The Eagles have gotten down to 53, making some notable cuts to get there. The team released guard/center Stefen Wisniewski, who they re-signed to a $1.5MM deal back in May. He had gotten $150K guaranteed, so Philly will eat that. Wisniewski had started at least six games in each of the past three seasons for the Eagles.
To help thin out their crowded running backs room, they got rid of a few well-known names. They waived Josh Adams, who rushed for 511 yards for them last year, as well as 2017 fourth-round pick Donnel Pumphrey, who has battled injuries ever since entering the league. They also cut Wendell Smallwood, who had 364 yards rushing and three touchdowns and another 230 yards and two touchdowns through the air last year.
Offensive tackle Brett Toth also failed to make the team. Toth only recently got permission from the Army to join the NFL, and he signed with the Eagles only a couple weeks ago. He seems like a prime candidate for a practice squad spot.
Aside from that, and other announced moves, the Eagles made the following roster moves over the weekend to reach the 53-player limit:
CB Ajene Harris
T Riley Mayfield
WR Greg Ward
LB Chris Worley
Released the following players:
TE Will Tye
CB Jalen Mills
Patriots running back Sony Michel missed the team’s minicamp following arthroscopic surgery on his knee. He is “progressing quickly” in his recovery and is reportedly running at “full tilt,” the NFL Network’s Mike Girardi tweets.
That’s a good sign for the second-year back, who sounds like he is on track to return to action when the team opens training camp in July.
A first-round pick in 2018, Michel impressed in his rookie campaign with 931 rushing yards and six touchdowns. He turned it up a notch in the postseason, adding another six rushing scores in New England’s run to a Super Bowl title.
Even if the Georgia product misses a little time, the Patriots should still be in good hands in the backfield. The team still boast James White and added Damien Harris, a running back from Alabama, in the draft in April.
Here’s more from around the NFL:
- The Browns were deemed to have the best offseason, an ESPN NFL Nation post states. Each team was given a designation of elite, above average, average and too soon to tell, and Cleveland was the only squad to garner an elite ranking. The explanation for the lofty ranking was the team succeeding on its goal of surrounding second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield with talent at the skill positions with Odell Beckham and Kareem Hunt.
- With Joe Douglas now with the Jets, the former Eagles vice president of player personnel could look to fortify his new squad with players from his old team, NBC Sports’ Dave Zangaro writes. Zangaro identifies 10 players who could be cut or have reduced roles in the coming weeks who Douglas could have his eyes on, three of which are in the secondary in cornerbacks Cre’Von LeBlanc and Josh Hawkins, and safety Deiondre’ Hall.
The Eagles are not assured of continuing their Super Bowl title defense past Week 17, but they will add a key reinforcement going into their final regular-season game.
Mike Wallace will be activated from IR, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The Eagles also promoted cornerback Josh Hawkins from their practice squad, and NFL reporter Geoff Mosher tweets Philadelphia waived corners De’Vante Bausby and Chandon Sullivan to make room on its 53-man roster.
The Wallace move is interesting considering he did not return to practice before this activation. Teams are given three weeks’ worth of evaluation time for IR-return candidates to practice in order to determine if they will return to the active roster or remain on IR for the rest of the season. With the Eagles in win-or-go-home (with help required) territory, they are moving fast to an all-hands-on-deck approach, it appears.
Wallace has only played in two games with the Eagles, his fifth NFL team. The veteran deep threat suffered a broken fibula in Week 2. He will join a team that now has Golden Tate in the fold, with the Eagles’ Tate-Wallace-Alshon Jeffery–Nelson Agholor–Jordan Matthews top five serving as one of the most experienced groups in the game.
The Eagles added Wallace on a one-year, $1.9MM deal that bumped up to north of $2.5MM thanks to at least one easily attainable incentive. However, Philly may end up getting three games from Wallace. The Eagles must beat the Redskins, who they defeated in Washington three weeks ago, and have the Bears topple the Vikings to make the playoffs.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Here are the latest NFL practice squad decisions:
- Signed: WR Shay Fields
New York Jets
- Signed: CB Josh Hawkins
San Francisco 49ers
- Signed: TE Marcus Lucas
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Signed: LB Emmanuel Smith
Here’s the latest from the NFL’s workout circuit, all links going to NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account (unless otherwise noted). The first day teams can sign players to reserve/futures contracts is New Year’s Eve.
- WR Shay Fields, LB Chris Frey, CB Kameron Kelly, LB Hau’oli Kikaha, CB Trevon Mathis, QB Bo Levi Mitchell (CFL tryout), DL Henry Mondeaux, LB Tegray Scales, LB Robert Spillane, WR Greg Ward (Twitter links)
- DT Joshua Frazier, DT Greg Gilmore, DE Alec James, T Jarron Jones, LB Jacob Pugh, DT Elijah Qualls, DE Jonathan Wynn (link)
Green Bay Packers
- DB Tevaughn Campbell (link)
- WR C.J. Board, LB Farrington Huguenin, DE Alec James, TE Marcus Lucas, TE Troy Mangen, WR Jordan Veasy, LB Antwione Williams (link)
Los Angeles Rams
- LB Sam Eguavoen (CFL tryout) (link)
New York Jets
- LB Zaire Anderson, LB Kwaku Boateng (CFL tryout), RB Joel Bouagnon, RB Mack Brown, RB Martez Carter, LB Jonathan Celestin, LB Avery Ellis (CFL tryout), LB Manase Hungalu, K Ty Long (CFL tryout), T Ryker Mathews (CFL tryout), WR Bryant Mitchell (CFL tryout), RB Akrum Wadley, WR D’haquille Williams (CFL tryout) (link)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Here are today’s practice squad moves:
- Signed: QB Phillip Walker
Kansas City Chiefs
- Released: CB Josh Hawkins
Barner came into the league as a sixth-round pick of the Panthers in 2013 and played eight games for them as a rookie. The Panthers traded him to the Eagles in 2014, but he circled back to Carolina in the offseason. When he failed to make the Panthers’ first cut, Barner hooked on with the Patriots where he cycled through the roster for a couple of months.
Barner, 28, has 19 carries for 71 yards on the season. His best offensive seasons came in 2015 and 2016 with the Eagles when he averaged 4.6 yards per carry in a limited sample of 55 total attempts.
Josh Hawkins is back in the NFL. ESPN’s David Newton reports (via Twitter) that the Panthers have promoted the cornerback from their practice squad to the active roster. Hawkins will be taking the spot that opened up after the team placed safety Da’Norris Searcy on the injured reserve yesterday.
After going undrafted out of East Carolina during the 2016 draft, Hawkins proceeded to spend the next two seasons with the Packers. The 5-foot-10, 189-pound cornerback ended up making a name for himself in Green Bay, appearing in 26 games over his two years with the organization. That included a standout 2017 campaign where he compiled 38 tackles, six passes defended, and one forced fumble in 15 games (three starts).
Despite his breakout campaign, the Packers waived the 25-year-old prior to the regular season. The cornerback quickly caught on with the Panthers practice squad, where he’s spent the first two weeks of the season.
The Panthers’ defensive back depth has been depleted due to injury, with cornerbacks Ross Cockrell and Kevon Seymour sitting on the injured reserve (along with Searcy and safety Damian Parms). Hawkins will initially be placed on the bottom of the cornerback depth chart, but he could see playing time if any of Donte Jackson, James Bradberry, Captain Munnerlyn, Corn Elder, or Lorenzo Doss go down with injuries.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.