When the Philadelphia Eagles traded Carson Wentz in March 2021, it cleared the way for Jalen Hurts to be their starting quarterback. There was no QB competition in training camp last year, as it was clearly Hurts’ job.
That’s again the case this summer. Although there have been some doubts over whether Hurts can be the Eagles’ franchise quarterback for the long term, he’ll be atop the depth chart ahead of Gardner Minshew and rookie Carson Strong throughout camp and into the 2022 season and will get another opportunity to lead the offense this year.
Philadelphia may not have a QB competition when its training camp fully opens on July 26, but there will be other position battles taking place. And it will be especially crucial for players on the roster bubble to have strong showings, or else they may not make the 53-man roster heading into the regular season.
Here’s a look at several Eagles players who need to have strong showings this summer to avoid being in jeopardy of getting cut at the end of camp.
In 2019, Isaac Seumalo solidified his role as the Eagles’ starting left guard by playing all 16 games that season. However, he’s struggled to stay healthy since then, playing in nine games in 2020, then only in three last year.
Seumalo will be at full strength heading into the 2022 season when he’s set to make $7.67 million in the final year of his contract. And there’s a chance he could be one of Philadelphia’s starting guards when Week 1 arrives.
That’s not a sure thing, though. Seumalo will need to prove that he can still play at a high level coming off a foot injury that required surgery and ended his 2021 campaign in Week 3. If the 28-year-old gets outperformed, it’s possible he won’t land a starting job.
Seumalo is set to have some strong competition in camp. Landon Dickerson will likely start at left guard. And in order for Seumalo to be the starting right guard, he’ll need to earn the spot over others such as Jack Driscoll, Sua Opeta and rookie Cameron Jurgens.
Philadelphia may not be able to justify having Seumalo’s contract on its roster if he’s a backup. So if he doesn’t fare well enough to start, he could be a cut candidate late in camp.
The Eagles had high hopes for Jalen Reagor when they drafted him with the No. 21 overall pick in 2020. But the 23-year-old’s first two NFL seasons have been quite disappointing, as he’s been unable to produce consistent results for Philadelphia’s offense.
As a rookie in 2020, Reagor had 31 catches for 396 yards and one touchdown in 11 games. He was expected to take a step forward in 2021, but he instead notched only 33 receptions for 299 yards and two touchdowns while playing all 17 games.
Now, Reagor will not be nearly as high up the Eagles’ depth chart in 2022. They traded for A.J. Brown, who is a sure starter alongside DeVonta Smith. Philadelphia also signed Zach Pascal, while returning Quez Watkins, Greg Ward and John Hightower (among others) in addition to Reagor.
If Reagor doesn’t stand out in camp, he could quickly get lost in the receiving shuffle. Brown, Smith and Watkins are locked to make the Eagles’ roster, while there will be plenty of competition for the other spots.
But Philadelphia can only carry so many wide receivers. It’s never easy to part with a former first-round draft pick (especially after only two years), but Reagor may be in some danger of getting released if he struggles this summer.
Philadelphia heads to training camp with solid depth at running back. However, is it possible for the team to carry five RBs on its roster in 2022? That seems unlikely. So it will probably have to cut at least one back prior to the regular season.
Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott should all be safe. They were the Eagles’ top three running backs last season, and they’ll likely be the ones in the backfield most often throughout 2022.
That leaves two other RBs to potentially battle for one spot: Jason Huntley and rookie Kennedy Brooks, who Philadelphia signed as an undrafted free agent. Brooks may not have been drafted, but he had a strong college career at Oklahoma, rushing 3320 yards and scoring 31 touchdowns in three fit seasons and could end up carving out a role with either the Eagles or another team in the future.
If Brooks impresses in camp, that could put Huntley in jeopardy of getting cut, even though he’s provided important depth for Philadelphia over the past two seasons. He’s shown small glimpses of what he can do, but the 24-year-old also hasn’t gotten a ton of playing time.
So it’ll be crucial for Huntley to do his best to stand out among this crowded RB picture, or else he may not have a spot on the Eagles’ roster this season.
The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.
The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.