There are phases to roster building in the NFL and while the two major inflection points are passed - high-profile free agency and the draft - there is still work that needs to be done.
The Eagles' remaining work could include the re-signings of left tackle Jason Peters and defensive lineman Vinny Curry, two players still looking for homes with May a day away.
The Eagles have already made two roster moves since revealing their undrafted class. One was minor, with offensive tackle Casey Tucker being claimed off waivers from Detroit. The other was somewhat meaningful, with the return of running back and Super Bowl hero Corey Clement on a one-year deal.
After the draft, organizations around the league look at their projected depth charts and try to fill the holes that they were unable to address in the largest talent-gathering portion of the offseason. For instance, the Eagles ultimately added 24 bodies in the draft and UDFA but were unable to get a ready-made complement to Miles Sanders in the backfield.
That put Clement, the 25-year-old South Jersy native who just got cleared from the shoulder surgery that essentially derailed his 2019 season, back into the equation.
Speculation heated up around Peters when Eagles All-Pro right tackle Lane Johnson gave his own opinion when discussing the issue with NBC Sports Philadelphia.
“I think there’s always a chance. Really, right now, all we have is time,” said Johnson. “We’ll see what happens. I wouldn’t rule it out.”
Like just about every Eagles player and certainly the offensive linemen, Johnson has tremendous respect for the 38-year-old Peters, a certain future Hall of Famer who is arguably the best left tackle of his generation.
Johnson doesn’t make personnel decisions, though, and the Peters' evaluation was a difficult one for a whole host of reasons, not the least of which was Peters’ standing in the organization and his relationship with owner Jeffrey Lurie.
The Eagles, however, wanted to get younger and more cost-effective throughout their roster and went up in the first round of the 2019 draft to get Andre Dillard.
On the surface, it does seem like the time to turn the page but there were some eyebrow-raising rumors leading up to the draft that had the Eagles’ peddling Dillard to move up in the first round.
Nothing happened of course but there is smoke, if not fire, with Dillard and his makeup, particularly concerns about how he handled a run-of-the-mill fight in training camp and more so, his reluctance to embrace a move to right tackle when needed due to an injury to Johnson.
The Eagles also drafted a young tackle with a high ceiling, albeit with injury concern, in Prince Tega Wanogho and still have Jordan Mailata behind Dillard as well.
This still seems like the proper time to close the door on Peters but Lurie could always step in and overrule that decision.
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly hurt Peters because a new organization that might feel they are a competent LT away from significance would want to completely kick the tires on his physical state and that is far more difficult right now.
Curry, who will turn 32 in June, is a bit different in that he’s coming off a solid season as a rotational piece and will likely be very cheap at this point.
If the Eagles do go down that path, it’s likely not a positive sign for Josh Sweat, the third-year player penciled in to take the next step.
Philadelphia has a cast of thousands presumably fighting for the fourth role with some somewhat significant recent assets ties up in them like 2019 fourth-round pick Shareef Miller and Genard Avery, the trade pickup last season that cost a fourth-rounder in this year’s draft. The Eagles also drafted the super-athletic Casy Toohill in the seventh round last weekend.
Roseman has spent most of the offseason touting the need to get younger and the Eagles have that opportunity and should seize it. Clement remains young and fits that goal.
Peters and Curry do not.
John McMullen covers the Eagles for SI.com and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John every day on SIRIUSXM’s Tony Bruno Show with Harry Mayes, Every Tuesday and Thursday with Eytan Shander on SBNation Radio, and every weekday on ESPN 97.3 in South Jersey. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen