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Eagles release TE James Casey, save $4 million in cap space

The Eagles released tight end James Casey on Thursday, an expected move that saves the team $4 million in salary cap space.

Casey spent two seasons with the Eagles. He caught only six passes for 90 yards and two touchdowns as a reserve tight end. Casey was also a core special teams player who was a leader on the unit.

Casey's role was not what he expected when he signed a three-year, $12 million contract when free agency opened in 2013. At that point, the Eagles had visions of pairing Casey with Brent Celek at tight end and taking advantage of Casey's versatility in the offense.

Those plans seemed to change when Zach Ertz slipped to second round of the following month's draft, a development the Eagles did not anticipate. Ertz jumped Casey on the depth chart, diminishing Casey's playing time. Nonetheless, Casey was a respected player in the locker during the past two years for his devoted work ethic, consistently one of the first players to arrive at the team's training facility each morning.

Look for No. 4 tight end Trey Burton to take Casey's role. Burton offers similar versatility and special teams ability.