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Army Ranger Villanueva among Eagles' first cuts

First Lt. Alejandro Villanueva was among 14 players cut by Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday, the team announced.

The converted defensive end was a long shot from the start to make the roster, but at 6-foot-9, 277 pounds, he displayed some intriguing qualities.


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The Eagles signed the 25-year-old U.S. Army Ranger in May.

Villanueva spent the last four years as an active member of the Army, serving three tours in Afghanistan. He last played football in 2009 at the U.S. Military Academy, where he was West Point's top wide receiver as a senior. He also took snaps at left guard, tight end and defensive end in his four years of college football.

The Eagles were the first team to make bulk cuts following the team's third preseason game. Teams have until Tuesday by 4 p.m. ET to cut their rosters from 90 to 75 players. The Eagles currently carry 76 players.

Coach Chip Kelly said he made the cuts early on Saturday to give players a chance to latch on elsewhere and to free up practice time for players with a shot at making the team.

Saturday's cuts included:

TE Blake Annen; OL Michael Bamiro; OL Karim Barton; WR Kadron Boone; WR B.J. Cunningham; OL Donald Hawkins; TE Emil Igwenagu; LB Jake Knott; DE Joe Kruger; S Daytawion Lowe; DE Frances Mays; S Davon Morgan; K Carey Spear; DE Alejandro Villanueva

None of the nine Oregon Ducks on Kelly's roster were cut in the first rounds, meaning 12 percent of the team is currently made up of players from the coach's former employer.

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