The Eagles cut 21 players and traded Sam Bradford to reduce their roster to 53 players on Saturday, and they now have only four linebackers. That will likely change in the coming days while the Eagles scan the waiver wire and make further changes.
"In terms of our 53-man roster, it is fluid right now," said Howie Roseman, the Eagles' executive vice president of football operations. "We will see what happens in the next couple of days. A 4-3 team, four linebackers is a low number and we'll just have to see what shakes out and what happens going forward and what's out there. That's a process that we're going through right now."
The Eagles have four linebackers because they cut veteran Najee Goode, who was expected to be one of their top reserves. Roseman did not close the door on bringing Goode back. If he re-signs with the team after Week 1, his contract would not be guaranteed.
"Najee has a history here and for us that was a really tough decision," Roseman said. "We had a couple really tough decisions with guys that have been around and that have been a part of this. We'll just see what happens here in the next couple of days and over the next couple weeks."
The Eagles kept four undrafted rookies: Wide receiver Paul Turner, offensive lineman Dillon Gordon, defensive lineman Destiny Vaeao, and cornerback C.J. Smith.
Turner led the Eagles in receiving yards and is the fifth wide receiver. Smith, who went to North Dakota State with Carson Wentz, impressed this summer and prompted the team to keep six cornerbacks. Vaeao and Gordon give the Eagles depth on the lines, which they wanted to build. There are 11 offensive linemen and 11 defensive linemen.
"We feel like we've got to find ways to improve this football team in an unconventional manner," Roseman said. "When you look at the percentage of rosters taken up by undrafted free agents, outside of first-round picks, I think it's the highest percentage of players on rosters. For us, we felt like we needed to throw darts at that pool of guys that we liked."
It was also notable that Lane Johnson is on the 53-man roster. Johnson is awaiting word from the NFL on an expected 10-game suspension. But without any decision yet, the team does not have a roster exemption and will enter the first week with Johnson on the team.
"We go with all the information we have," Roseman said. "We can only go with the information that we have at this point. So until someone tells us differently about anyone on our roster, we go with the 53 guys we think give us the best chance, and that's what we did today."
The Eagles kept both Steven Means and Marcus Smith at defensive end. Means was a preseason standout and Smith was the team's first-round pick in 2014.
Even though coach Doug Pederson considered keeping four tight ends and using Chris Pantale at fullback, Pantale was cut and the Eagles kept only three at the position. They could look for a tight end or fullback on the waiver wire.
Carson Wentz and Chase Daniel are the only quarterbacks. Caleb Sturgis won the kicker job over Cody Parkey, as expected.