What Would an Eagles Pre-Camp Cut Look Like?
You’ve likely seen a number of stories about the NFL’s plans for training camps in the new normal of a COVID-19 world.
Everything from reporting dates for rookies, protocols for the tiered opening of facilities to a scaled-down preseason have been discussed. As we head into the Fourth of July weekend, however, none of it has been approved by the NFLPA, a necessary step before the light turns green.
Another interesting concept being bandied about behind the scenes is a counterintuitive notion for a union: the elimination of jobs, albeit part-time ones, and perhaps more notably, opportunities.
With social-distancing a concern there has been some discussion in the NFLPA about eliminating 15 preseason roster spots before training camps even begin on July 28, something that would be a crippling blow for lesser-pedigreed young players looking to open the eyes of various coaching staffs around the league.
Those types of players were already behind the 8-Ball without any on-field OTAs, minicamps and now a limited preseason that in a best-case scenario would scratch the two games - Weeks 1 and 4 - where less-heralded players would be penciled in for the most playing time.
If the Eagles coaching staff is forced to wave goodbye to 15 players before on-field work even begins the vast majority would come from the 2020 13-man undrafted free-agency class.
Exceptions there would likely include interior offensive lineman Luke Juriga and defensive tackle Raequan Williams, who each got over $100,000 to sign, along with players who could be in the mix for roster spots like running back Michael Warren, tight end Noah Togiai, and versatile defensive back Grayland Arnold.
That leaves eight players - RB Adrian Killins, receivers Khalil Tate and Manasseh Bailey, offensive lineman Julian Good-Jones, linebacker Dante Olson and defensive backs Prince Smith, Elijah Riley and Michael Jacquet - who likely wouldn’t even pass go.
It would also mean Howie Roseman, Andy Weidl and Doug Pederson would have to find seven more names for the chopping block with the most obvious candidates being players who signed futures deals after spending time on the practice squad or being brought in from the outside after the season.
That's a definition that would fit receiver Marcus Green, offensive linemen Keegan Render and Casey Tucker, defensive tackle Albert Huggins and cornerbacks Tremon Smith and Trevor Williams.
The final player jettisoned would likely be one of the 2019-20 late-season pickups for an injury, such as WR Shelton Gibson, who was re-signed off the Cleveland Browns practice squad for the playoff game against Seattle, or RB Elijah Holyfield, who was inked on New Year’s Eve.
John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John every Monday and Friday on SIRIUSXM’s Tony Bruno Show with Harry Mayes, and every Tuesday and Thursday with Eytan Shander on SBNation Radio. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen