It's not an easy couple of days for anyone. The coaches developed close relationships with players since April, and together have built a foundation for the 2013 season. The players, of course, have strong ties in the locker room, having dressed side by side for many months.
The time drags. The players wait, keeping an eye on their telephones for a dreaded phone call from area code 215. Silence is, indeed, golden on this day.
Meanwhile, the buzz is in full flight at the NovaCare Complex. The Eagles are taking a look at everyone and everything in their quest to make the 53-man roster as good as it can be.
Who stays today? Who goes? General manager Howie Roseman and head coach Chip Kelly are in the middle of it all, evaluating every name on the waiver wire long before we know the moves, paring down their roster board and in search of the 53 best Eagles.
Where do you look on the roster? Nine names have to go. The Eagles have four running backs on the roster, and you wonder if they will keep that many. How about a player like Clay Harbor, who is trying to stick as a tight end and as a wide receiver? The Eagles have a surplus at wide receiver, in the front seven defensively, in the secondary. Which players on the "bubble" best fit what the Eagles want to do this season, how they want to run their schemes?
There is an entire process here. The Eagles make the decisions on the 53-man roster. Then they call the players who are going to be released and they go through the truly painful part: Telling young men who gave their sweat and hard work and dedication every day for the last many months that they just aren't in the plans right now. It is a heart-wrenching time for all.
But this is a business and in the NFL if you aren't moving forward, you are being bypassed.
Anyway, we wait. The names of those players with some recognition are leaking out on Twitter and on the Internet, etc. And Eagles fans want to know if the team is going to add a veteran player here, or make a trade for a promising young player there.
The preseason is already a distant memory in terms of wins and losses. The evaluations have been made, combed over, and reports written. The Eagles are down to 62 players. Nine players must go, and then another handful will be subject to moves should the Eagles be active making claims off of the waiver wire -- they are fourth in the pecking order among NFL teams, based on last season's 4-12 record -- or working a trade or two.
Nervous times. Exciting times.
A roster reaches 53 players today for the first time this year, and then it will be churned at the bottom throughout the season. Stay tuned for more ...