Philadelphia Eagles: Andre Chachere can wear a lot of hats

The Indianapolis Colts' Andre Chachere (36) puts his helmet on during the Indianapolis Colts camp on Friday, July 30, 2021, at Grand Park in Westfield Ind.
The Indianapolis Colts' Andre Chachere (36) puts his helmet on during the Indianapolis Colts camp on Friday, July 30, 2021, at Grand Park in Westfield Ind. /

In the NFL, teams can only ever have 53 players on their active roster and 16 more on the practice squad.

That is a fixed variable that every team has to plan their season around.

Now granted, technically, teams can have more than 69 players on their books because there is no limit on the number of persons who can be placed on IR in any given season, but as a general rule, teams need to make decisions to optimize their abilities to both contend in the short-term while also developing younger, greener talent for years down the line.

But that, my friends, isn’t the only limitation placed on teams when putting their plans together for game day. No, there’s also this little thing called the Gameday Actives list, which further limits teams to only 47 players – 48 if you opt to keep an additional offensive lineman – who are allowed to dress and thus play on any given Thursday, Sunday, or Monday.

So naturally, with these restrictions in mind, a wily general manager will look for ways to optimize their gameday depth in case of emergency while maintaining optionality at positions like wide receiver, defensive end, and running back, where a rotation is key to maintaining long-term success.

Why, you may ask, are these fun facts particularly relevant on this, the second day of September? Well, because the Philadelphia Eagles just claimed a player off of waivers who can play every single position in the defensive secondary and do so at a respectable level.

If you’re a fan of optionality, I have a “San Jose Army Knife” that you are going to want to buy stock in before its price skyrockets.

Andre Chachere just became the Philadelphia Eagles’ most versatile reserve DB.

More from Section 215

On paper, it makes very little sense that Andre Chachere went undrafted in 2018.

A four-year contributor at the University of San Jose, Chachere finished out his college career with 122 tackles, seven interceptions, and three forced fumbles, while earning All-Mountain West honors in 2016 and a bachelor’s degree in communication studies.

While one may assume that Charchere’s testing numbers may have been the bugaboo that cost him a shot at hearing his name called on draft weekend, that too probably isn’t the case. No, per our friends over at Mockdraftable, Chachere finished in the top-50th percentile of all tested cornerbacks in every category except for arm length (46th percentile), 60-yard shuttle (49th percentile), and bench press (34th percentile), versus elite marks in both hand size (93rd percentile) and the 3 cone drill (83rd percentile).

So what gives? Why was no one interested in Chachere, and why have four teams waived him through the first three seasons of his still-young career?

Well, Chachere actually did make the Colts’ initial 53 man roster this year, and if the team was awarded one less player on waivers, maybe he still would be, but with Thakarius Keyes and Chris Wilcox inbound, I guess Indianapolis’ general manager, Chris Ballard, thought he could squeak him through the waiver wire and hid him away on the practice squad for a rainy day.

Enter Howard Roseman, who said, “whoa, whoa, whoa, not so fast; my friends.”

Now, on paper, this move may not seem like a big deal. Chachere isn’t going to push Steven Nelson for a starting spot across from Darius Slay, take shots at Avonte Maddox‘s spot in the slot, or even make an ultra last-minute push to supplement Rodney McLeod if he isn’t quite ready to go in time for Week 1 at strong safety. If you were hoping to land a starting-caliber player off of waivers, that, unfortunately, isn’t what Chachere brings to the table.

What Chachere can do, however, is back up every single player in the Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive secondary and maybe even earn a look at one of the safety positions next spring when both McLeod and Anthony Harris become free agents.

On the depth chart unofficially put together by the Colts’ PR staff, Chachere was listed as the team’s second-string free safety and third-string nickel cornerback before he was ultimately removed for obvious reasons. This makes sense. When starter Julian Blackmon went down during training camp, Chachere received the first look as his replacement, and once he returned, he was given snaps at both slot and perimeter cornerback, both of which he reportedly performed well at.

Now a member of the Eagles, Chachere will surely be asked to wear just as many hats in any game this fall and will surely find steady snaps as a member of Michael Clay’s special teams unit.

In a league where versatility is king, Chachere is an ideal bottom-of-the-roster roleplayer who, at 25-years-old, could conceivably grow into a larger role when he reaches exclusive restricted free agency in 2022.

As far as Day 2 waiver wire claims are concerned, this one is about as close to a home run as one could hope for.

Corey Clement gets to join his favorite team. dark. Next

How big of a role will Andre Chachere play for the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense this fall? Well, in a perfect world, none at all. Chachere playing would mean that someone either suffered an injury or played incredibly poorly, which obviously, would not be good, like, at all. But, considering the current state of the NFL – both in relation to the new 17 game schedule and COVID restrictions – that just isn’t realistic. No, much like last season, teams are going to be playing 50, 60, even 70 players this fall for one reason or another, so having a deep bench of viable contributors with high ceilings is paramount to winning games in 2021. While Chachere may not be a household name, he is a good enough defensive back to make the Indianapolis Colts’ initial 53 man roster and that, my friends, is good enough for me to be stoked on his signing.