Following a 37-7 thrashing of the Jets’ nobodies, the Eagles backups will be awaiting Saturday’s 4 PM roster deadline. Twenty-three players must pack their things and bid adieu to the midnight green, though in their favor is the fax that four Eagles were claimed f waivers from the first cuts. Philadelphia Sports Nation caught up with Joe Mays of DraftTek.com to air some final roster inquiries as the 2014 season nears.
Mays, like the majority of experts, feels that the chances that the Eagles trade backup quarterback Mark Sanchez are slim. “Why trade an asset for Eagles backup QB Mark Sanchez when you can get a Free Agent now or a camp casualty in a few days for little more than a meager one-year contract” questioned Mays. The Rams have sniffed around a bit, but do not appear to be biting any time soon. Sanchex probably offers more value to the Eagles than to the Rams, as he seems to play well in this simple system. In St. Louis, Sanchez would reunite with former Jet offensive coordinator Marty Schottenheimer, who may have paved the way for Sanchez demise in New York.
The bottom line is that the Rams won’t pay nearly enough for the Eagles to consider trading a dependable backup. Mays adds, “Do I think they’ll add another QB behind Hill, Davis, and Gilbert? Yes, but I do not believe it’ll be to push Hill for the starting job.”
One of the biggest stories from Thursday’s game is the rise of former Colt Cody Parkey. The Auburn graduate converted all three of his field goal tries, including kicks from 54 and 53 yards out. In fact, once the coaches saw Parkey connect on the first long try, they sent him out again in place of Henery. However, Mays still tropically leans toward veterans: “Always go with professional game experience versus an unknown, especially on a squad expectedto be quite good in 2014.”
It is possible the Eagles forgo that notion and keep the newcomer; however, should they realize that Parkey or Henery is not serviceable after week one, they could still bring in veteran help. Mays notes two players who could do the job:”The Eagles may turn to more seasoned veterans like Jay Feely (Cardinals) or Dustin Hopkins (Bills). Feely is an intriguing name. He has 13 years of NFL kicking duties under his belt, plus has played in the Northeast before (two seasons with both New York teams). However, he may be a bigger name and that’s it,” Mays noted. “His Field Goal percentage the last three seasons for Arizona were 79%, 89%, and 83% (Henery connected at clips of 89%, 87%, and 82%, respectively). Any of these options could be worth a look should the two men in question fail, but right now Cody Parkey seems to have taken the team, fans, and city by storm.
One of the main position battles is offensive line. With Lane Johnson suspended for the first four games, the team can carry an extra lineman until he returns. Though the waiver wire tends not to bear much fruit this time of year, a lineman is a possibility: “With the injury and subsequent release of Julian Vandervelde, Philadelphia may browse the cut Offensive Linemen. However, the team is still carrying seven Offensive Tackles and the play of new backup Center David Molk may deem the addition of another trench body unnecessary,” Mays said.
With Mays’ input in mind, here is a roster projection for the 2014 Eagles.
QB(3): Foles, Sanchez, Barkley.
RB(3): McCoy, Sproles, Josey.
WR(6): Maclin, Cooper, Matthews, Huff, Smith, Benn.
TE(4): Celek, Ertz, Casey, Burton.
OL(9): Peters, Herremans, Kelce, Mathis, Barbre. Tobin, Gardner, Molk, Kelly, Johnson(roster exemption). Kelly cut upon Johnson return.
DL(7): Cox, Logan, Thornton, Bair, Curry, Allen, Hart.
OLB(5): Barwin, Graham, Cole, Smith II, Braman.
ILB(4): Ryans, Kendricks, Goode, Matthews.
CB(5): Williams, Fletcher, Carroll II, Boykin, Watkins.
S(4): Jenkins, Allen, Wolff, Maragos.
Photo: The Times of Trenton