Actually, there is a very good chance that the Eagles could make a roster move as soon as today.
"I still have some things up my sleeve," Rhodes said yesterday.
One of those things is the probable addition of former Saints tight end Frank Wainright. Frank Bauer, Wainwright's agent, said last night that he and the Eagles were close to agreeing on a deal that would bring Wainwright to town.
"He'll be in there," Bauer said. "Frank wants to be in there, and the Eagles want him in there. It will happen.
"The offense is pretty much the reason why he wants to come there," Bauer said of Wainright, who caught 10 passes for 146 yards in three years with New Orleans. "He very much likes the West Coast offense, and he likes the way the tight end is used in the offense. That's what Frank is interested in. I think he'll do a good job."
To get to the NFL-mandated roster limit of 53 players, the Eagles cut six players by 4 p.m. yesterday. They also traded disappointing tackle Joe Sims to the Green Bay Packers for an undisclosed draft pick. Sims, who started 14 games for the Packers last year, had signed a two-year free-agent contract worth $1.3 million with the Eagles on April 20.
Only one of the six players cut yesterday played for last year's Eagles: tight end Maurice Johnson, the four-year veteran from Temple. Johnson started 21 games and caught 39 passes for 371 yards and four touchdowns in his stint with the team, but another Johnson - Jimmie - beat him out for the final tight end spot on the roster.
"He hasn't been with us for very long," Rhodes said of Jimmie Johnson, ''but he has some skills we're excited about."
These were the other five players cut:
* Andre Allen, a rookie linebacker from Northern Iowa.
* Ron Dickerson, a third-year running back from Arkansas and the son of Temple football coach Ron Dickerson.
* Joe Rudolph, a rookie guard from Wisconsin.
* Freddie Solomon, a rookie wide receiver from South Carolina State.
* Sylvester Wright, a rookie linebacker from Kansas.
Tackle Bernard Williams, who was suspended by the NFL for six games for testing positive for marijuana in the off-season, has been placed on the reserve/non-football-illness list. He cannot practice or collect a paycheck during his suspension, giving the Eagles another roster spot to fill.
You get the feeling Rhodes will fill it.
"The wheel's still churning," Rhodes said. "It's been a long day, and it's going to be an even longer night."
One player who sounds as if he will not be in uniform for the Tampa Bay game is Byron Evans. Evans worked out Saturday for the Eagles, and team officials were generally impressed with the free-agent linebacker.
Clarification: They were generally impressed with a linebacker who is still making a recovery from knee surgery.
"I didn't expect Byron to come in and be a blazer for us," Rhodes said.
"He worked out at about (the speed) I thought he would," said Bob Ackles, the Eagles' director of football administration. "However, he does have a ways to go. He's still a ways away."
Rhodes had been interested in swinging some kind of a deal for Tampa Bay defensive tackle Marc Spindler, who would have added depth to the ailing defensive line. Spindler was traded yesterday with wide receiver Charles Wilson to the New York Jets for a fourth-round draft choice.
"He's a guy we discussed," Rhodes said of Spindler. "But for a fourth- round pick, I don't know if we wanted to discuss him that much."
The roster as it stood yesterday included 23 players who were with the Eagles at the end of last year, including kick returner Jeff Sydner, and 29 newcomers. Ten of the newcomers are rookies. Eight of the team's nine draft choices made the team, including Smothers, the 248th pick in the NFL draft. The exception was running back Kevin Bouie, who was placed on injured reserve and is out for the season.
The other two rookies to make the cut were Drake, a converted offensive tackle from Indiana, and Tom Hutton, the punter and holder. It was a bit of a surprise that Dave Barr made the team, because the Eagles already have three quarterbacks and because Barr played sparingly in the preseason, throwing only six passes in brief action.
"We still want to take a look at Dave," Rhodes said.
Barr could be on the practice squad by the end of the week, joining such players as Drake, running back Derrick Witherspoon and any of the five rookies
Rhodes said he still has a lot of juggling to do. Get used to it.
"I'm sure there's going to be some action in the next couple of days," the coach said.
NOTES. Rhett Hall, who has been hospitalized with blood clots in his lungs, made the final cut. Ackles said the team was hopeful that Hall would be able to play this year. . . . Rhodes said there was nothing new on the exciting Bill Johnson contract-negotiations front.
