Eagles Notes: 14 players cut; roster at 76

Posted: August 25, 2014

The Eagles released 14 players on Saturday, including three who were on the 53-man roster at times last season and one 2013 draft pick.

Linebacker Jake Knott, wide receiver B.J. Cunningham, and tight end Emil Igwenagu were all let go despite spending time with the team last year. Defensive lineman Joe Kruger, a 2013 seventh-round pick who spent last season on the practice squad, did not make the team. Former Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva also was cut after trying to make the Eagles as a defensive lineman.

The other players released Saturday were tight end Blake Annen; offensive linemen Michael Bamiro, Karim Barton, and Donald Hawkins; wide receiver Kadron Boone; defensive end Frances Mays; safeties Davon Morgan and Daytawion Lowe; and kicker Carey Spear.

Knott was the biggest name of the group after playing 12 games for the Eagles last season. He's been out most of the summer with a hamstring injury, and he was suspended for the first four games of the season after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

The Eagles' roster is now at 76. It needs to be at 75 by Tuesday at 4 p.m., but coach Chip Kelly decided to make most of the moves on Saturday.

"We didn't feel it was beneficial for players to have practice with us Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and cut them in the afternoon on Tuesday," Kelly said. "Give them a chance, if there is a chance - and I don't know if there is - but see if they can catch on with somebody else in this last week before they get in."

Ducks survive

All nine players from Oregon on the Eagles roster survived Saturday's cuts.

Wide receivers Josh Huff, Jeff Maehl, and Will Murphy; defensive ends Taylor Hart and Brandon Bair; nose tackle Wade Keliikipi; linebackers Josh Kaddu and Casey Matthews; and running back Kenjon Barner now make up almost one-eighth of the Eagles roster.

"I like having good football players," Kelly said. "So we think the guys we have here are good football players. There's another 20 or 30 other Oregon guys that are in this league that are on other teams. They're good football players."

There were 39 former Oregon players, as of Friday, in the NFL. All nine on the Eagles roster played at Oregon during Kelly's four-year, 46-7 stint as head coach.

"There was a stretch there for four years where they were really good, and those guys were a part of that group," Kelly said.

Injury updates

The Eagles had a light practice on Saturday, but neither linebacker Connor Barwin (knee) nor safety Malcolm Jenkins (undisclosed injury) participated. Center Julian Vandervelde (back), and wide receivers Arrelious Benn (concussion) and Josh Huff (shoulder) were also out.

Running back LeSean McCoy practiced after leaving Thursday's game with a thumb injury. Cornerbacks Brandon Boykin (hamstring) and Cary Williams (hamstring), running back Chris Polk (hamstring), and wide receiver Brad Smith (groin) all returned to practice after missing Thursday's game.

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