With training camp creeping up, there are veterans around the league getting ready to show their worth to their respective teams so they don’t lose their spots to younger players. ESPN recently came out with a list of one player from each team who could be on the receiving end of a pink slip if they don’t perform well in the summer months. Let’s take a look which teams’ respective ESPN reporter’s choice would be good fits for the Eagles.
Miami – Allen Hurns (WR)
From Cameron Wolfe:
Why he could get cut: The Dolphins’ receivers room got a lot deeper with the additions of Will Fuller V and Jaylen Waddle to pair with 2020 starters DeVante Parker and Preston Williams. Add promising 2020 third-round pick Lynn Bowden Jr. and that’s five receiver spots likely locked down, leaving veterans such as Hurns (a versatile backup), Albert Wilson (an enormous performer in yards after the catch when healthy), Jakeem Grant (an All-Pro returner with a $3.6 million salary) and Mack Hollins (a special teams standout) competing for one or two remaining spots. All could be vulnerable, but Wilson and Grant might have an early edge over Hurns. — Cameron Wolfe
The Eagles’ WR depth chart is currently DeVonta Smith, Jalen Reagor, Travis Fulgham, Greg Ward, John Hightower, Quez Watkins, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, and Jhamon Ausbon. Allen Hurns would fit nicely in there to compete with everyone outisde of Smith and Reagor. You’re probably saying “Fulgham too, idiot” but as much as I love Fulgham’s five week performance as best WR in the league, it was still only five games after being non-existent on Detroit in all of 2019 and most of 2020 before bursting on the scenes. He still needs to prove himself and prove that he can adjust to teams scheming for him.
Hurns opted out in 2020 due to COVID concerns so a year out of football definitely hurts his chances and his 2016-2019 receiving yards total of 1,672 yards is only 639 more than his break out 2015 season of 1,031 yards. Prior to joining the Cowboys, PFF had Hurns as the 5th best AFC South player from 2017. A change of scenery could benefit Hurns and the Eagles with his potential.
New England – N’Keal Harry (WR)
From Mike Reiss:
Why he could get cut: Calling a third-year player a veteran might be questionable, but Harry not only has a crowded depth chart ahead of him in Nelson Agholor, Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne, but also competition for the No. 4 or 5 role from others who seem to provide more value on special teams (such as Gunner Olszewski as a punt returner) or have a standout trait (such as Isaiah Zuber‘s speed). Harry’s contract might help him stick around, as the Patriots would take a $2 million cap hit for letting him go. That could ultimately buy the 2019 first-round pick a bit more time to see if things turn around. Note: Harry’s agent told NFL Network that he has formally requested the Patriots trade Harry. — Mike Reiss
The former first round pick is seemingly a lock to be moved in the coming weeks, if not days. As NJ.com’s Mike Kaye puts it, he makes sense as WR3 competition for Travis Fulgham (for reasons stated above).
For the low, low price of a day three pick, the Eagles would be wise to take a chance.
Cleveland – Mack Wilson (LB)
From Jake Trotter:
Why he could get cut: The Browns just spent their second-round pick on Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, whom they considered taking in the first round before settling on CB Greg Newsome II. Owusu-Koramoah plays weakside linebacker, the same position as Wilson, who was drafted in 2019 by the previous front-office regime. Whether Owusu-Koramoah eventually starts or not, Wilson can still carve out an important role in the linebacking rotation, but to do that, he’ll have to play better than he did last season. — Jake Trotter
Wilson is a coverage linebacker, something the Eagles desperately need. Newcomer Eric Wilson can help in that regard, but one isn’t enough. The Eagles linebacking corps, as we all know, has been bad for a very long time.
Wilson had a very productive rookie year in 2019 and followed that with a lackluster 2020. Hampered by injuries, he totaled just 39 combined tackles in 13 games. With the drafting of Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Wilson could be looking at finding a new home for 2021.
Indianapolis – Ben Banogu (DE)
From Mike Wells:
Why he could get cut: Banogu, a second-round pick by the Colts in 2019, played in only nine games in 2020. It wasn’t because Banogu was injured, either. He was inactive for several games because he fell so far down the depth chart. A sign of how the Colts feel about Banogu, who has only 2½ sacks in two seasons, was when they used their first two picks in this year’s draft on defensive ends Kwity Paye and Dayo Odeyingbo. “It has to be done on the practice field, it has to be done in drills because we study everything and we look at every single thing that every player does,” defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus said about Banogu in early June. — Mike Wells
Banogu is an athletic freak at EDGE but he has underwhelmed in his two years in the league. With the Eagles getting older at the position (BG) and trade rumors around others (DB), they could use some promising depth.
Arizona – Jordan Hicks (LB)
From Josh Weinfuss:
Hicks, 29, has been one of the most durable and productive players in the NFL during his two seasons with the Cardinals, playing the sixth-most snaps and having the sixth-most tackles since 2019. But with Arizona’s decision to announce rookie Zaven Collins and second-year linebacker Isaiah Simmons as their starting inside linebackers before summer camp was over, there’s a good chance that Hicks, who started all 32 games the past two seasons, is not in the team’s plans going forward. He could either be moved through a trade or be released at the end of camp despite his veteran leadership. — Josh Weinfuss
Hicks? DURABLE? Well would you look at that.
Hicks has been the subject to trade rumors for a few weeks now, linked mostly to the Eagles in the Zach Ertz rumors.
I think this goes without saying much. Hicks would absolutely be welcome back.
Los Angeles Rams – Johnny Hekker (P)
From Lindsey Thiry:
Why he could get cut: Hekker has had an outstanding nine-year career for the Rams. However, he’s the highest-paid punter in the NFL and averaged a career-low 45.6 yards per punt last season. Though Rams coach Sean McVay insisted that the addition of a new punter to the roster this offseason did not signal a competition for Hekker’s job, Hekker is not taking any chances. “When push comes to shove, they have to make the best decisions for this roster,” Hekker said. “For me to for a second not think that this is a competition and not prepare myself every day like it is a competition would be doing myself and this team a disservice.” — Lindsey Thiry
Hekker is a four time first team All Pro and is also 100% on FGs in his career (1/1). If he’s available, the Eagles should let newcomer Arryn Siposs learn from one of the bests and let Jake Elliott watch a punter do his job better than he can do.
Chicago – Nick Foles (QB)
From Jeff Dickerson:
Why he could get cut: From an experience and ability standpoint, Foles is worthy of a spot on Chicago’s 53-man roster. Throughout the offseason, the Bears spoke and acted as if they expected Foles to be on the team. Still, the possibility exists that Foles could play elsewhere in 2021. The Bears are unlikely to simply release Foles, but the veteran is logical trade bait if another team suffered an injury at quarterback in the preseason. Foles is, after all, the Bears’ No. 3 quarterback behind Andy Dalton and Justin Fields, so it’s fair to label him as expendable. — Jeff Dickerson
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