Jalen Reagor found his way onto the Philadelphia Eagles for a third season, the most crucial one of his NFL career. The Eagles tried their darndest to trade Reagor in the days leading up to the 53-man roster cutdown, but not even trade master Howie Roseman could find a partner for the 2020 first-round pick.
Reagor is still with the Eagles, albeit in a much different role than in his previous two years. He's the fifth wide receiver in a crowded and talented room, almost an afterthought after the franchise decided to improve the wide receiver position after two disappointing years.
Reagor had a good camp, but his roster spot was challenged by Deon Cain, Britain Covey, and Devon Allen. None of those three made the final roster.
"I think when you look at Jalen, one of the things that one of our scouts said to me today is he was one of the only guys that practiced every day," Roseman said after final roster cuts Tuesday. "The guy brought it every day. He worked on his craft. He had a great attitude, great energy. Obviously, he's a talented guy. He's 23 years old.
"We're going to do whatever we think is in the best interest of the team, and we felt like there was no doubt in our mind that he deserved a role on this team."
Cain had an excellent camp and outplayed Reagor throughout the summer, Covey came in with the reputation of a premier returner, and Allen was hitting his stride in the final weeks of camp, making the Eagles decision to cut him even more difficult.
The Eagles need a returner on kicks and punts, which is where Reagor enters the picture with Covey and running back Jason Huntley (a kick return specialist) both released.
"I just felt like he made plays this summer," Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said. "And it started right from the beginning, from day one of training camp, and it continued on throughout the practices that we had. You could definitely see the explosion that -- he's never lost that, right? He's had this explosion in his body, and he uses it to separate from the defense.
"I just thought he had a good camp and he made plays and he was more consistent this year throughout training camp."
Regardless whether Reagor way consistent or not, his contract as a former first-round pick had a lot to do with his roster status. Reagor has a cap number of $3,619,276 for this season, and the Eagles would have had to pay $4,222,489 if they released him, as he carried $7,841,765 in dead cap money.
The Eagles would have had to pay to cut Reagor, which wasn't happening unless they found a trade partner. They didn't, so Reagor is still in Philadelphia -- for now.