Eagles Droppings 5/28: Eagles Drop CB, Pick Up Safety and Vick To See Role Decrease?
By Lance Epstein
Eagles Drop Undrafted Rookie Cornerback
On Thursday, the Eagles announce the release of cornerback Josh Morris. Morris (6-0, 186) signed with the Eagles as a undrafted free agent out of Weber State following the 2010 NFL Draft.
This is not particularly huge news for the Eagles since Morris was unlikely to make the team or practice squad. He was one of nine cornerbacks on the roster and his lack of elite speed made him expendable for the Eagles.
Eagles Sign Local Safety
One of the reasons that the Eagles decided to release Morris was due to the New Orleans Saints releasing free-agent rookie safety Ryan Hamilton. Just a day after the Saints released him, the Eagles and Hamilton have come to terms on a contract.
Even though Hamilton played his college ball at Vanderbilt, his career started at Council Rock North High School in Newton, PA. In college, Hamilton started 34 straight games before he tore his pectoral muscle two games into his senior season. Unfortunately, Hamilton missed the rest of the season and the NCAA denied him a sixth-year of eligibility.
Even with a lost season, Hamilton (6-2, 210) was voted as the team's co-captain and registered 222 tackles (104 his junior season), three forced fumbles and five interceptions.
Before the injury, Hamilton was not expected be drafted and at best he would have been a late round pick. While he does not possess elite athleticism, his size and speed should help him make a NFL roster on special teams. After watching Hamilton on tape, fans will see a similarity between his skills and Quintin Mikell.
Additionally, Mikell came into the league undrafted out of Boise State, but his size and speed made him a pivotal player on special teams for the Eagles in his first couple seasons. Now, he is the team's starting strong safety.
Vick To See Reduced Role?
According to Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer and ESPN.com, quarterback Michael Vick could be more frustrated by the end of this season than he was last year.
McLane speculated that with only two rookie quarterbacks (Joey Elliot and Mike Kafka) behind Vick on the depth chart, the Wildcat Offense might not be used as much this upcoming season (wasn’t used nearly enough last season). He continued to say that the Eagles might not want to risk putting Vick in harms way with no other experienced quarterback to back up Kevin Kolb.
That said, if Kafka can develop faster than expected, the Eagles might be more willing to utilize their secret weapon. However, Kafka is a rookie and no one should expect Kafka to make an impact in his inaugural season.
On the other hand, Kafka showed the ability to run the ball and fit into a Wildcat offense at Northwestern. At Northwestern, Kafka ran for 891 yards and had 268 carries. So if the Eagles are worried about Vick going down with an injury, they could always use Kafka as the Wildcat quarterback.
Of course, the Eagles could try and sign a veteran like Marc Bulger or Jeff Garcia. This means that the Eagles would carry four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster. Although this scenario is very unlikely since Andy Reid would rather have an extra lineman over an aging quarterback with a limited future with the club.
Still, Vick would not be happy with a reduced role in the offense. Last year, Vick was the good solider that did not make a big stink about riding the bench. This year might be a different story considering he hoped to be traded to another team this offseason. Now he might see his plays decrease.
The question might become how long will he stay quiet and will it hurt the locker room chemistry when it boils over?