Eagles trade Fraley, Parry; cut Gaffney, Reed

Updated: September 2, 2006, 10:26 PM ET
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Eagles got down to the roster limit by trading two players -- center Hank Fraley and fullback Josh Parry -- who started in the Super Bowl 19 months ago.

They also cut veteran wide receivers Jabar Gaffney and Darnerien McCants on Saturday.

Safety/return specialist J.R. Reed, trying to make an improbable comeback after a freak injury threatened his career and sidelined him last season, was among the 17 players released to get Philadelphia to the mandated 53-man limit.

Cornerback Matt Ware, a third-round pick in 2004, and offensive lineman Trey Darilek, a fourth-round selection that year, also were cut.

Fraley, who started 81 games, including 10 in the playoffs, was sent to Cleveland for a conditional pick in the 2008 draft. Parry, who started 15 games over the last two seasons, went to Seattle for an undisclosed pick in the 2008 draft.

The departure of Parry means Thomas Tapeh will be Philadelphia's starting fullback. Tapeh, a fifth-round pick in 2004, sat out last season with a hip injury. His ability to run the ball gave him the edge of Parry, who had no carries for the Eagles.

"Josh was a very smart guy. He's played a lot of games for us and we won a lot of games he started," general manager Tom Heckert said. "Thomas gives up a little bit of difference in that he can run the ball."

Fraley became expendable when undrafted rookie Nick Cole proved he can be a serviceable backup for starting center Jamaal Jackson, who stepped in when Fraley went down with a season-ending shoulder injury midway through last season.

"We wanted to make sure we saw the young guys play," Heckert said. "Nick Cole proved to us he can step in and play if he has to."

Reed showed promise as a return specialist in his rookie season in 2004, but sustained a serious injury shortly after the Eagles lost to New England in the Super Bowl. Reed cut the back of his knee while jumping over a fence and damaged a nerve that affects the use of his lower leg and foot.

Though he still walks with a limp, Reed was able to run with the help of a special brace.

"We're not down on J.R. We still think he can play for us," Heckert said.

The release of Reed and cornerback Dexter Wynn gives running back Bruce Perry an opportunity to be the kick returner. Versatile running back Reno Mahe will return punts. The Eagles kept six running backs, including starter Brian Westbrook, Correll Buckhalter and Ryan Moats.

Cutting both Gaffney and McCants was a mild surprise. Philadelphia enters the season with Donte' Stallworth, Reggie Brown, undrafted rookie Hank Baskett, veteran Greg Lewis and rookie Jason Avant at receiver.

Gaffney signed a one-year deal with the Eagles in March after making 171 catches for 2,009 yards and seven touchdowns in his first four seasons in the NFL with Houston.

McCants spent last season with the Eagles, though he was cut and re-signed a few times.

Other players waived were quarterback Timmy Chang, linebackers Dedrick Roper and Torrance Daniels, wide receivers Michael Gasperson, Bill Sampy and Justin Jenkins, defensive end Darrell Lee, defensive tackle Keyonta Marshall, tight ends Stephen Spach and Andy Thorn and cornerback Donald Strickland.

The Eagles also placed offensive lineman Stefan Rodgers (knee) and linebacker Chris Gocong (stinger) on the injured reserve list. Gocong was a third-round selection this year.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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