Former first-round draft pick Danny Watkins and hard-luck tight end Clay Harbor were among the players released by the Eagles today.

In addition to Watkins and Harbor, the Eagles also released tackle Michael Bamiro, linebackers Travis Long and Chris McCoy, wide receivers Greg Salas and Russell Shepard, safety David Sims and running back Matthew Tucker. The roster moves enabled them to reach the regular-season limit of 53 players.

"Want to thank the Eagles for the last three seasons," Harbor said via Twitter Saturday afternoon. "It was a great to be able to play in such a passionate city!"

Watkins, 28, was drafted No. 23 overall by then-Eagles coach Andy Reid in the 2011 draft. After playing tackle at Baylor University - he blocked for Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III - the Eagles moved him to guard and he never panned out.

The 6-foot-3, 310-pounder started 18 games over two seasons. Last year, he sustained a knee injury and only made six starts.

Watkins is the first Eagles' first-round draft pick to last two seasons or less with the team since defensive end Jon Harris, who played in 1997-98.

"A change of scenery will definitely be good for Danny," Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said Saturday on a conference call. "The pressure of being a first-round pick, he internalized that. Being a former fireman, it was almost like he felt he had to keep saving people.

"He has to get away from being 'Danny Watkins, first-round pick' and just 'Danny Watkins.' For him to have success in this league, he needed a fresh start."


Member of The Press sports staff since 1986, currently in my 24th season as The Press Eagles' beat writer. Also cover boxing, MMA, golf, high school sports and everything else.

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