By Lance Epstein
Earlier today, rumors surfaced that center A.Q Shipley and WR Chad Hall had been released by the Philadelphia Eagles. Minutes ago, the Eagles confirmed that they were indeed cut along with 10 other players.
The two most shocking cuts out of the 11 players released were safeties Macho Harris and Quintin Demps. With Demps and Harris no longer in the fold, the team is extremely thin at safety with just Quintin Mikell, Kurt Coleman and Nate Allen. However, Allen and Coleman have been very impressive throughout training camp and the preseason.
Meanwhile, both, Harris and Demps, did nothing to prove they were worthy of a roster spot. Still, many expected one of the two to be wearing midnight green in 2010.
Last year, Harris was the Birds opening day starter at free safety at Carolina. This offseason, the Eagles tried to move him back to his natural cornerback position to give him the opportunity to compete for the starting nickel cornerback job. Ultimately, his injuries during the preseason and training camp cost him a shot at winning the nickel cornerback spot. Late in camp he was moved back to safety, where he was unimpressive as well.
As for former 2008 fourth-round pick Demps, he was once considered to be the replacement for the beloved Brian Dawkins and an explosive kickoff returner. Although injuries and falling out of favor with head coach Andy Reid made him expendable.
Besides cutting Shipley, Hall, Harris and Demps, the Eagles dropped wide receiver Jordan Norwood, tight end Cornelius Ingram, guard Dallas Reynolds, guard Fenuki Topou, defensive end Eric Moncur and defensive tackle Jeff Owens.
WR Kelley Washington was the final player to be released. He is the last player that the Eagles needed to cut after trading G Stacy Andrews to Seattle for a 2011 seventh-round pick and LB Tracy White to the Patriots for an undisclosed 2010 draft pick. Out of the 11 cuts, the Eagles dropped five players from the last three drafts (only one from this year in Owens).
The saddest and hardest cut of all might have been Ingram because of his heartbreaking story. It was hard for anyone not to root for Ingram, who was trying to come back from his second torn ACL/ACL surgery.
Ingram attempted to play through swelling of his knee and calf. However, the swelling prevented him from flourishing like the Eagles believed he could when they drafted him in the fifth-round of ‘09 draft. The good news for Ingram is that he can be picked up and placed onto the Eagles practice squad if he clears waivers.
With most of the cuts be announced, one player that was considered to be a long shot to make the 53-man roster and stands good chance to be an Eagle is CB Jorrick Calvin. Earlier this week, the Eagles traded FB Charles Scott to Arizona for Calvin. After just two practices and days in the Eagles defensive scheme, Calvin was exciting on kickoff returns and played well at cornerback against the Jets. It appears that the Eagles were afraid to release Calvin because he would probably be swooped up before clearing waivers and therefore not able to be placed on the practice squad.
The Eagles have have their final 53-man roster set. Now it is time to get down to shaping the practice squad.
UPDATE: Due to the Stacy Andrews deal not being consummated before the 6 p.m. deadline the Eagles were forced to release Max Jean-Gilles to make the mandatory 53-man roster. Gilles does not need to clear waivers so he is eligible to sign with anyone if he wants. GM Howie Roseman says he will be signed tomorrow to complete the roster.