To say the 2016 Philadelphia Eagles season was one of extreme highs, and the lowest of lows, Would be an understatement. On one hand, the Eagles have found their guy at arguably the most important position in professional sports, Carson Wentz. On the other, they go into 2017 with a huge hole at cornerback and are below minimum in the offensive playmaker department.
The Eagles aren’t one move away from being a perennial playoff contender, but hey do have an ace in the hole. Howie Roseman. Love him, or hate him, the man makes things happen. After a chaotic offseason last year, the Eagles ended up with a 6’5, 240 pound, shiny new franchise quarterback and the first round pick they gave up to get him. So expect Roseman to be just as active this year with the team having little room to breathe in terms of cap space. But what moves could the Eagles be setting up to make? Here are a few possibilities.
Jason Peters could be in line to give the Birds’ one more great season. But before he does that, Howie figures out a way to restructure his deal. This would not only help with the Eagles cap situation and allow the sure fire Hall-of-Famer a smooth transition into his next venture, but give the Eagles some much needed stability on the offensive line. It’s not the easest task in the World, nor the most likely, but if anyone can do it…Howie can!
A change of heart:
Once considered a big part of this defense, Mychal Kendricks has now become expendable. Howie Roseman will find a trade partner out there willing to give up on a younger talent, to boost their defense. Much like He did for Dennis Kelly, Roseman knows his way around a trade.. And there is absolutely reason to believe Kendricks still has a lot left in the tank, he just happens to be in the wrong system and sat behind the wrong linebackers on the depth chart.
Turning the cornerback:
The Eagles will invest heavily in the cornerback position. Either through free agency, or via trade. The term “Band-Aid”, used so frequently by Roseman, will be a thing of the past, as he finds two young, play-making corners before re-enforcing the moves with some smartly drafted rookies who can marinate behind them.
Is Kelce running out of time?
You can definitely make the case of looking to move Jason Kelce. Be it through trade or a release, the move would open cap space and allow Isaac Seumalu to take over at center. Continuity is a huge part of Pederson’s Offense and while this would be an immediate downgrade, Seumalo has a chance to develop alongside three franchise linemen in his second year.
Desean Jackson does NOT come back to Philly:
For more on why this isn’t likely, check out this article.
Barwin’s draft-day exit:
I think it’s entirely possible that Barwin will be a part of a draft day trade that pushes the Eagles up towards a top ten pick. Barwin has been amazing on and off the field while in Philadelphia, but his run has come to an end. They didn’t pay Vinny curry to be a backup and Barwin didn’t explode this season in the way he has done in years past. The Eagles need to see him as a full time starter. If they don’t, there would be a trade-market full of teams licking their lips.
“Walk” the line:
This one really isn’t a bold prediction, but Joe Walker kid showed all the signs of being the real deal before an injury cost him his rookie season. Walker will come back better than ever, giving the eagles three young linebackers to build around for years to come and an exciting preseason to watch.
A slightly bolder prediction is that the Eagles will have anywhere between 25-35 million dollars in cap space by the time free agency opens. Howie might not always get his guy, but he sure knows what he’s doing with that cap. He will wheel and deal once again this offseason and when its all said and done, the Eagles will be sitting comftorably .
Draft day heroics:
The Eagles don’t tend to be overly active during the Draft when it comes to trades, but I think that can change this year. With eight picks currently in their arsenal, I can see the Eagles walking away from the Draft with ten players..at least one of whom would have been acquired due to a Draft day trade.
Finally, I feel that the eagles will draft two wide receivers early, but not in the first round. That pick will be spent on a stud running back. Remember prediction 6? Well, this is why they did it. Either Dalvin cook, or Leonard Fournette will be the reason Carson Wentz leads this young team to the playoffs soon. (bonus prediction)
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports