The Eagles kicked off Tuesday with quite an important roster move. Safety Blake Countess has been waived with an injury settlement after picking up an injury in the team’s preseason opener. The Birds brought back a familiar face in Aziz Shittu in a corresponding move.
The 25-year-old Safety was originally a sixth-round pick of the Eagles who was let go amidst final roster cuts. Since then, he’s carved out a nice career. Countess has played in 37 games and even intercepted two passes as a backup safety for the Rams. He led the team in special teams tackles in back-to-back years and has 44 defensive stops to his name. Last season, he also started to return kickoffs, averaging 24.6 yards per return.
Brought in to compete for a backup Safety spot, this move is huge for Tre Sullivan and Jonathan Cyprien. The latter has only just signed with Philadelphia and is coming off of a torn ACL, but prior to joining the Titans in 2017, had four seasons in a row of at least 100+ tackles. The 29-year old has starting credentials but the torn ACL derailed hopes of living up to those expectations as a Titan. With Countess waived, who was presumably his main rival for that roster spot, Cyprien’s path is now clear. He’ll need a strong preseason, but the odds of making the roster just dropped massively.
As for Shittu, the Eagles are familiar with him after he spent time with the team during the 2017 offseason. Unfortunately, after sticking on the Eagles roster, he lost out to Destiny Vaeao and was subsequently waived.
At 6’2, 288 pounds, Shittu, ended his final collegiate season with a bang, racking up 3.5 tackles for a loss, eight overall and 1.5 sacks in the Rose Bowl en route to earning Defensive MVP. After suffering a torn ACL in 2014, Shittu bounced back with 56 combined tackles, 14.5 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks.
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