Eagles Pass Rusher Returns to Team, Former RB Joins Steelers

waiver wire, top pickups, week 8

Getty Wendell Smallwood is a sneaky waiver wire play.

As NFL teams scramble to get down to the 80-player roster limits for training camp, some familiar names are finding new homes.

It was a 48-hour whirlwind for Daeshon Hall but it’s over — and he’s back in Philadelphia on the Eagles’ PUP list. The team released the defensive end on Sunday and after clearing waivers he reverted back to the Eagles’ reserve/physically-unable-to-perform list. He won’t count against the roster limit and the Eagles have until Week 7 to activate him.

Hall suffered a torn ACL on the final regular-season snap in 2019 and missed the playoffs. Not that it mattered, the 25-year-old rarely saw the field last season except for an opportunistic sack in a Week 5 blowout win over the Jets. He was the breakout star of the preseason with four sacks and three forced fumbles.

Meanwhile, another player cut by the Eagles on Sunday did find a new suitor. Albert Huggins was claimed by the Houston Texans off waivers and rejoins the team that claimed the defensive tackle as an undrafted free agent in 2019. The 315-pounder saw nine snaps for the Eagles last year, all coming on special teams.

The other three guys released — WR Shelton Gibson, WR Marcus Green, CB Tremon Smith — all remain unclaimed free agents and could potentially join the Eagles as practice-squad members. The NFL has extended the practice squad to 16 players (up from 10, due to the COVID-19 pandemic) in 2020.

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Steelers Ink Top Eagles Rusher to One-Year Deal

The Steelers inked Wendell Smallwood to a one-year deal. Financial terms weren’t disclosed but the running back was entering the final year of his four-year, $2.6 million rookie contract. The Delaware native was a fifth-round draft pick (153rd overall) of the Eagles in 2016 and earned a Super Bowl ring (although he was inactive for the big game).

Smallwood played in Washington last season where he accumulated 145 total yards in very limited snaps. He also famously threw (slight) shade at the Eagles after the team cut him on Sept. 1. He later walked those comments back, in favor of his “hometown team.”

“I won a Super Bowl with this team, I can’t really sell my team out,” Smallwood told 6abc. “That team [the Eagles] means a lot to me, it’s my childhood team.”

Not for nothing, Smallwood remains the leading rusher of the Doug Pederson era (as pointed out by NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Dave Zangaro). Smallwood ran for 850 yards in three seasons in Philly, plus tallied another 388 receiving yards.

The next closest rusher to him? Miles Sanders who rushed for 815 yards in his rookie year. He should bust the top off that number in 2020. That emphasizes the fact that Pederson truly believes in a running-back-by-committee approach.

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