Just one day after granting wide receiver Todd Pinkston permission to discuss possible trades with other teams, the Philadelphia Eagles on Wednesday morning released the five-year veteran, making him a free agent and able to sign with any other franchise.
There figures to be a handful of teams with varying degrees of interest in Pinkston, who was victimized by a Philadelphia depth chart suddenly glutted by the Monday trade that brought the Eagles speedy fifth-year veteran Donte' Stallworth, and by the preseason performance of several younger players.
One of those teams could be the Minnesota Vikings, who could use a veteran wide receiver to augment their current corps of pass-catchers. First-year Vikings coach Brad Childress is the former offensive coordinator of the Eagles and is familiar with Pinkston's history.
What most teams will have to determine in considering Pinkston is the status of his health. The six-year veteran, who missed the entire 2005 season with a torn right Achilles, has been limited for much of training camp and the preseason.
As of Tuesday afternoon, with agent Joel Segal working the phones with permission from the Eagles, three teams had indicated an interest in Pinkston, a second-round selection in the 2000 draft. At least two of the three receiver-needy franchises would likely view Pinkston as a starter, if he is healthy. Pinkston conceded, though, he is not pain-free yet as he continues recover from the Achilles injury suffered last summer in training camp.
Even with permission to seek a trade, the odds that a team would acquire Pinkston in a deal with the Eagles were slim. It was obvious that, with the glut of wide receivers, Pinkston could be nudged out of a job, and so most teams were willing to gamble that he would be released. Philadelphia is set at the two starting wideout spots, with Stallworth and second-year veteran Reggie Brown, and the coaches like some of the youngsters they've brought in, too.
Any teams interested in Pinkston likely will be attracted by his outstanding deep speed and career average of 15.3 yards per catch.
During camp this summer, Pinkston has battled tendinitis in both Achilles, and he has missed considerable practice time. Not until last week was Pinkston able to log an entire week of full-speed practices, and his appearance in last Friday night's exhibition victory over Pittsburgh was his first of the preseason. He had one reception for four yards.
A former Southern Mississippi standout, the reed-thin Pinkston has played in 78 games, including 68 as a starter, and has 184 receptions for 2,816 yards and 14 touchdowns. His best season was in 2002, when he had 60 catches for 798 yards and seven touchdowns.
Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.