NFL Philadelphia Eagles

5 Philadelphia Eagles Cut Victims Who Deserved a Roster Spot

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5 Philadelphia Eagles Cut Victims Who Deserved a Roster Spot

Five Eagles Cuts
Howard Smith - USA TODAY Sports

Cutdown day is one of the least anticipated days on the NFL calendar for both players and coaches across the league.

Over the weekend, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly experienced his first final-roster cut at the helm of an NFL franchise. As can be expected with any team during this process, there were some decisions made regarding player personnel that could easily have gone the other way.

Last week, Kelly confirmed to the media that he has final say over which players comprise the team's 53-man roster, and some of the Eagles cuts are affirmation of that statement. Keeping the likes of Casey Matthews over Chris McCoy and Jeff Maehl over the likes of Greg Salas or Russell Shepard are moves that have Kelly's fingerprints all over them.

However, quibbling over such decisions only serves to illustrate the lack of depth on this roster because on any other team -- perhaps with the exception of McCoy -- these players would likely have been released much earlier than now.

It is perfectly evident that this is a franchise that is laying the foundation of a rebuilding program. The team kept seven of its eight picks from April's NFL Draft, with the exclusion of former Oklahoma defensive end Dave King. When all was said and done, the Eagles kept a total of 10 rookies, including undrafted Matt Tobin, Jake Knott and Damion Square, each of whom had impressive preseasons.

Here is a glance at five players who likely deserved a spot on the final 53-man roster, but instead were summoned to Kelly's office along with their playbook on Saturday.

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1. LB Chris McCoy

McCoy
Howard Smith - USA TODAY Sports

Chris McCoy's stint on the unemployment line didn't last long.

Released by the Eagles on Saturday, McCoy was claimed by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday morning and will backup Jason Babin at defensive end as well as pick his hand off the ground as a linebacker in certain situations.

After a very strong preseason which saw the 6-foot-4, 265-pound McCoy finish with four tackles and four quarterback hurries, it was surprising to see him among the list of Eagles cuts.

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2. TE Clay Harbor

Harbor
Howard Smith - USA TODAY Sports

Joining McCoy in Jacksonville is tight end Clay Harbor.

The 2010 fourth-round pick out of Missouri State was entering his fourth season with the Eagles and caught 47 passes for 421 yards and four touchdowns during his tenure here.

Asked about his standing on the team last week, Harbor admitted he felt it was a 50/50 chance that he would be released over the weekend.

Given Kelly's affinity for the tight end position and Harbor's versatility to play both tight end and receiver, it's mildly surprising that he did not make the final roster.

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3. WR Greg Salas

Salas
Howard Smith - USA TODAY Sports

After surprisingly clearing waivers after being released by the Eagles on Saturday, Greg Salas rejoined the team as a member of the practice squad on Sunday.

Salas had a very strong preseason and impressed during training camp.

In the Birds' four preseason games, Salas hauled in seven receptions for 107 yards and one touchdown. He'll have the opportunity to learn under Kelly's watchful eye this season and it certainly will be interesting to see if he is activated at any point during the year.

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4. LB Adrian Robinson

Robinson
Howard Smith - USA TODAY Sports

Second-year Temple product Adrian Robinson's tenure in Philadelphia was over nearly before it began.

Robinson, 23, was acquired by the Eagles from the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for running back Felix Jones on August 23. After being released by the Eagles on Saturday afternoon, the Denver Broncos scooped up Robinson and likely will use him as depth at linebacker. He appeared in 12 games with the Steelers.

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5. WR Russell Shepard

Shepard
Howard Smith - USA TODAY Sports

An undrafted rookie free agent out of LSU, Russell Shepard showed flashes during training camp and the preseason on both offense and special teams.

Many observers believed the final wide receiver spot on this team would come down to either Shepard or Salas, with Jeff Maehl being on the outside looking in. Instead, it's Shepard who was released and was later claimed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Shepard likely will be the backup gunner on special teams for the Buccaneers.