Eagles roster cuts: Carson Strong is gone after a mysterious preseason

You kept waiting and waiting and waiting for Carson Strong to get a chance.

It never happened.

On Monday, the Eagles released the strong-armed rookie quarterback after he threw just four passes all preseason and received almost no practice reps in training camp. The news was first reported by Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports.

What makes Strong’s case so strange is that the Eagles in April guaranteed him a franchise-record $320,000 when they signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Nevada.

After that, they never let him play.

Strong came to the Eagles with major college degrees. In his final two years in Reno, he led the entire BCS with 63 touchdown passes, 7,033 passing yards and interception rate (one in 73 attempts) and had the second-highest completion percentage at 70.1 percent.

The big question for Strong has been his surgically repaired knees, and his health and mobility issues have pushed him out of the draft entirely after once being considered the No. 1St– round talent.

But they were never a problem with the Eagles. He never missed a practice, though he rarely did, and the expected competition between Strong and Reid Sinnett for a possible third quarterback spot never materialized.

Strong’s practice reps were few and far between, and he certainly never got enough work to get into any sort of rhythm as a passer.

Strong didn’t play in the first preseason game against the Jets and then threw just one pass against the Browns and three Saturday night in Miami. He completed one six-yard pass to John Hightower in his four preseason attempts, all at the end of the 4th– quarterly cleaning duty.

He played just seven of the Eagles’ 198 preseason snaps. Sinnett played 100, Gardner Minshew 86 and Jalen Hurts 8.

What makes this all even stranger is that Sinnett was terrible in the preseason, but he threw 48 passes and Strong only threw four.

As far back as 1999 with preseason stats available, no Eagles quarterback has thrown anywhere near that few passes in the preseason. The previous low in that period was Andy Hall’s 18 tries in 2004.

NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Dave Zangaro spoke with Strong on Saturday night after the Eagles finished the preseason with a game against the Dolphins in Miami, and Strong said he doesn’t regret signing here despite the way things turned out.

“It’s a great organization to be a part of, it’s a great football team with great coaches and a great owner,” he said. “This is a top run organization from the owner to the GM to the coaches. These guys know what they are doing. It’s a great roster and I’m very happy to have the chance to be on this team and be a part of it.”

But now it isn’t.

Eagles GM Howie Roseman will be available to the media on Tuesday and will no doubt talk about Strong’s strange career with the Eagles.

Nick Siriani didn’t say much when asked about Strong, only that the team wanted to see as much of Sinnett as possible.

“Everybody’s in a different situation and different scenarios,” he said after Saturday night’s game. “We wanted Reid to get a job. We wanted Gardner to get a job. It was a little more about that than anything else. We wanted to make sure those guys got the reps they needed.”

Assuming the 22-year-old Strong clears waivers, the Eagles could try to bring him to their practice squad, but if they like him enough to keep him as a developmental prospect, why not see what he can do in training camp and preseason games?

And if you’re a Strong, do you really want to stay with an organization that refused to give you any opportunity during training camp and preseason games?

“Eventually I’ll get a chance in the preseason or in a real game, whatever it is,” Strong said Saturday night. “Eventually, I’ll get a chance to go out there and perform. I just have to make sure I’m ready when the opportunity comes.”

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