The Philadelphia Eagles have officially parted ways with their second round draft pick in 2011, safety Jaiquawn Jarrett. He was replaced on the roster by wide receiver Mardy Gilyard, who signed to replace Jeremy Maclin, who could miss Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens with a hip injury.
Jarrett was one of a number of rookies who disappointed last season. His signature moment came in the closing minutes of an eventual 21-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. He found himself alone in single coverage on Larry Fitzgerald and was burned deep for a 37-yard diving completion that put the Cardinals on the one-yard line.
The team chose to blame the lockout, and we’ll never know how much that really did affect things, but Jarrett didn’t show any improvement this year either.
He was so bad against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first preseason game that many speculated he would be cut before the season began. He ended up performing much better throughout the preseason, and made the final 53-man roster.
But he turned in a brutal performance on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns in week 1, leading the team with 25 special teams plays and registering zero tackles. He also whiffed badly on a tackle attempt of Josh Cribbs.
Cutting Jarrett means the Eagles admit their mistake in drafting him in the first place. The former Temple star was expected to be the next Brian Dawkins for the Eagles, not in terms of talent, but in big hitting. Yet he showed virtually nothing in a little over a year with the team. He played in just 13 games, the fewest by an Eagles’ second round pick since wide receiver Mike Bellamy played in just six in 1990.
He was also the earliest that a second round pick was cut in the Andy Reid era, beating out linebacker Quinton Caver, who was drafted in 2001 and cut after week 6 in 2002. Linebacker Matt McCoy, drafted in 2005 and cut in midseason in 2007, is another glaring miss on a second round pick.
You have to wonder if the Eagles, who don’t usually cut high draft picks this quickly, could be looking at cutting defensive end Brandon Graham, the first round pick in 2010, if he doesn’t step up his performance quickly. He played in just four snaps on Sunday.
The Eagles currently have just three safeties on the roster: starters Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman, who each turned in big games in week 1, and recently-signed David Sims. Sims has never played a down in the NFL.
They also have special teams ace Colt Anderson. He is technically a safety, but he didn’t play a single play on defense last year. He’s recovering from a torn ACL suffered last December and has not yet played this season. I think cutting Jarrett means the Eagles will put Anderson on the field on Sunday (but still just in special teams).
The Eagles also announced that they have waived practice squad tight end Chase Ford, replacing him with halfback/wide receiver/tight end Derek Carrier.
This article was written by Bryn Swartz, the top writer for the Philadelphia Eagles and a featured NFL columnist on Rant Sports. Bryn has written more than 1000 articles in less than two years as a member of Rant Sports. His blog, Eagles Central, was named the 2010 Ballhyped Sports Blog of the Year. You can follow Bryn on Twitter by clicking here and here. To read a portfolio of Bryn’s best work, click here.