The Eagles cut DT Sam Rayburn, who did the equivalent of walking on to the squad a few years ago as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2003. Rayburn earned the nickname "truck driver" and Philly fans' respect for his hard-working, get-your-nose-dirty style in the middle. Alas, since signing a contract extension in 2005 he hadn't really shown the form/grit that got the brass to approach him with the extension.
Don't get me wrong, he tried, but had to fight through some injury problems during the 6-10 "lost season of 2005" and was pretty much a non-factor last year, losing playing time to rookie 6th round pick LaJuan Ramsey. For whatever reason, he never regained the bull-in-a-china-shop ability he flashed during the Eagles great 2004 campaign.
The front office obviously went into the off-season looking to upgrade the DT position. Result, two new FA signings (Montae Reagor from the Colts, and Ian Scott from the Bears), Darwin Walker traded for Takeo Spikes and now Rayburn simply released. I'm a little surprised they weren't able to move him during the draft. I have no doubt they tried. I also figured that since he didn't move, he'd be given a chance to regain a role on the team during training camp, or at least be kept around as injury insurance.
The Eagles must be pretty happy with both returning second-year man Ramsey and the rookie FA Clark who they signed after the draft. (things come full circle)....actually there is a little extra tidbit in this article on ESPN, which says Ramsey has reported to mini-camp a full 20 pounds heavier than last year! 20lbs. Whoa. He was a high 280s-low 290s DT, and even though the PE.com roster listed him at 300. An extra 20 means more around the 310 range, which is pretty cool, cause that gives us a little girth up front, and is a hopeful sign that defensive coordinator realizes a little more beef up front ain't such a bad thing.
Well, I guess there is only one thing left to say. So Long Sam, thanks for the hard work, hope things work out for you elsewhere.