The Eagles announced on Sunday that they released linebacker Corey Nelson. To fill his spot on the depth chart, Philadelphia signed undrafted free agent linebacker Jaboree Williams out of Wake Forest to the 90-man roster.
Nelson signed a one-year deal with the Eagles in free agency and was expected to compete for the starting weakside starting linebacker job. That was not the case, however, as the 26-year-old linebacker failed to live up to expectations.
Second-year linebacker Nate Gerry and third-year linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill surpassed Nelson in the competition for the WILL linebacker spot. For most of this summer, Nelson was reportedly running with the Eagles’ third-team defense.
Nelson was drafted in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of the University of Oklahoma by the Denver Broncos. The former Sooner was a special teams maven in Denver and played on passing downs.
In his four seasons with Denver, Nelson played in all 16 regular seasons for three consecutive years, but suffered a torn biceps injury in 2017.
The 6-foot-1 linebacker reportedly joined the Eagles this offseason because he wanted a larger role, according to Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post. Jhabvala also added that the Broncos matched the Eagles’ offer to Nelson.
With Nelson not in the fold anymore, the Eagles will save around $1 million in cap space and could receive a compensatory draft pick for him.
As previously mentioned, both Gerry and Grugier-Hill leapfrogged Nelson and have looked good through three preseason games. Grugier-Hill got the start with the first-team defense in last Thursday’s game against the Browns and racked up four total tackles.
Furthermore, whomever the Eagles pick for the starting weakside linebacker job, they should be in good shape as both players bring versatility to the unit, which works well with Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham.
This will be just the first of many cuts for the Eagles as teams across the league have to cut their rosters down to 53 players on Sept.1.