1995 EAGLES ROSTER
NO. PLAYER POSITION HEIGHT WEIGHT BIRTHDATE COLLEGE
1 Gary Anderson K 5-11 179 7/16/59 Syracuse
86 Fred Barnett WR 6-0 200 6/17/66 Arkansas State
16 Dave Barr QB 6-3 205 5/9/72 California
76 Barrett Brooks OT 6-4 309 5/5/72 Kansas State
19 Rob Carpenter WR 6-2 190 8/1/68 Syracuse
71 Mike Chalenski DE 6-5 285 1/28/70 UCLA
12 Randall Cunningham QB 6-4 205 3/27/63 UNLV
78 Antone Davis OT 6-4 335 2/28/67 Tennessee
90 Ronnie Dixon DT 6-3 292 5/10/71 Cincinnati
75 Troy Drake OT 6-6 289 5/15/72 Indiana
54 Kurt Gouveia LB 6-1 240 9/14/64 Brigham Young
96 Mark Gunn DE/DT 6-5 297 7/24/68 Pittsburgh
97 Rhett Hall DT 6-2 276 12/5/68 California
11 Jay Fiedler QB 6-1 214 12/29/71 Grambling
23 Derrick Frazier CB 5-10 172 4/29/70 Texas A&M
95 William Fuller DE 6-3 280 4/29/70 North Carolina
30 Charlie Garner RB 5-9 187 2/13/72 Tennessee
91 Andy Harmon DT 6-4 278 4/6/69 Kent State
26 Jerome Henderson CB 5-10 188 8/8/69 Clemson
73 Lester Holmes OG 6-3 305 9/27/69 Jackson State
66 John Hudson G/C 6-2 276 1/29/68 Auburn
4 Tom Hutton P/K 6-1 193 7/8/72 Tennessee
47 Greg Jackson S 6-1 204 8/20/66 LSU
79 Greg Jefferson DE 6-3 257 8/31/71 Central Florida
88 Jimmie Johnson TE 6-2 248 10/6/66 Howard
80 Reggie Johnson TE 6-2 255 1/27/68 Florida State
82 Chris Jones WR 6-3 209 8/7/71 Miami
59 Mike Mamula LB/DE 6-4 252 8/14/73 Boston College
18 Kelvin Martin WR/KR 5-9 162 5/14/65 Boston College
41 Fred McCrary FB 6-0 219 9/19/72 Miss. State
62 Guy McIntyre OG 6-3 276 Georgia
63 Raleigh McKenzie G/C 6-2 283 2/8/63 Tennessee
29 Mark McMillian CB 5-7 148 4/29/70 Alabama
58 Derrick Oden LB 5-11 237 9/29/70 Alabama
72 Joe Panos G/C 6-2 293 1/24/71 Wisconsin
9 Rodney Peete QB 6-0 225 3/16/66 USC
94 Leonard Renfro DT 6-2 306 6/29/70 Colorado
53 Bill Romanowski LB 6-4 241 4/2/66 Boston College
77 Howard Smothers OT 6-3 278 11/16/73 Bethune-Cookman
93 Daniel Stubbs DE 6-4 272 1/3/65 Miami
85 Jeff Sydner WR 5-6 177 11/11/69 Hawaii
21 Bobby Taylor CB 6-3 216 12/28/73 Notre Dame
51 William Thomas LB 6-2 223 8/13/68 Texas A&M
34 Kevin Turner FB 6-1 231 6/12/69 Alabama
32 Ricky Watters RB 6-1 217 4/7/69 Notre Dame
42 David Whitmore SS 6-0 232 7/6/67 Stephen Austin
45 Barry Wilburn FS 6-2 195 12/9/63 Mississippi
74 Bernard Williams OT 6-8 286 7/18/72 Georgia
89 Calvin Williams WR 5-11 187 3/3/67 Purdue
31 Derrick Witherspoon RB 5-10 196 2/14/71 Clemson
57 Marc Woodard LB 6-0 238 2/21/70 Miss. State
27 Eric Zomalt SS 5-11 201 8/9/72 California