The Eagles have to get to the league-mandated roster limit of 80 before the start of training camp and that's one of the reasons why rookie free agent defensive back Devin Ross was released by the team on Thursday.
Now, the Eagles have 81 players on the roster, but the three unsigned rookies - defensive end Brandon Graham, safety Nate Allen and wide receiver Riley Cooper - do not count towards the 80-man limit. However, Ross' release may indicate that the team is close to signing Cooper, a fifth-round pick.
While the Eagles have signed 10 of their 13 draft picks, including third-round selection Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, most of the fifth-round picks selected near Cooper have not signed. The closest pick signed ahead of Cooper (the 159th overall selection) is Steelers offensive tackle Chris Scott (151st overall) and the closest behind Cooper is also a Steeler, cornerback Crezdon Butler (164th overall).
Ross was named All-Pac-10 honorable mention after his senior year at Arizona when he recorded 74 tackles, 11 pass deflections and an interception. He was a second-team All-Pac-10 pick after his junior season when he finished with three interceptions and a touchdown.
The Eagles moved the 5-10, 183-pound Ross from his college position of cornerback to safety during the OTAs, but remember seventh-round pick Kurt Coleman could not take part due to his class at Ohio State's late graduation date. In addition to starters Quintin Mikell and Nate Allen, the Eagles have Quintin Demps, Coleman and another rookie free agent in Ryan Hamilton. Macho Harris can also play safety, but his reps during the OTAs were at the cornerback position.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 12:50 p.m., June 17