The Philadelphia Eagles released offensive lineman William Dunkle and SAM linebacker Ali Fayad on Sunday, according to an official team announcement.
This news comes a couple days before the Eagles are required to trim their roster down to 85 players prior to 4:00 PM Eastern on Tuesday, August 16. The Birds currently have 89 players under contract but Matt Leo’s exempt status makes the roster count 88 Thus, the Eagles must soon make three more moves.
Dunkle and Fayad getting cut isn’t very surprising. Billy Dunks really struggled; he was arguably the most outmatched player in camp. Fayad is slightly more surprising because the Eagles aren’t totally loaded at his position. But neither of these undrafted rookie free agents were seriously pushing for a spot on the 53-man roster.
Who’s in jeopardy of getting cut next? The Eagles could always ax some more UDFA types, such as a Jarrid Williams or DeAndre Torrey.
But if the latest rumor is any indication, there’s actually a significant name that could soon be leaving the Eagles’ roster.
Citing a “mystery source” who has previously been right about various Eagles scoops, Kevin Kinkead of Crossing Broad says JJ Arcega-Whiteside is “gone.”
JJAW was listed as a non-participant in Sunday’s training camp practice due to personal reasons. He saw limited playing time late in the Eagles’ preseason game against the New York Jets. He was also recently listed as the sixth tight end on the team’s depth chart. Point being: the writing has been on the wall for him.
JJAW has obviously been a big disappointment for the Eagles since they selected him with a second-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. To his credit, he did find a way to be of use last year as a blocking receiver and special teams guy. Nick Sirianni referred to him as the Eagles’ “enforcer” shortly after the season ended.
But now Zach Pascal projects to play the role that JJAW did last year. And his legitimate receiving ability makes him an upgrade at that spot.
Assuming JJAW gets cut, there might be some talk about how it’s happening now because the Eagles want to give him a chance to latch on with another team. And perhaps there’s some truth to that. But given his previous struggles and overall lack of production, it won’t be easy for him to stick around with a new team. He just might be donezo or destined to spend time on a practice squad.