It's late afternoon. and the countdown to 53 is in its final hours. The first wave of cuts today -- 19 players in all in the first round -- contained a mild surprise or two, and not much more.
Then the news came down officially that Trent Edwards won the third quarterback job, beating out Mike Kakfa. No huge surprise there, either. How could the Eagles ignore what Edwards did in the preseason? He was brilliant.
What happens with the final two cuts is where the action is, where Roseman makes his money. You can imagine the background noise in his office.
"Howie, about those defensive linemen you have ..."
"Howie, how do you feel about your safety position? ..."
"Howie, can I interest you in ..."
Before we get into what might happen, let's talk about what has happened.
Of the 19 players initially released already on Friday, the biggest name was Joselio Hanson. He's been a reliable cornerback here, a steady presence at the nickel position. Once the Eagles drafted Brandon Boykin, the writing was on the wall for Hanson. I thought he might stay simply because of his experience and the fact that he can also play outside.
Clearly, the Eagles believe in Boykin, the fourth-round draft pick from Georgia. He's strong, he's quick and he's physical. I didn't like the way Hanson was taken out of the play on a screen pass in New England a couple of weeks ago, and how much trouble he had in coverage that night. I like Boykin's aggressiveness and I know that he's going to play fast. The kid will make mistakes here and there, but he'll play fast.
At cornerback, for the moment, there are six players. Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Boykin and Curtis Marsh are going to stay. How about Brandon Hughes and Trevard Lindley? Does one or both of them stay?
Chad Hall, hopefully, finds a job with another team. He's a good football player and a great person to have around the team. Hall has practice-squad eligibility, so maybe he comes back to the practice squad.
The rest? Maybe you can wonder about Steve Vallos, an experienced interior offensive lineman, but the Eagles like Julian Vandervelde and Dennis Kelly and Demetress Bell and Dallas Reynolds backing up the starters.
Still the questions ...
- It's really not a question, but a statement: The Eagles made the right call by keeping Edwards over Kakfa. No offense to Kafka, a bright young man and possibly a good quarterback in this league some day. But Edwards played great football in four preseason games. It was an easy call based on what the team saw on the field. As Kafka recovered from a broken left hand, Edwards went out and won a job.
- There are still 11 defensive linemen here. Can the Eagles possibly keep all 11?
- Rookie running backs Bryce Brown and Chris Polk are still on the 53-man roster. Again, we're talking about a numbers game here.
- As expected, the Eagles have three safeties. Jaiquawn Jarrett played his way onto the roster with a strong game against the Jets. He needs to keep improving. It won't surprise anybody if the Eagles add a safety in the next day or two.
- And at the punter spot ... would it shock anybody if the Eagles make a move here? Chas Henry didn't handle his chances very well on Thursday night, apparently. The reports that Mat McBriar was cut were, it seems, premature. One of them stays, right? Or do the Eagles go elsewhere for a punter? I doubt that, since Alex Henery would have to adjust to a new holder very quickly. It's going to be either McBriar or Henry.
Otherwise, well, we're waiting. There are five wide receivers here, as we thought. Stanley Havili is the fullback, as anticipated.
Two players must go as the clock speeds toward 9 p.m. and while it's quiet on the outside, you can bet that inside the offices of Howie Roseman and Andy Reid, controlled chaos is the environment.