After 25 days of training and four preseason games, the Eagles selected their initial 53-man roster on Saturday. However, the work isn't done. Beginning at Noon today, the Eagles can claim players who were released by other teams and also form their 10-player practice squads. The Eagles return to the practice field Monday to prepare for Sunday's opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Here are 5 Things To Know Today about the 53-man roster ...
1. The Balance Between Youth And Experience
The average age of the players on the Eagles' roster is 26.3 years old. Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com compiled the average age of every team in the league. The Eagles have the 19th-youngest team. St. Louis has the youngest team at 25.1 years old. The Eagles' Week 1 opponent, Jacksonville, is second youngest with 25.2 years old. The Raiders are the oldest team with an average age of 27.
At the same time, the Eagles have 18 first- and second-year players. There are only 10 players who are 30 or older and the two oldest players on the roster are punter Donnie Jones and long snapper Jon Dorenbos (both 34). Seven players are 22 years old. The two youngest players are this year's top two draft picks as second-round pick Jordan Matthews is the youngest and linebacker Marcus Smith II is just three-and-a-half months older.
"We're in the business of trying to win games right now and at the same time build for the future and it's always a balance," general manager Howie Roseman said. "When we look at this team, I think it strikes the right balance of veterans and youth and experience and inexperience."
2. How Were The Eagles Built?
The longest-tenured Eagles are 10th-year veterans guard Todd Herremans and linebacker Trent Cole. Herremans and Cole were selected in the fourth and fifth rounds, respectively, of the 2005 NFL Draft. Five other players joined the team prior to 2010 - Dorenbos (2006), tight end Brent Celek (2007), tackle Jason Peters (2009), wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (2009) and running back LeSean McCoy (2009).
There are 16 players who were just added to the roster in 2014 - seven free agents, six draft picks, two trades and a rookie free agent.
In all, the Eagles have six former first-round picks and eight former second-round picks on the active 53-man roster.
There are 10 Eagles who have played at least 100 NFL games. The most have been played by Dorenbos (156 in the NFL, 117 with the Eagles). The most played by an Eagle is Cole (140). There are nine Eagles who will play in their first NFL game.
With the regular season opener on the horizon, the Eagles cut their active roster down to 53 players ...
3. The Position-By-Position Breakdown
Here's a look at how many players the Eagles kept at each position:
QB (3), RB (3), WR (6), TE (4), OL (9) - 25
For a look at who made the team at each offensive position, click here.
DL (7), OLB (5), ILB (4), CB (5), S (4), ST (3) - 28
For a look at who made the team on defense and special teams, click here.
General manager Howie Roseman said that the one spot where the team went with more players than expected was along the offensive line. In addition to the five starters, tackle Andrew Gardner, guards Dennis Kelly and Matt Tobin and center David Molk earned roster spots.
"That's a great credit to those offensive linemen and what they did," Roseman said.
4. Some Superlatives And No One Complains About The Former Bearcats
We all know the infamous quote by head coach Chip Kelly, "big people beat up little people." Well, the Eagles kept 10 players who are 6-foot-5 or taller with guard Dennis Kelly being the tallest at 6-foot-8. The shortest player? Running back Darren Sproles at 5-foot-6.
Which Eagle weighs the most? Nose tackle Beau Allen tips the scales at 333 pounds. The lightest Eagle? Wide receiver Jeff Maehl at 184 pounds.
Much has been made about the fact that five former Oregon players made the team given Kelly's ties to the school. Roseman explained that the former Ducks earned their way onto the team.
"(Kelly) gets hit on some of this stuff when the guys who we're keeping, we're keeping because they're good players and they can contribute to our football team," Roseman said. "He wants the best players. He wants to win games. He's very selfish in that regard. I don't think it's fair that he gets accused of anything other than that … the question to me is, 'Does coach want anything more than to win football games and to have the best players on the team?' I think there's no question that anyone who around him knows that's his sole function and his sole desire."
There are four former Cincinnati Bearcats and three former Florida Gators on the Eagles' roster.
5. The Journeymen
Roster cutdown down is a tough day for many players, but it is a celebratory one for others. Tackle Andrew Gardner and defensive end Brandon Bair know both sides very well.
Gardner was a sixth-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2009. The Eagles are his sixth NFL team. He has been a part of 14 transactions in his career. He has played in eight NFL games.
Bair is one of the players who has never played in an NFL game. A rookie free agent signing of the Chiefs in 2011, Bair has nine transactions to his credit. Bair was also with Oakland before finding a home with the Eagles.
The transactions champion - punter Donnie Jones, who has 22 on his résumé since being a seventh-round pick of the Seahawks in 2004.