suffered a “significant” neck injury in Philadelphia’s Week 16 win over the Giants.

Mathews likely won’t be back with the Eagles next season. The seven-year NFL veteran turns 30 next October. He’s prone to injury and fumbles. Philadelphia can save $4 million by either cutting or trading him. The Eagles might be able to get a late-round draft pick for Mathews depending on the severity of his current injury.

With Mathews out, the Eagles currently only have two healthy running backs on the active 53-man roster: Darren Sproles and Byron Marshall. As noted earlier, Pederson said the Eagles are also open to signing Watson if necessary before Philadelphia’s Week 17 game against the Cowboys.

“Yeah, I would like for it to be a running back,” said of the Eagles’ vacant 53rd roster spot. “And again, with Watson sitting right there, it would be a no-brainer for us. But again, we’ll wait and see later in the week how things go.”

Pederson also noted Marshall could see an extended role this week. The undrafted rookie free agent was promoted from the Eagles’ practice squad earlier this month.

“Right now the plan is Darren, but for sure see Byron a little bit more on first and second down probably, and even in some third-down situations. I think he learned a lot from the Baltimore game playing and sort of calming himself down in that game, and he had a couple of nice runs. Had a nice little 12-yarder in that game, something to learn and build from. But his role will definitely increase this week a little bit.”


Matthews hasn’t been very productive for the Eagles’ lately. Philadelphia’s best receiver is averaging 55 yards and zero touchdowns in last seven games (hat tip Rotoworld). It’s worth noting Matthews has been dealing with an ankle injury since going down in the Week 12 Packers game.

Matthews is eligible to sign a contract extension following the season. The Eagles might want to hold off on extending him, especially given how some of their 2016 extensions (Zach ErtzVinny Curry) don’t look so hot right now.


The names of a few former Eagles players popped up in some NFL workouts recently. 2016 undrafted free agent wide receiver Cayleb Jones worked out for the Rams before signing to the Vikings’ practice squad. Eagles 2013 fifth-round pick Earl Wolff worked out for the Falcons. Jerome Couplin worked out for the Rams while Chris Pantale had a visit with the Dolphins.