Instant analysis: Eagles waive a defensive tackle and promote QB Nate Sudfield to active roster

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The Eagles have announced one of their most intriguing minor roster moves in recent memory.

Wait…what? The Eagles have waived a defensive tackle and promoted former Redskins backup Nate Sudfeld? It’s not as crazy as it sounds. Yes, the Eagles technically have 3 quarterbacks on the active roster, but it probably won’t stay that way for long.

Hamilton was one of the quieter offseason acquisitions made by the Eagles. The 6’2, 315 pound lineman went undrafted out of Louisiana Lafayette in 2015. Since then, he’s spent time with the Packers, the Bills and most recently, the Seattle Seahawks. Playing in 51 games for the Ragin’ Cajuns, Hamilton amassed 102 tackles and 14 sacks during his collegiate career. He was also named First Team All-Sun Belt Conference. In 2014, he had 39 quarterback hurries, which was the most for any 3-4 DE.

After being called up to the team prior to the Eagles week four clash with the Chargers, Hamilton served a vital role. The Eagles suffered a big from the injury bug during the heart of the opening half of the season, losing Destiny Vaeao and Fletcher Cox for big games, while Beau Allen also took a few knocks. Rookie Elijah Qualls was joined by Hamilton in the emergency efforts to pave over the injuries that struck at different times.

This week, the Eagles defensive front is healthier than ever. Cox and Jernigan headline a tenacious rotation of defensive tackles that involves both Allen and Vaeao. There would be no need to keep six defensive tackles on the roster, so the idea (presumably) would be for the team to re-sign Hamilton to their practice squad.

To do that, they would need to open up a spot. Enter QB3, Nate Sudfeld.Sudfeld spent the offseason with the Redskins after being drafted in the sixth round one year ago. The former Indiana QB was on the Redskins roster for the entirety of last season but didn’t see any regular-season snaps.

Sudfeld completed a total of 60.3% of his passes during his time at Indiana for 61 touchdowns and 20 picks. Standing at 6’6 and 240 lbs, it’s safe to say he has the size on his side. 8 career rushing scores and 132 rushing yards also showcase some rare athleticism from a quarterback of his frame.

The OTHER thing of note here is the potential injury to the throwing elbow of Nick Foles. The recently signed backup quarterback missed the majority of training camp and all of preseason due to elbow soreness. Even when dropped into the game against San Francisco to run out the clock, Foles didn’t attempt a single pass. Could this be an insurance policy to keep Wentz healthy?

Sudfeld is practically on a full salary anyway, so having him run into a game to rundown the clock and a void an elbow soreness provoked turnover makes sense. OR, they just wish to keep both players on the scout team and are having to take a ‘one step at a time’ approach in order to achieve that.

The third alternative is that another team was ready to pluck Sudfeld from the Eagles farm. After the news of failed deadline day trades, it’s not entirely hard to imagine. Either way, the Eagles continue to make smart and educated moves as the weeks go by.

 

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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