Everyone knew cuts were coming and that the Eagles would be down to 53 players, but no one could have guessed they would have made moves to shore up both their offensive and defensive lines as well.
Stacy Andrews, who last week was more than certain he was a starter on the Eagles’ offensive line, was traded to the Seattle Seahawks for a 2011 draft pick. No word on the round yet, but who cares? Both the Andrews are gone now, and the offensive line is much better because of it. General Manager Howie Roseman broke down the trade on a conference call earlier tonight.
“Well, I think the trade came about like a lot of things that happened this week,” he said. “You talk to a lot of teams and teams inquire about particular players. Seattle had inquired about Stacy and his situation and I think it’s a great opportunity for Stacy to go and play a position that he’s probably more comfortable with and that’s right tackle.”
Translation: We were lucky enough to dump him to a team dumb enough to want him. Roseman also confirmed that Nick Cole would be stepping into the starting right guard role.
Getting rid of Andrews wasn’t enough to make the line better, but the addition of veteran offensive guard Reggie Wells definitely helped plug the gaps. Wells has started 90 straight games since the end of 2003, all with the Arizona Cardinals, and was acquired for an undisclosed draft pick believed to be in the sixth round. Bringing a veteran with stability like Wells has shown into a line that has been less than perfect was a great move by the Eagles front office.
On the defensive line, defensive end Antwan Barnes was acquired from the Baltimore Ravens for a seventh-round pick. Barnes played linebacker for the Ravens and has had a quiet professional career, but was a beast on the line at Florida International University and had 23 sacks and 224 tackles in his college stint. Roseman said the move wasn’t made because the team is worried about Trent Cole’s ankle but rather because they got a great deal for Barnes.
“If we’re going to go over at a particular spot, it’s going to be on guys who can do that, and there’s a premium in this league on pass rushers,” he said. “When you have an opportunity to get one at a value that you think is pretty fair, we felt like the opportunity was too good to pass up.”
Now, to the roster cuts. There are a couple of familiar names on the cut list, including defensive back Macho Harris, safety Quentin Demps, and tight end Cornelius Ingram, who will hopefully sign on with the practice squad. Offensive lineman Max Jean-Gilles was cut as well but is expected to re-sign with the team after the Andrews’ trade, since the trade came after the 6:00 p.m. deadline. Three wide receivers are gone as well: Chad Hall, Kelley Washington and Jordan Norwood. I think a lot of people would rather have Washington on the squad rather than Hank Baskett again, but Baskett is there mostly for special teams and should never line up with the offense.
Notable names surviving the cut are corner back Jorrick Calvin, particularly because of his return abilities, Roseman said. Also, the star of the final preseason game, Kurt Coleman, is the third safety on the team. Eldra Buckley was kept as the third and final running back, leaving J.J. Arrington to find another team.