The Philadelphia Eagles cut 21 players Saturday, trimming their roster to the NFL-mandated 53 players. Here’s a closer look at the final cuts:
Most significant move: Linebacker Najee Goode was the biggest surprise cut. Already thin at linebacker, he was thought to be a key reserve along with the recently acquired Stephen Tulloch. And that might still end up being the case: Executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman hinted that Goode could be back before long (perhaps after Week 1, when salaries are not guaranteed). As it stands, the Eagles have just four linebackers on the team. They will add.
Most significant non-move: Former first-round pick Marcus Smith II has had a bumpy start to his NFL career and entered this offseason with something to prove in order to remain on the team. He showed signs of improvement during the summer and drew praise from defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. He spent the preseason competing with fellow defensive end Steven Means. Both ended up making the team.
Turner makes the cut: Paul Turner was not to be denied. From long shot to bubble player to member of the 53, the undrafted rookie out of Louisiana Tech caught everything that came his way in training camp and led all Eagles with 17 catches for 165 yards. Whether he stays on the team for a week or six years, making the team is an accomplishment in itself.
Carson Wentz's old teammate makes it: Former North Dakota State cornerback C.J. Smith is another one who beat the odds. Wentz's college teammate gained the admiration of some defensive veterans, including Malcolm Jenkins, for being unflappable and continuing to thrive as he climbed his way up the depth chart. The Eagles kept two rookie corners in Smith and Jalen Mills out of LSU. Eric Rowe remains on the club despite some trade buzz.
Eagles moves: QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson, LB Don Cherry, S Blake Countess, DT Bruce Gaston, LB Quentin Gause, LB Najee Goode, G Darrell Greene, WR Marcus Johnson, C/G Barrett Jones, WR Cayleb Jones, RB Byron Marshall, TE M.J. McFarland, DE Jake Metz, Cedric O'Neal, TE Chris Pantale, K Cody Parkey, S Ed Reynolds, CB JaCorey Shepherd, DT Aziz Shittu, LB Myke Tavarres, WR David Watford.