Philadelphia Eagles: Will Murphy

PHILADELPHIA -- There is roster change every year for NFL teams. The Philadelphia Eagles find themselves in pretty good shape going into the 2014 offseason. They have control over most of their roster and can, for the most part, make only the changes they want.

Here's how the roster shapes up:

Unrestricted free agents: Wide receivers Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin; safeties Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman and Colt Anderson; quarterback Michael Vick; defensive end Clifton Geathers, punter Donnie Jones.

The Eagles could lose all of those players without taking a major hit. That doesn't mean those players aren't valuable, merely that they're not irreplaceable. It's not as if LeSean McCoy or Mychal Kendricks or Jason Kelce were free to leave.

My guess is general manager Howie Roseman will make solid market offers to Cooper, Maclin, Allen, Geathers and Jones. He will not overpay for any of them. If some other team does, the Eagles will move on without the player in question.

Players due for contract extensions: Defensive end Cedric Thornton (exclusive rights free agent) and center Jason Kelce.

Let's project to the year 2022. The 35-year-old Kelce announces he is playing his final season after 13 years with the Eagles. That's how things should go with this guy. He's smart, physical, athletic and exactly the kind of player teams should commit to. So yes, extend Kelce.

Thornton was one of the delightful surprises of 2013. An undrafted rookie from Southern Arkansas, he hung around for a couple years without anyone paying much mind. But he's living proof of Chip Kelly's no-expectations approach. Kelly judges based on what a player does, and Thornton was very good this year.

Players who could be gone: Vick, Anderson, Coleman, wide receiver Damaris Johnson, kicker Alex Henery, linebacker Brandon Graham, safety Patrick Chung, linebacker Phillip Hunt (restricted free agent on IR), wide receiver Arrelious Benn, offensive lineman Dennis Kelly.

Mostly self-explanatory. Vick wants to find a place where he can start. Even if he doesn't, the Eagles really like Matt Barkley and may well prefer a younger (read: cheaper) No. 2 behind Nick Foles.

Henery will have competition for the kicking job next summer. Not sure he'll answer that bell. Graham belongs at end in a 4-3 defense and may get a chance to return to one. The Eagles tried to replace Chung over and over but injuries kept him in the lineup.

Johnson lost his return job and never played on offense. Anderson has been a solid special teams guy, but Kelly likes versatility and may prefer a replacement who can fill in on defense, too.

Veterans on the salary-cap bubble: Tight end Brent Celek, linebacker Trent Cole, guard Todd Herremans, wide receiver Jason Avant. They are all good enough players to stay. That, not their cap numbers, should be the deciding factor.

Youth movement: The Eagles signed their practice squad and one other player to futures contracts. They are linebackers Emmanuel Acho, Josh Kaddu and Travis Long; offensive tackle Michael Bamiro; defensive end Brandon Bair; wide receivers Will Murphy, B.J. Cunningham and Ifeanyi Momah, and tight end Emil Igwenagu.

The takeaway here: The Eagles staff spent a lot of time coaching these guys and one or three of them just might become contributors.
Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly likes to do things fast. So it’s no surprise he started making his necessary roster cuts within a few hours of getting back to Philadelphia from the Meadowlands early Friday morning.

The Eagles announced 13 roster moves so far. They must make nine more to get down to the mandatory 53 by Saturday at 6 p.m. ET.

Two offensive linemen who saw some action last season, centers Dallas Reynolds and Matt Tennant, were released. So was Matt Kopa. The implications: Julian Vandervelde will be the primary backup to starting center Jason Kelce, and Danny Watkins’ chances of sticking went up a bit.

Two 2013 draft picks were affected. Defensive end David King (seventh round) was released. Joe Kruger, another second-round defensive end, was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. Kruger played Thursday night and was not mentioned on the injury report, but Kelly is not nearly as diligent on that issue as Andy Reid was.

Defensive tackle Antonio Dixon, who started 10 games for the Eagles in 2010, was released. Dixon never seemed to adjust to the nose tackle spot in the 3-4 scheme.

Cornerback Trevard Lindley, a fourth-round pick from 2010 who was out of the league last year, was waived with an injury settlement. Lindley sprained an ankle against the Jets.

Two quarterbacks, Dennis Dixon and G.J. Kinne, were released.

Linebacker Everette Brown flashed in the last two preseason games but it wasn’t enough. The Eagles probably would have had to give up on former first-round pick in Brandon Graham for Brown to make the team.

Linebacker Adrian Robinson, who was obtained in the trade that sent RB Felix Jones to Pittsburgh, was released.

Wide receivers Ifeanyi Momah and Will Murphy rounded out the cuts. Momah drew attention early in camp because of his size: 6-7, 240. But he never really made an impact on the field. He could be a candidate for the practice squad.

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