The Eagles most surprising cut prior to yesterday's deadline came when they released veteran corner Joselio Hanson, who had been battling rookie Brandon Boykin for the slot corner job. Eagles GM Howie Roseman said the decision was based more on the way Boykin played rather than Hanson.
"It was a matter of confidence in Boykin," said Roseman. "We drafted our players, in this day and age in the salary cap era and because of the nature of the salary cap because it’s flat, you need young players to play. We have a lot of confidence in Brandon and I think he demonstrated a lot of those skills during the games and during training camp."
That isn't to say Hanson played well and Roseman's point about the cap shouldn't be taken lightly. Hanson signed a big money extension back in 2009 and has never lived up it. In fact, his decline seems to have coincided with his 2010 suspension for performance enhancing drugs.
Roseman said the team still liked Hanson, but Boykin was always the long term solution anyway. It just so happened that his play this preseason accelerated the plans.
"Joselio Hanson has been a very good player for us for a long time. He’ll continue to be a good player throughout this year and through the coming years. We just felt like this was a move that Brandon was going to play for us. He was eventually going to fill this role, and he had shown enough that he was ready to go right now."
Despite his struggles in recent seasons, Hanson will find an NFL job and likely pretty soon. In fact, it could even be with one of the corner starved NFC East teams like New York or Washington. But Roseman said he can only be concerned with putting together his own roster and not where the players he cuts will end up.
"You have to assume that these players, the good players you let go today, they’re going to go somewhere that you’re going to play against them. That’s part of this. Teams have good players in this league. It’s the same thing during the draft process. You know that you’re going to lose some good players in the draft. They’re going to go to some of the teams you face but we were concerned about our own roster and putting together the best 53-man roster and we talked a lot about continuity now and going forward and trying to build a core group of players that we can go forward with."