Five Eagles Signed For Practice Squad, Gilles Back
By Lance Epstein
On Saturday, the Eagles were forced to release guard Max Jean-Gilles in order to comply with 53-man roster deadline of 6 p.m. The Eagles were caught in a bind since the Stacy Andrews trade to Seattle was not finalized until after the deadline, which meant the Eagles would have 54 players on the roster.
As it turned out, the Eagles traded Andrews to Seattle and wound up with only 52 players. Today, the Eagles resigned Gilles to complete their final 53-man roster.
The Eagles took a big risk by releasing Jean-Gilles since he was an unrestricted free agent and could have been signed by another team. However, Gilles wanted to be an Eagle and even resigned for the same salary.
Besides the signing of Gilles, the Eagles have added five players to their practice squad on Sunday. The Five players include defensive tackle Jeff Owens, running back Martell Mallett, center A.Q. Shipley, guard Dallas Reynolds and wide receiver Chad Hall. All of the players had to clear waivers before the Eagles were allowed to sign them to their practice squad.
The biggest surprise might be that the Eagles managed to sneak seventh-round pick Owens onto the squad. There are a lot of teams that could use a backup defensive tackle with tremendous upside. Not only that, Owens could have a big impact on the Eagles future down the road if they decided to cut Mike Patterson or if they let Brodrick Bunkley walk away as a free agent.
Another solid addition to the Eagles practice squad was Mallett. The former Canadian Football League Offensive Rookie of the Year had a nice camp. He was effective in practice, excelled at running the ball between the tackles, can catch the ball out of the backfield and is adequate at recognizing blitz pick up. More importantly, if backup Mike Bell continues to struggle with leg injuries, then Mallett has the potential to be signed to the 53-man roster and make an impact.
However the best story might be Hall making the Eagles practice squad. The Eagles fan base has been behind him throughout training camp. One of the reasons is his hard work and another is due to his two years of military services with the United States Air Force.
The Eagles still have three more spots on their practice squad open. Expect GM Howie Roseman to use one of those openings on a safety with the Eagles carrying just three safeties on the 53-man roster. An interesting name out on the market that is eligible is rookie strong safety Larry Asante. Asante was released from the Browns on Saturday. Also do not be surprised if TE Cornelius Ingram is brought back as well.