The Eagles are said to be finalizing the hiring of Joe Douglas as the team’s new Head of Personnel. It’s a position that was prioritized by the Eagles in the early stages of the offseason before eventually putting the search on hold until after the Draft. The reasoning behind this was that the team believed there would be more options available to them in the early weeks of May…but was there another reason?
Douglas spent fifteen years with the Baltimore Ravens, first as an area scout where his work influenced the decision to draft Joe Flacco and then as a National Scout in 2012. He held this position for three years before moving to Chicago to become the Bears’ head of College Scouting in 2015. It was here where Douglas learned under Bears G.M Ryan Pace.
The Browns attempted to secure an interview with Douglas back in January but the Bears denied them the opportunity in the run up to the Draft. The Browns aren’t the only team in the NFL appear to hold the former All-State Lineman in high regard.
Geoff Mosher of 97.5 The Fanatic appeared on the latest episode of BGN Radio to talk about the projected hiring:
“The one thing I get a lot about him is that he’s a really strong communicator and knows how to pull an entire staff together …”
It’s not the first time that Mosher has spoken highly of the man partly responsible for bringing Super Bowl Champion Quarterback Joe Flacco to Baltimore.
Received this unsolicited text from NFL personnel man. "If the Eagles get Joe Douglas that's a huge get for them." Called Joe a future GM.
— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherNFL) May 4, 2016
List of NFL personnel men to sing Joe Douglas' praise to me since this AM is up to three. Two of them reached out to me, not vice versa.
— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherNFL) May 4, 2016
The question is, if Douglas is so highly rated and brimming with GM potential, what does this mean for Howie Roseman? It would certainly be a bizarre turn of events for Roseman to re-establish himself as a powerhouse in the Eagles organization after the Chip Kelly nightmare only to hire someone who could become direct competition.
For starters, Douglas would answer to Roseman and take over all of the personnel responsibilities that Roseman currently has. The two would work in unison to build and maintain a coherent front office and begin to re-enforce the future of the franchise. However, with Douglas carrying such a high reputation..he could also be seen as an insurance policy for the Eagles.
The Eagles have taken some big leaps this offseason, but not without risk. With so much emphasis being placed on “accountability” after such a chaotic period under Chip Kelly, Howie Roseman has placed all of his chips on the table.
From some big contract extensions that could haunt the come back to haunt the salary cap and the trade up to draft Carson Wentz..to removing every trace of Chip Kelly’s reign whilst taking chances on guys with character issues to cement a new direction. Howie Roseman has played some very risky hands over the last few months..and with Jeffery Lurie’s “accountability” guillotine looming, Joe Douglass could well be the GM equivalent of Carson Wentz.
If Roseman’s vision and risky decisions backfire, it’s unlikely that Lurie will have the patience to endure more tumultuous seasons both on and off the field. In the long term search for stability, Lurie first needs to see evidence that Roseman is the right guy to make the tough decisions..something that hasn’t always been his strongest asset.
There is a reason why Douglas has such glowing praise from various NFL Executives. A “really strong communicator” who can “pull an entire staff together?” Sounds a lot like what Jeffery Lurie told the media he was searching for after the dismissal of Chip Kelly..
The Eagles may not be set up for imminent success, but they at least have a plan. If the vision they have currently turns out to be unattainable and the steps taken this offseason were that of a mirage, the birds will now likely have a budding GM in place who has spent time at one of the most reputable organizations in the NFL and has had a hand in the scouting of talents like:
QB Joe Flacco
G Ben Grubbs
LB Pernell McPhee
LB C.J. Mosley
CB Lardarius Webb
G Marshal Yanda
LB Albert McClellan
WR Marlon Brown
LB Dannell Ellerbe,
LB Jameel McClain
K Justin Tucker
It’s also a little coincidental that some the most renowned players to have been scouted by Douglas are those that would also fill positions of need on the Eagles roster..
Whether or not Howie Roseman is on borrowed time is highly debatable after such a strong offseason..but as aforementioned, it’s strong on paper. There have been some big risks that have undoubtedly changed the Eagles salary cap flexibility over the next two years and their chances of success. Carson Wentz may well be the project Quarterback..but if Jeffery Lurie hasn’t at least had a wild thought that Joe Douglas could be a man who could develop into the next General Manager of the Philadelphia Eagles no matter how long it may take then I would be extremely surprised.