If you don't like the Eagles' roster this season, all you have to do is wait a day and it's bound to change.
And so it did a couple of times yesterday.
After the Eagles put offensive tackle Shawn Andrews on the injured reserve list to create room on the roster for quarterback Jeff Garcia in the morning, they followed up in the afternoon by releasing receiver Hank Baskett. The second decision cleared roster space for quarterback Michael Vick, who was activated from the exempt list.
Baskett's release came after the Eagles couldn't trade him Monday night. The veteran receiver said, "I'm not speaking about it," when he was reached by phone.
By being removed from the exempt list, Vick can fully participate in practice with the Eagles today at the NovaCare Complex. That gives him two weeks to prepare for the Sept. 27 game against Kansas City, the first game he is eligible to play.
The decision to release Baskett affected more than just Vick, however. It also meant the Eagles decided wide receiver Reggie Brown is more valuable than Baskett even though Brown was deactivated for Sunday's season opener against the Carolina Panthers (and the NFC championship game at Arizona last season) and Baskett played against Carolina.
A team source said the coaching staff's decision to play Baskett on Sunday was based on his value on special teams. The Eagles seem to think that Brown has more value as a wide receiver. Brown will likely play Sunday against New Orleans.
Baskett had one catch for 6 yards against the Panthers. In 48 career games with the Eagles, he caught 72 passes for 1,052 yards and 6 touchdowns. He had his best season a year ago, when he caught 33 passes for 440 yards and 3 touchdowns, but in the last two seasons the Eagles have drafted three young wide receivers in DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and Brandon Gibson.
Brown, a second-round pick in 2005, has better career numbers than Baskett with 168 catches for 2,419 yards and 17 touchdowns. Slowed by hamstring and groin injuries last season, he managed just 18 catches for 252 yards and one touchdown, all career lows.
The Eagles kept seven wide receivers on their opening-day roster, but the situation seemed unlikely to stay that way.
The Baskett decision could have a ripple effect on the quarterback situation. The Eagles now have four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster.
Garcia, who signed his one-year contract yesterday, seems likely to be released after Donovan McNabb recovers from the fractured rib he suffered Sunday, but Garcia might also remain a bit longer. He said he would love to help tutor third-year quarterback Kevin Kolb, who will likely make his first career start, against the New Orleans Saints, on Sunday.
"I'm not trying to step in for anybody," Garcia said. "I'm trying to blend in and parallel what is already going on as far as the work in progress is concerned. I think with Kevin there, being a young guy, I can just maybe help open his eyes to certain things that maybe he hasn't opened his eyes to as of yet. I'm sure he has been able to see so much of that through Donovan, and I just want to be able to help out where I can."
The Eagles' current roster is short on linemen with Andrews being placed on injured reserve. Because guard Todd Herremans is still recovering from a stress fracture in his left foot, the Eagles have only eight healthy linemen.
ESPN.com reported that Brian Westbrook will be eligible to become a free agent after next season because the Eagles chose not to exercise a $7 million option to extend the deal beyond the 2010 season.
Westbrook will make $5.85 million this season and $7.25 million next year, then be eligible for free agency prior to the 2011 season.
According to a team source, both parties were aware that was the most likely scenario when the contract was negotiated and signed before the start of the 2008 season.
"That's the way Brian wanted it," the source said.
Westbrook will be 32 before the 2011 season starts.
Wide receiver DeSean Jackson will be named the NFC special-teams player of the week today after returning a punt 85 yards for a touchdown in the season opener at Carolina. The punt return was the second longest in Eagles history and the second for a touchdown in Jackson's career. He also had another return of 21 yards, and his 53-yard average after Week 1 is the best in the league.