Trent Edwards will go to Jeffrey Lurie's home on Friday for a mandatory team barbecue. Edwards will smile and make eye contact with anyone who greets him, knowing that at the NoveCare Complex, an evaluation will be made by Eagles coach Andy Reid and general manager Howie Roseman about whether Edwards will be on the team past 9 p.m.
This is Edwards' reality - even after an impressive performance in the Eagles' 28-10 win over the New York Jets in Thursday's final preseason game. He is one of four quarterbacks competing for three spots, and by Saturday morning, either he or Mike Kafka will be out of a job.
"I want it to be hard," coach Andy Reid said of the decision at quarterback. "I thought he played well and did a nice job. Howie and I will go back and look at it tomorrow and see what we think."
Edwards further complicated Reid's decision by completing 22 of 32 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns in three quarters of work. He has been on the field at the end of each of the Eagles' four preseason games - all wins. It is the first time the Eagles have finished undefeated in the preseason since 1995.
What was apparent was Edwards' command of the offense and confidence behind center, the by-product of 33 career starts and an understanding of his skill set. He never showed the strongest arm, but he did not turn over the ball, and he made the throws required of him.
"I feel like the best quarterbacks in this league get the guys around them to play at a high level and are able to do that on a consistent basis," Edwards said. "Through the four games that I was in there, the guys around me did a very good job."
Another quarterback who could say that was Nick Foles, the rookie third-round draft pick who emerged as the backup quarterback. When Foles took the field against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the preseason opener, he was a shaggy-haired project known only by the most intense Eagles loyalists and those who ventured to Lehigh to watch training camp.
Four weeks later, the hysteria is in full effect. Foles started his second straight game, played one quarter, and finished the preseason 40 of 63 for 563 yards, six touchdowns, and two interceptions.
"I think he's performed well enough where he can be a two for us," Reid said.
When Foles reflected on the difference between where he is at the end of August compared to the beginning, he noted the fundamentals of the game and the comfort he possesses after increased repetitions. Those came because Kafka suffered a broken left hand, which set Kafka back and put him at risk of missing the cut.
Working in Kafka's favor is his knowledge of the system - he has been with the Eagles for two seasons - and the fact that he was a fourth-round draft pick in 2010 who has progressed under the tutelage of the coaching staff. Edwards can point to his experience and strong preseason performances.
If the Eagles have their way, though, Michael Vick will keep the reserve quarterbacks off the field. Vick did not play Thursday as Reid rested most starters. The lone starter to play was linebacker Akeem Jordan, who was promoted to the first team earlier this week.
The playing time was devoted almost entirely to players trying to make the roster, or at least show enough to persuade another team to sign them. Edwards was the highest-profile example, but the competition for No. 3 running back was also on display.
Bryce Brown, a seventh-round pick, started and showed natural skills and surprisingly adept hands. He totaled 20 yards on nine carries and scored a touchdown. Chris Polk, an undrafted rookie, rushed 14 times for 61 yards and a touchdown.
There was also heavy competition along the offensive line and in the secondary.
The Eagles must make their roster decisions by 9 p.m. Friday. They have 75 players, and Reid and Roseman must pare the roster to 53. Some of those decisions will be easy. Others, such as the third quarterback and third running back, will be more difficult. All will include evaluations made during Thursday's game.
"Those decisions are above my pay grade," Edwards said. "That's what the guys in the front office do. I want to be here. They know that, I know that, you guys all know that."