Eagles release injury-plagued Kenny Phillips

Eagles release injury-plagued Kenny Phillips
August 25, 2013, 5:15 pm
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The Eagles would have had to pay Kenny Phillips $1 million if he survived final cuts next week. (USA Today Images)

The Eagles released injury-plagued safety Kenny Phillips Sunday, ending his brief and disappointing stay with the Eagles after just five months.

The Eagles announced the release of 10 players Sunday but the list did not include Phillips. ProFootballTalk first reported the move, and two league sources confirmed it. The Eagles had no comment.

Although the Eagles signed Phillips in March to a one-year, $2 million contract, none of the money was guaranteed. They paid Phillips a $150,000 offseason workout bonus but owe him nothing more than that.

The move is hardly a surprise. Had Phillips survived final roster cuts next week, the Eagles would have had to pay him $1 million and guarantee his base salary of $850,000 as a vested veteran.

Phillips, a smart and productive playmaker when healthy, has a long history of knee injuries going back to 2009 microfracture surgery.

He was limited to just one preseason game this summer, the opener vs. the Patriots. He’s missed the last two with a quad injury.

Despite starting 41 games and winning a Super Bowl ring during his stay with the Giants and despite the Eagles’ weakness in the secondary, Phillips’ health issues were just too big, and the Eagles finally pulled the plug on the low-risk experiment.

Phillips, just 26, was a full-time starter for the Giants in 2010 and 2011, but was limited to just seven games last year.

In 56 career games, including 41 starts, Phillips had eight interceptions, 26 knockdowns and 262 tackles. He had a carer-high four interceptions in 2011, his last full season.

Phillips is the latest in a long line of safeties the Eagles have struck out on since letting Brian Dawkins leave via free agency for the Broncos.

Among that group are Marlin Jackson, Jarrad Page, O.J. Atogwe, Quintin Demps, Macho Harris, Sean Jones and Jaiqwan Jarrett. The Eagles have used 10 different starting safeties in the four seasons since the departure of Dawkins, a nine-time Pro Bowler (seven with the Eagles).

With Phillips out of the picture, the Eagles have six safeties on the roster – projected starters Nate Allen and Patrick Chung; rookie Earl Wolff, who has gotten some first-team reps at strong safety; backups Kurt Coleman and David Sims; and special teams specialist Colt Anderson.