Conscious or not, the Eagles continue to shed the few parts remaining from the failed Chip Kelly experiment.
Wednesday afternoon the team announced it had cut ties with offensive lineman Allen Barbre (signed by Kelly before the 2013 season) and Marcus Smith (the team’s first round pick in 2014).
Much has been written and fans have often felt bemused at how the Eagles stretched for Smith in a bizarre first round instead of taking Allen Robinson or Deone Buchanan.
Smith played a little bit better in 2016 getting his first NFL sack and working his way into the defensive line rotation, but he was one of a few players skipping voluntary minicamp back in the spring and clearly wasn’t in the team’s plans for 2017. He also was likely a victim of a numbers game, with Chris Long, Vinny Curry, Brandon Graham and rookie Derek Barnett seemingly making up the defensive end corps.
On the offensive line, Barbre’s move (it was first reported as a release, later as a trade) comes a bit more as a shock as he was a valued and versatile offensive lineman who has started at multiple positions. The Broncos will acquire Barbre in exchange for a conditional seventh round pick in 2019. However, offensive coordinator Frank Reich announced that he was planning to tag Isaac Seumalo as a starting guard, with Stefen Wisniewski and Chance Warmack tagged to back up he and Brandon Brooks.
The combined releases open up a much-needed $3.53 million in salary cap space for the Eagles and come a day before veterans report to training camp.