After capping off one of the most improbable playoff runs in NFL history with a Super Bowl victory, the Eagles had to quickly turn their attention towards offseason duties. The NFL combine is well underway just weeks after SB LII, and free agency begins a couple short weeks after things conclude there in Indianapolis. In short, the Eagles have a ton of work to do in a relatively short amount of time. Howie Roseman and Co. will work tirelessly to scout all the NFL draft prospects and scour the free agent and trade markets for potential roster additions. Fortunately for the World Champs, particularly the busy front office, some of those additions are already in progress.
Just about everyone has already started discussing potential offseason moves the Eagles could do to improve their roster, as well as the chances of keeping the Lombardi trophy in Philly. It’s important to remember, however, that the Eagles lost their 2017 starting LT, MLB, special teams ace, and QB to season-ending injuries. All of which are expected to be back in 2018 and could make the reigning champs even deadlier than they were last season.
Although Big V held his own at LT in place of Jason Peters, the Bodyguard will be back ready to protect Wentz’s blindside next season. The offensive line was still outstanding in his absence, but there is no denying that the unit is on another level when #71 is in the lineup. Peters’ return also makes the Eagles offensive line depth a lot stronger as it makes Vaitai the first tackle off the bench, instead of the starter with less than inspiring options behind him.
Perhaps the most important returning player aside from Wentz, Jordan Hicks would simply make the Eagles defense unfair if he can regain his 2017 form. Hicks is an absolute monster with All-Pro potential, and would be a colossal addition to the Eagles linebacker corps. Whether he’s out there with Kendricks, Bradham, or someone not currently on the roster, the Eagles are in good shape at LB as long as Simba can stay healthy.
Getting special teams ace Chris Maragos back in the fold next season is an underrated return for the Eagles. Great special teams play can be the difference between wins and losses, as the Birds have proved that in the past, and Maragos’ return should make Philly’s special teams unit amongst the top in the league again.
As if things couldn’t get any sweeter for the Super Bowl champions, their MVP-caliber quarterback is slated to return in 2018 as well. The Eagles offense was soaring behind the strong play of #11, before he went down in a Week 13 shootout with the LA Rams. Wentz lead Philly’s new-look offense to 31 PPG, which would have ranked first in the NFL, whilst leading the league in passing touchdowns (through Week 13) with 33. Wentz was playing out of his mind last season and defenses simply had no answer for him. The young stud established himself as a dual-threat quarterback in his sophomore campaign, as he dissected defenses with his arm, and extended plays for additional yardage with his legs when there was nowhere to throw.
The return of Carson Wentz is enough of a boost for the Eagles to repeat as champions, in my opinion, so the fact the Eagles are also getting two other starters back in 2018 is icing on the proverbial cake. Of course, Howie Roseman will be active in free agency, but getting three superstar players back from injury should make any free agent addition seem like a luxury signing.
It may seem unfair to other fan bases, but the Super Bowl Champs are gaining three stars next season without spending a single dollar. I fear what a healthy Eagles team will unleash on the league in 2018. To all the opposing NFL teams, you’ve been warned.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports