There were definitely some big surprises today in the 22 players cut to get the roster down to 53. From undrafted rookie fairytales to career rebirths cut short, it’s time to evaluate who were the biggest winners and losers from the process.
3. WR Rasheed Bailey
Bailey was the big name of yesterdays cuts and the announcement saw uproar amongst fans, it was like a death in a Game Of Thrones episode. The rookie finished the pre-season with 100 yards over 10 catches and a Touchdown against the Jets. He was always so humble in interviews, winning over fans with impressive camp performances and stepping up when it mattered. The problem is that the WR position in Philly is overcrowded. With Cooper being an anchor in terms of money, the emergence of Jordan Matthews, the drafting of Agholor and signing of Austin, not to mention Josh Huff, there was simply no room. It would have taken something extraordinary for someone like Bailey to make the final 53, but he is almost certainly a candidate for a practice squad spot and undoubtedly has the talent to play in the NFL.
2. DB Jaylen Watkins
This was arguably the most questionable call purely down to depth at the position. Watkins was a fourth round pick last year and despite only playing in four games, he showed great form in camp. That form was followed by an Interception against the Jets in amongst a wobbly performance. The problem with Watkins is that he was never consistent. He was either getting burned completely or leaping across the field to intercept a pass. Watkins is at an evident loss when just a few weeks back he was regarded as a leader in the race to take over Boykin/Shepherd’s nickel spot. Whether he will find an NFL team elsewhere is unlikely, but possible.
It would be wrong to pick anyone else right? The backup QB battle in Philadelphia was extremely enticing to watch this off-season and it certainly added a lot of excitement to pre-season. Tim Tebow fought desperately to revive a fallen NFL career and he looked almost certain to do it as QB3 behind Sanchez and Bradford. A weapon from two point range if a little unreliable, Tebow had a rollercoaster off-season. From touchdowns to huge runs, overthrowing demons from seasons past to holding on the ball for too long. It’s the most controversial decision, but for all the wrong reasons. The decision should be controversial because it may be the nail in the coffin for Tim Tebow’s NFL career. Barkley had a disappointing game against the Jets and was picked up by the Cardinals. Tebow had a much bigger game and finds himself cut. Perhaps he wasn’t in Chip’s long term plans or it could be just as Chip said. He improved, just not enough for this kind of Offense.
3. Matt Barkley
Matt Barkley has to be regarded as one of the winners without a shadow of a doubt. Another disappointing pre-season with no real signs of improvement and yet instead of being cut, not only is he in a new team which will be filled with new opportunities, he’s out of Philly. It’s a weight off of Chip’s shoulders and Barkley might, just might finally see some playing time. The backup situation in Arizona is woeful and if a stumbling Palmer begins to wilt, then Barkley may..just may..have one final shot at re-igniting a dead career. He tried to do it countless times in Philly and failed. He talked the talk and failed to back it up. But now..somehow…he has yet another “last chance:..that’s a win by anyones standards.
2. Denzel Rice
Rice was a fan favourite from the get go. An undrafted rookie free agent who looked electric in camp. He got his opportunity to shine yet the odds were stacked against him. E.J. Biggers has seven years experience whilst Jaylen Watkins already has a year with the team..not to mention the “numerical knights” (Reynolds, Couplin). Yet he flourished in OTA’s and training camp, against all the odds he continued to make play after play. It’s served him well as the fairytale continues. Denzel Rice has (for now) evaded cuts and made the final 53. He’s physical, fast and more importantly consistent. He may not be the biggest name or have the most intimidating presence, but he has heart and a stage to show the world what he can do. A huge opportunity for a huge talent..definitely a winner.
That’s right…give us a moment to explain. A lot of people expected Mostert to make the final roster after rushing for 77 yards against the Jets and 83 against Green Bay. He saw plenty of action with 15 carries and began to show his versatility when receiving 8 times. The problem was, Barner was having an equally impressive pre-season. Barner conditionally stays with the team whilst Chip releases Mostert. Why is this a win? Mostert has had two pre-season games where he has played in a large percentage of snaps, showing the rest of the league what he can do. In Philly, much like Bailey..the running back core is so crowded. The three headed monster is set to tear the league apart this year with Murray, Matthews and Sproles primed for a big season. The problem is that the fourth running back won’t take a lot of snaps and would most likely sit on the bench, wasting away..sure he may make an impact on special teams but the likelihood of taking snaps organically without one of the starting backs picking up an injury is minimal. An explosive pre-season has set him up perfectly for the waivers. Teams looking to add more running back talent will surely have Mostert on their books, and if he signs for a team that’s less crowded he will pick up more snaps, develop his craft and flourish. It may seem like a curse to see him cut, but it’s a blessing for Mostert..who WILL find another team in this league.
What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Let us know by leaving a comment!