Mosher's Mailbag: Which vets could be cut?

Mosher's Mailbag: Which vets could be cut?
July 8, 2013, 12:30 pm
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Have a question for Eagles insider Geoff Mosher? Submit it via twitter (@GeoffMosherCSN) or e-mail (

Q. Who do you believe will be cut before the season starts? I would really like to see Riley Cooper step up.

- Brent E. Johns (@PaintedSoul)

A. When he became head coach, Chip Kelly made two very important decisions. First, he didn’t play favorites. Kelly insisted that all positions were up for grabs and everyone would be evaluated equally. Second, Kelly and general manager Howie Roseman aimed to change the losing culture that had permeated the locker room for the past two seasons by bringing in as many new faces as possible to challenge for those roster spots and push out some of the incumbents.

Cooper is one of several veteran Eagles who might not be around for the season opener. I have no idea how many receivers Kelly plans to keep, but DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant and Damaris Johnson can safely be considered locks to make the team. That leaves one or two more openings for a committee that includes Cooper, Arrelious Benn, Ifeanyi Momah, B.J. Cunningham and rookie Russell Shepard. Cooper and Benn can both make the team with impressive camps, but a numbers situation could force Kelly to decide upon one. Benn can play the slot, the outside and has return game experience. He’s a former second-round pick and has the versatility that Kelly covets.

At tight end, it looks like a stretch for Clay Harbor to come back for Year 4. With Brent Celek, James Casey and Zach Ertz on the roster, it’s hard to imagine the Eagles paying Harbor’s $630,000 base salary if there’s no guarantee that he’ll be active on game day.

Michael Vick, of course, could be a roster casualty if Kelly is sold on Nick Foles and the promise of Matt Barkley. Felix Jones needs to stay healthy and be productive this camp to make the team, and we all know former first-round pick Danny Watkins is on thin ice.

On defense, cornerback Curtis Marsh needs a strong camp to stick around, as does safety Kurt Coleman. It’s possible that each could play well this preseason and still get their walking papers. If Kenny Phillips can’t stay healthy, he could also be on the outside looking in. The change in defensive scheme will probably push defensive end Phillip Hunt out the door and Casey Matthews needs to finally show his potential to make the team.

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